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Old 09-19-2008, 02:40 AM   #1
JLC030
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About two weeks ago I brewed True Brew's Summer Wheat Kit. Seven hours after pitching I had a steady fermentation(one bubble every two seconds). At 14 hrs the airlock was in a perfect cardiac rhythm. But after about 24/36 hrs fermentation came to a complete stop(I haven’t seen the airlock bubble since about the 36/48 hr mark). From what I had been reading this sounded not normal. I cracked the bucket lid today, after eleven days, and it smelled like beer and had small circles of something floating on the surface about the size of quarters. My question, is it normal to have fermentation completely stop after 48 hrs?

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Old 09-19-2008, 02:59 AM   #2
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It could be done fermenting. No way to know for sure without taking a hydrometer reading.

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Old 09-19-2008, 03:07 AM   #3
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It is common to have most of the fermentation over with in a day or two. Take a reading and if it's at FG, leave it another week and bottle or rack to secondary.

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Old 09-19-2008, 03:13 AM   #4
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Those small circles are likely either yeast, or if they are white/light colored very fine bunches of bubbles, not unlike champagne bubbles. You'd probably need to get pretty close to see. You fermentation sounds like a pretty active one, and it's not uncommon for airlock activity to slow to such a rate that you think it's all done. It's not. Those yeasties are still quite active, just slowin' down in the CO2 production as they finish workin' their magic.

Rick500 is quite correct in his advice to check with the hydrometer, but I'd say wait until a week's gone by from the pitch date, and then draw a sample. Wait another 48 hours, test again, and if it's the same reading it should be done. With a wheat it's good to have some yeast in there, but just the same I would wait until at least 2 weeks are up before bottling. Personally, I would wait for a full 3 weeks, but after 2 you're probably fine.

Don't forget to give it a full 3 weeks at ~70ºF conditioning in bottle after that.

Enjoy!

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Old 09-19-2008, 03:38 AM   #5
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I think I am going to let it go the full three weeks and bottle.

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Old 09-20-2008, 01:33 PM   #6
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I think I am going to let it go the full three weeks and bottle.
You should be fine. And ditto to what others said - very often, the real vigorous fermenting is done pretty quickly.
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Old 09-20-2008, 08:16 PM   #7
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Sounds normal to me, of the 6 batches I've done I've had some done in a 24 hr period and some that slowly trickled for a week. All had normal gravity readings (except the last, I busted the hydrometer before the reading). Still, as the advice on this forums goes, give it 3 weeks before bottling.

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