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Old 03-10-2011, 07:38 PM   #1
beerflea
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Default Advice on first brew- fermentation stopped

I have thoroughly enjoyed the information that I have received throught this forum but now need to make the plunge and participate. I cooked my first batch last weekend. It began to foam within about 12 hours of placing in fermenter and for the first two days the airlock bubbled about once a second and about 2 inches of foam formed over the liquid. Now over the last three days the amount of active fermentation (based on the airlock popping up) has diminished to almost nothing. The beer is still very cloudy. The foam has for the most part dissipated. I was planning 7 days in the primary and 7 in the secondary before bottling. Does it sound as if I am still on track or should I still be seeing more activity than this?

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Old 03-10-2011, 07:45 PM   #2
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It sounds normal to me. The amount and duration of the kraeusen (foam) varies from batch to batch depending on yeast, recipe, temperature, and the price of yak butter in Tibet, among other things. It's doing fine.

You will find that yeast are very good at doing certain things (like eating sugar and excreting alcohol and CO2); and not so good at other things (like, reading the printed instructions on a kit recipe). They are rather selfish that way. At this point you have to let them take control of the process.

The fact that the beer is still cloudy indicates that there is still fermentation going on. Leave it alone - the longer, the better. Give it at least two more weeks, three if you can stand the strain, then bottle. No need to transfer to secondary.

Oh, and get yourself a hydrometer. It's kind of like a Driver's License around here.

No worries!

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Old 03-10-2011, 10:21 PM   #3
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dont secondary youll be glad you did, and 4 weeks in the primary, been doing this the last few batches. clearer and better tasting than my first few...

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Old 03-10-2011, 10:25 PM   #4
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The airlock stopping or starting does NOT mean fermentation has stopped or started...There's only one way to tell fermentation what fermentation is doing, the real way, by taking a hydrometer series of hydrometer readings.

Read this...http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f39/bubb...9/#post2609390

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Old 03-10-2011, 11:18 PM   #5
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I appreciate all of the advice. Now that I see "related posts" I see that this really was a beginner's question. Sorry for that but I appreciate your patience. Is it necessary at this point to check the hydrometer (I do have one and made an initial reading after the boil- 1.051 which was perfect according to the intructions) or as it is still bubbling about one each minute or two, just let it sit for a while longer? I also got the majority of the hop pellets into the fermenter. No strainer and I did not want to waste anything by leaving a large amount in the bottom of the boiler. Does this change your mind about secondary fermenter? Finally, if any one is still reading this post, if I am boiling with hop pellets, does a hop filter attached to the drainage valve and tube make sense or is this only for those using whole hops? I bouth the whole deal with false bottom, wort filter, etc, for a Blichmann boiler but now wonder that as long as I am using hop pellets, this may not be appropriate.

BTW, this may only be my first beer but I have a second fermenter arriving tomorrow and will start my second batch this weekend!!!

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Old 03-10-2011, 11:29 PM   #6
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like revvy said don't worry about the bubbles at all. people have had batches ferment to completion with very little or no bubbles. just means that co2 was venting around the air lock instead of through it. again bubbles mean nothing (just fun to watch). once its been fermenting two or three weeks. then take a hydrometer reading. then in two days take another. if it's close to your suggested FG and its the same both days, then its done fermenting.

as far as hops. there are a ton of different ways to avoid them in the fermenter. don't have the same pot as you so i'm not sure about the way your describing. but hop sacks work well. (just the muslin bags or whatever) also wirlpooling and siphoning off the edges has worked for me (again i don't know what works for the brew pot you have) but if some get in the fermenter, well, i haven't had a problem with a little hops in the ferementer so far. some guy on here the other day was saying that he just dumps all the **** in the fermenter, and doesnt worry about the hops and hot break. don't know if this is adviseable, but i'm guessing he still makes good beer or else he would probably just buy his beer.

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I'm getting ingredients in the mail today, and I can't even taste my beer yet. What should I do?
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I would make a yeast starter, and pitch it into your mailbox.
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Old 03-10-2011, 11:33 PM   #7
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Ignore.....airlock.....activity....

Go read the blog linked in the post above....

There's rarely a reason to use a secondary on any beer these days...So no, nothing you posted changes my mind about using one...My beer is clearer and better tasting than when I used to use one.

Read This...

And here's an illustrated example of long primary.

As to dealing with hops...Some dump everything in, without straining, just pour it in the bucket or in the funnel....Some use a big strainer that fit in the funnel for a carboy, or a sanitized 5 gallon nylon paint strainer bag in the bucket...

I have done it all ways. It really doesn't matter...anything will settle.

In other words, there is no wrong way to do it, or better way, or way that will make the best beer...they all work...the choice is what will work the best for you. That's how you develop you own unique brewing process. By trying all ways and deciding what works best for you.

What I do with my IC, is chill the wort, then I lean the bottom of my autosiphon about two coils up from the bottom on the metal of the siphon. That rests it above most of the break material and trub, then I rack it to the fermenter until I'm down to that and carefully lower the siphon down into the gunk, just trying to get as much of the wort as possible without letting in the hops and break matter.

But pretty much up until I got my immersion chiller I just dumped for the majority of my batches. And I still managed to do well in contests...

But again, even with hops in the fermenter the tight yeast cake will keep most of it out of the bottling bucket....and careful racking with prevent the rest from getting over.

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Old 03-11-2011, 12:13 AM   #8
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just a side note. all of revvys posts are like eight days long, and still manage to be all good info and no filler.

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I'm getting ingredients in the mail today, and I can't even taste my beer yet. What should I do?
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I would make a yeast starter, and pitch it into your mailbox.
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