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Old 03-22-2011, 05:55 PM   #1
Jcmccoy
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Default air lock bubbling still after 10 days

I brewed an IIPA what an O.G. of 1.093 on 3-11-11.. I used 2 packs of rehydrated US-05 it fermented pretty hard for 3 days or so and the krausen fell after 4~5 days. So now 6 days later and the air lock still lets out a bubble every min.. I was wondering if this bubbling is an infection or is there some fermenting still going on? Never brewed a big beer before so I don't know how long they ferment for.

I am going going to rack to a secondary on to some dry hops tonight So I will take a gravity reading and taste test and post an update.

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Old 03-22-2011, 06:02 PM   #2
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That's a big beer that's still fermenting and letting out CO2 albeit slow. It may continue bubbling for several weeks at that rate but this should be no indication of fermentation being complete/not complete. only trust your hydrometer and with a big beer even after fermentation is complete you'll want to leave it alone for several more weeks so the yeast can clean up before you remove it from the yeast cake. This advice is from only a year of brewing so maybe someone can correct me or back me up on that.

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Old 03-22-2011, 06:13 PM   #3
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Big beers like IPAs and Imperials take longer than "average" beers. Recently I have made beers in the 1.050 to 1.060 OG range and have left the beer in the primary for three weeks. Patience is key for a big beer like this.
I wouldn't rack from your primary until you receive consistent gravity readings two days in a row. You don't want to rack a big beer like this too early.

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Old 03-22-2011, 06:14 PM   #4
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I second the comments of mrduna01.

This is a great big beer. You should leave it on the yeast for at least 1 month if not 6-8 weeks. You will not get off flavors doing this. Then I would suggest moving to a secondary fermenter for at least another month if not two. Only because this is so big this will take some time to clean up after itself. The week before you bottle though I suggest dry hopping. For an American IPA use Simcoe, amarillo, or even cascade or centennial.

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Old 03-22-2011, 06:14 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrduna01 View Post
That's a big beer that's still fermenting and letting out CO2 albeit slow. It may continue bubbling for several weeks at that rate but this should be no indication of fermentation being complete/not complete. only trust your hydrometer and with a big beer even after fermentation is complete you'll want to leave it alone for several more weeks so the yeast can clean up before you remove it from the yeast cake. This advice is from only a year of brewing so maybe someone can correct me or back me up on that.
+1 on all this. A beer that high is likely going to take a while anyways, but I wouldn't use the bubbling. CO2 can dissolve in the beer, then any air pressure or temp change can cause that CO2 to leak out without meaning its fermenting.

If I were you, I'd toss a towel over it and leave it alone for at least 3-4 weeks, then come back and take a hydrometer measurement to see where you're at. That will give the yeast plenty of time to finish up fermenting and to clean up some of the byproducts. The tough part is the waiting . If you've got another fermenter handy brew up another batch to take your mind off this one. If you don't have another fermenter, either plan on the next batch, or go get another fermenter
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Old 03-22-2011, 06:17 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FensterBos
Big beers like IPAs and Imperials take longer than "average" beers. Recently I have made beers in the 1.050 to 1.060 OG range and have left the beer in the primary for three weeks. Patience is key for a big beer like this.
I wouldn't rack from your primary until you receive consistent gravity readings two days in a row. You don't want to rack a big beer like this too early.
I second that advice. I have an imperial Russian stout in the fermenter right now bubbling every several minutes after one week but I'm not going to secondary if I do at all for a couple more weeks. I may just keg in several weeks, cold crash the keg for one or two, carb it up and enjoy. And that would be pushing things for a really big beer. I don't think big beers are ideal for beginners due to noobs lacking patience. That includes me!
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Old 03-22-2011, 06:21 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erikpete18

+1 on all this. A beer that high is likely going to take a while anyways, but I wouldn't use the bubbling. CO2 can dissolve in the beer, then any air pressure or temp change can cause that CO2 to leak out without meaning its fermenting.

If I were you, I'd toss a towel over it and leave it alone for at least 3-4 weeks, then come back and take a hydrometer measurement to see where you're at. That will give the yeast plenty of time to finish up fermenting and to clean up some of the byproducts. The tough part is the waiting . If you've got another fermenter handy brew up another batch to take your mind off this one. If you don't have another fermenter, either plan on the next batch, or go get another fermenter
I like to in between beers that may take a while to brew up a really light beer with like 8 lbs of 2 row and a little crystal. This can be ready in a couple weeks and takes my mind off the beer that needs time as I have something I made to sip on.
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Old 03-22-2011, 06:21 PM   #8
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I would modify the SG reading time span from two days in a row to two readings 2-3 days apart. If the fermentation is still going, but has slowed way down, you could miss a change if you take readings in concurrent days. If you space the readings apart more, chances are you'll see the move and leave it alone.

Even IF the readings are stable, I would taste the brew before considering moving/bottling it up... Bigger brews do tend to take longer, so giving it the time it needs is important...

I've had great results with leaving brews on the yeast for 4+ weeks. Even lower OG brews do really well this way (for me, lower is in the 1.050-1.065 range). Nothing wrong with letting a brew sit on the yeast for 6-8 weeks. Especially when it has a higher OG. If you want to brew again, and need to free up a primary, pick up another one. I'm sure there are plenty of people here with more than 4 primary fermenters on hand... Myself included.

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Old 03-22-2011, 06:28 PM   #9
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Quote:
I'm sure there are plenty of people here with more than 4 primary fermenters on hand... Myself included.
Yup, its a constantly growing proposition . Once you get a few beers under your belt and you've got those to drink, its a lot easier to have the patience necessary to build up your pipeline. Of course, that doesn't mean impatience won't get the best of any of us!
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Old 03-22-2011, 06:31 PM   #10
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I'm not surprised at the length of ferment time. But I'm a bit befuddled at the same time. I brewed a pale ale with hop additions that I finally bottled Sunday. The interesting part is,i used pre-hopped LME with plain DME Withone 15 min flavor hop addition. OG was 1.044 on a new hydrometer I had laying around as an extra.
My other one that I knew was accurate broke while I was shaking the sanitizer off it. oopsie! Anyway,I thought the OG would be higher with 2 malts & no added sugars. It took 3 solid weeks to get down to an FG of 1.012. The 4th week it was dry hopped. And I made a starter for the dry ale yeast provided,as it was old. Started bubbling within hours!
So,the moral of my little fable is,be patient. It'll git-r-done in it's own good time,& not before. Kinda like a custom car,it's done when it's done,just like my friend Pete says...
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