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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Extract Brewing > The Never Ending Fermentation?
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Old 01-29-2008, 03:42 AM   #1
Legitikick
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Default The Never Ending Fermentation?

I have a Belgian ale that I pitched on the 10th (18 days ago). After six days the fermentation was barely going, and I racked it. Then it picked up again, and its been going slow and steady ever since. It slowed down a bit more today, but not much.

I'm planning on racking it again when it finally finishes. Is this within the realm of normal? There isn't anything too weird in this brew that would cause this, that I know of.

Here's a quick list of ingredients:

1# wheat DME, domestic red 2L
5.9# wheat/barley malt extract
3.5oz Cascade & Kent Goldings hops at various stages
.25oz Coriander Seeds
1oz Bitter Orange Peal
Belgian Golden Ale Yeast

(I can get more descriptive with the recipe if anyone's interested, not trying to be secretive, just lazy)


Any ideas? My honey ale that's been fermenting a week is farther along than this Belgian, strange.

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Old 01-29-2008, 03:51 AM   #2
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First problem I see: NO GRAVITY READING

what was the gravity when you racked to secondary? how do you know its "still going"??

cuz the airlock bubbles don't mean anything at all unless you can put them in the context of gravity readings and continual lowering of that gravity.

if you didn't take a reading before racking, I'd wager you racked early and stunted fermentation, so now its dragging ass. secondary is NOT for fermentation. its for clearing, so you do not rack until the beer's hit terminal gravity in primary.

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Old 01-29-2008, 04:07 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Legitikick
After six days the fermentation was barely going, and I racked it. Then it picked up again, and its been going slow and steady ever since. It slowed down a bit more today, but not much.

Any ideas?
It wasn't finished and you gimped it when you took it off the cake. One week is not enough time! I have a 10.5% dark belgian that I brewed on the 12th thats still bubbling once every 30 seconds. It's gonna sit there until 2/12, then its gonna sit in a secondary vessel until 3/12. Thats how its done.
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Old 01-29-2008, 04:12 AM   #4
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Original gravity was 1037, I just tested it now at 1016. But I'm not sure just what FG I'm shooting for. So it can be bubbling and not fermenting? Should I wait a couple more days and then test again, and then re-rack if it hasn't gone down any farther?

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Old 01-29-2008, 04:25 AM   #5
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Your FG will probably be between 1008 and 1010. Dang... 1.037 OG... you sure????? This is a tiny brew!

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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~
~~~~~~~~~~~___//_ ____________________________~~~~~~~~~~~
~~~~~~~~~_/ [][]| | /```\/```\/```\/```\/```\ |~~~~~~~~~~
~~~~~~~_/_______| |____NOW TRIPLE HOPPED______|~~~~~~~~~~
~~~___/[_]| 00 /| | \,,,/\,,,/\,,,/\,,,/\,,,/ |~~~~~~~~~~
~~|___|___|___/_| |___________________________|~~~~~~~~~~
~~|=(*)[________]==(*)(*)=| \________/=(*)(*)=|~~~~~~~~~~
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Old 01-29-2008, 04:33 AM   #6
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Yeah, I dunno why it didn't hit me earlier that something was wrong. Could this have been an incomplete boil? And because of that the sugars are breaking down much slower?

Also, now this is really strange. I just drank the sample, and damn it was good, but it was a little carbonated! No idea how this could happen. Well, one idea: I goofed and realized that I didn't have a spare bubbler to use after I was well into the brew session, so I made my own with a tube and ran it into a bottle of water. Then I figured why bother putting a real bubbler on there since this is working fine, no need to open it up and expose it. But maybe this gas release system needed a lot of pressure to let gas escape, so it kept some pressure in the carboy?

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Old 01-29-2008, 04:40 AM   #7
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I must have messed up that OG reading . . . there's no way it could be that low.

But now I really sound like an idiot, not sure how I could goof that up.

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Old 01-29-2008, 04:48 AM   #8
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With an extract, the sugars are already there. In fact, some people dispute the need to boil the extract itself for longer than 10 minutes or so(hops are another story).

How many pounds of extract did you use? I'm sure someone could guesstimate your actual SG with that based on a 5gal boil.

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Old 01-29-2008, 04:50 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Legitikick
I must have messed up that OG reading . . . there's no way it could be that low.

But now I really sound like an idiot, not sure how I could goof that up.

Relax....It happens...We've all screwed up something. Let this one play out, and chalk it up as experience. I'd just let it keep doing it's thing. I'll bet you'll have drinkable beer in the end.
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Old 01-29-2008, 04:51 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brew Runner
With an extract, the sugars are already there. In fact, some people dispute the need to boil the extract itself for longer than 10 minutes or so(hops are another story).

How many pounds of extract did you use? I'm sure someone could guesstimate your actual SG with that based on a 5gal boil.
1# wheat DME, domestic red 2L
5.9# wheat/barley malt extract

No grains
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