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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > 5 day fermentation too short?
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Old 07-05-2007, 10:28 PM   #1
GrundleCruncher
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Default 5 day fermentation too short?

I make a half gallon starter with a vile of liquid yeast and pitched it after it sat for 20hrs. The yeast lagged for about 3hrs before fermentation of the big batch began. It's ~5 days later and the airlock shows maybe 1 bubble every 1.5mins, does this mean my fermentation is done, is five days too short? I kept it at ~70*F the entire time, my first batch fermented in a couple days because I couldn't keep the temp down.

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Old 07-05-2007, 10:46 PM   #2
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i would leave it at least a week before transferring to secondary...longer if going straight to bottling, even longer if it's a big beer.

what is your original gravity and current specific gravity reading? that's the only way to really tell.

are you using a bucket? if so, i wouldn't trust timing the bubbles.

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Old 07-05-2007, 11:00 PM   #3
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Yes Im using a bucket and no I don't use my hydrometer too often. When fermenting

a carboy is the krausen what to watch to determine when fermentation is done?

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Old 07-05-2007, 11:06 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GrundleCruncher
Yes Im using a bucket and no I don't use my hydrometer too often. When fermenting

a carboy is the krausen what to watch to determine when fermentation is done?
Not at all. I've had the krausen fall off my fermenting beer after 3 days, but it was not done at all. The best indication is a steady hydrometer reading over a few days.

I'd get into the habit of using your hydrometer a little more often.
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Old 07-05-2007, 11:10 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by carnevoodoo
I'd get into the habit of using your hydrometer a little more often.

f*!$ that sh#*
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Old 07-05-2007, 11:12 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GrundleCruncher
f*!$ that sh#*
I guess you could just let it sit for a couple weeks and assume it is always done. I'm sure you'd be fine most of the time.
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Old 07-05-2007, 11:18 PM   #7
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Airlock activity. Krausen. All of it is like trying to figure out if your car's gas tank is empty by taking the cap off and peering down the hole with a flashlight. You might get a general idea, but it's far from reliable or precise.

I see that you're new here, so I'll hit you with a piece of advice that I got when I first showed up here asking questions about gravity, etc.: get into the habit of using a hydrometer, friend. Otherwise, the amount of help these forum members can be will be severely limited. Take a gravity reading once the wort is cooled, to start...in the future.

In this particular case---here's what I'd recommend: wait another 3 or 4 days just to be sure. Then take a hydrometer reading and record your results. Wait another 3 days, then take another reading. If the two readings are the same, then it's done. If it's changed, then it's still got a little something going on in there...so let it be for another 4 days or so. After 2 weeks, with most ale yeasts, you can be relatively sure that it's okay to rack to secondary.

Good luck, and welcome!

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Old 07-05-2007, 11:26 PM   #8
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On the rare occasion that I do not use a hydrometer (like today for I dropped another one), I let it ferment until there is really no bubbles within 5 mintues.

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Old 07-05-2007, 11:28 PM   #9
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As a general rule, leave even quick fermenting beers at least two weeks before bottling. A bubble every 90 seconds is still lots of activity and will probably persist another seven days. All that gas would therefore be trapped if you were to bottle right now and you would end up with bottles of foam at the very least and at the worst, bottle bombs.

The wonders that batch conditioning does to beer should not be underestimated. I like to leave my beer for two weeks in the primary and another one to two in the secondary. If you find this isn't quick enough because you are anxious to drink your beer then brew batches on top of one another so that while one is in the primary another is in the secondary and yet another is carbonating in bottles etc.

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Old 07-05-2007, 11:28 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GrundleCruncher
f*!$ that sh#*
Well, okay then...just don't be surprised when your questions are answered with "what's your hydrometer say?" Not being snarky, just telling the truth. Back when I wouldn't have anything to do with hydrometers, I got that alot. No fun.
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.planned:
•Scottish 80/- •Sweet Stout •Roggenbier
.primary | bright:
98: Moss Hollow Soured '09 72: Oude Kriek 99: B-Weisse 102: Brett'd BDSA 104: Feat of Strength Helles Bock 105: Merkin Brown
.on tap | kegged:
XX: Moss Hollow Springs Sparkling Water 95: Gott Mit Uns German Pils 91b: Brown Willie's Oaked Abbey Ale 103: Merkin Stout
98: Yorkshire Special 100: Maple Porter 89: Cidre Saison 101: Steffiweizen '09 (#3)
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