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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > Active fermentation
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Old 04-24-2009, 01:54 AM   #1
KenDawg19
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Default Active fermentation

Hello, I made my first extract recipe on April, 16th. I am using a glass carboy with an airlock for primary fermentation.

The bubbling in the airlock has definitely slowed down a lot, but how do I know when the brew is at the end of active fermentation? Is there a standard time frame between bubbles of the airlock? Or, is it a guessing game?

Also, how long can a brew be kept in the primary fermenter before bottling (I am not using a secondary fermenter yet)? If it is kept in the fermenter too long, what can happen?

Thanks in advance.

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Old 04-24-2009, 01:57 AM   #2
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Get a Hydrometer from your local Homebrew store (LHBS), and ask them for a few quick tips on how to read it (I did, and I am glad I did).

Bottle the brew when the hydrometer readings are the same for 2 - 3 days in a row.

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Old 04-24-2009, 02:47 AM   #3
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I do have a hydrometer. I'll take readings starting tonight! Thanks.

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Get a Hydrometer from your local Homebrew store (LHBS), and ask them for a few quick tips on how to read it (I did, and I am glad I did).

Bottle the brew when the hydrometer readings are the same for 2 - 3 days in a row.
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Old 04-24-2009, 02:52 AM   #4
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There really is no reason to take a hydrometer reading until at least 7 days. If you just made this brew let it sit and complete fermenting. Folks are always in a bit of a hurry on the first batch but you are better off waiting at least 7-10 days before transfering of any sort.

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Old 04-24-2009, 02:53 AM   #5
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Yep, consistent hydrometer readings that sit around your expected final gravity (FG), will give you the relaxed state of mind required to sit out 3 weeks of conditioning your first home brew. Seriously, give it at least 3 weeks in the bottle. You will want to try "just one bottle to check it's OK". Leave it be. It is a domino effect. The first beer goes and the rest follow in quick succession. Soon you are left with no beer to drink, you forgot to brew another because you were too pissed to go to the LHBS to get some ingredients, the world stops turning..... all bad.

Enjoy!

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Old 04-24-2009, 03:50 AM   #6
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I made the brew on the 16th. I had put the 23rd in my original posting. So, it's been 7 days so far.


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There really is no reason to take a hydrometer reading until at least 7 days. If you just made this brew let it sit and complete fermenting. Folks are always in a bit of a hurry on the first batch but you are better off waiting at least 7-10 days before transfering of any sort.
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Old 04-24-2009, 05:01 AM   #7
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1st reading taken tonight.

Gravity at 1.021 - in range for a milk/sweet stout, I'm pumped!

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Old 04-24-2009, 05:06 AM   #8
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I would leave it for a few more weeks, the gravity will probably drop a few more points, then you are ready to bottle/keg.

Happy Drinking to you...in a few weeks.

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Old 04-24-2009, 05:10 AM   #9
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Leave it in even after it seems active fermentation has stopped? How long can I keep it in the primary without any ill effects?

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I would leave it for a few more weeks, the gravity will probably drop a few more points, then you are ready to bottle/keg.

Happy Drinking to you...in a few weeks.
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Old 04-24-2009, 05:16 AM   #10
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Leaving it in the primary will actually be good for the beer the longer you leave it, up to a certain amount of time of course (but that can almost be measured in years, well, half years).

IMHO, I wait about 10 days to 3 weeks in the primary and then secondary for at least another week.

Seeing as this is your first brew and you're not using a secondary, I would wait another 5-7 days before bottling. The yeast are still in there doing their thing, after fermentation they start to clean up after themselves.

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