Originally Posted by evilhomer
Some quotes from that link "It's always going to slow down eventually. The yeast are going to have less fermentables to consume; But that DOESN'T mean the yeast has stopped doing their job....they just don't have that much food to chew."
This was a 1.077 on sunday night, did they really eat through all that sugar by wednesday?
When we are dealing with living micro-organisms anything is possible, including fast ferments. But like I said it really doesn't matter. Fast fermentations/slow fermentations/big krausens/small krausens/bubbles starting and stopping, in the long run is really irrevelent....just that you have fermentation. Yeast don't normal normally die/stop fermenting/get tired, that's a premise new brewers believe, but it's not the truth. Yeast have been doing this for 4,000 years, and know how to ferment the beer, they WANT to ferment the beer, it's their entire purpose in life is to eat sugar, peer alcohol and fart co2 (along with some major screwing during the reproductive phase) especially modern 21st century yeast.
All those other things are really just superficial to the purpose at hand, if your yeast took off, unless you let the temp go down near 50, your yeast is still working happily away, despite what the supreficial signs like airlock may indicate.
That's why if you really want to know, don't even bother starting a thread and asking, just do the one thing that WILL tell you what's going on- Check your gravity.
Unless you take a gravity reading you don't know what's really going on, not by airlock bubbling or by krausen formation. Neither of those signs are effective, they don't tell you exactly where on the fermentation process you are.
The amount of krausen can vary for whatever reason, it can come quick and depart quickly or it can linger long after fermentation is complete, and it all be normal. I've had a krausen stay for 3 weeks EVEN THOUGH MY HYDROMETER READ 1.010 and the beer was done...
And airlocks sometimes bubble or they don't. And airlock is a valve, a vent to release excess co2...NOT a fermentation gauge. It's important to make that distinction, or you'll be panicking everytime a an airlock doesn't bubble, or stops bubbling.
The cat can brush against your fermenter and cause the airlock to stop or start bubbling, changes in temp or atmosphere can cause an airlock to stop bubbling, but that doesn't mean the beer is not fermenting.
Fermentation is not always "dynamic," just because you don't SEE anything happening, doesn't mean that any-thing's wrong,, and also doesn't mean that the yeast are still not working diligently away, doing what they've been doing for over 4,000 years.
That's why you need to take a gravity reading to know how your fermentation is going, NOT go by airlocks, or size of krausen, or a calendar, the horoscope or the phases of the moon (those things in my mind are equally accurate).
The only way to truly know what is going on in your fermenter is with your hydrometer.
Like I said here in my blog, which I encourage you to read, Think evaluation before action
you sure as HELL wouldn't want a doctor to start cutting on you unless he used the proper diagnostic instuments like x-rays first, right? You wouldn't want him to just take a look in your eyes briefly and say "I'm cutting into your chest first thing in the morning." You would want them to use the right diagnostic tools
before the slice and dice, right? You'd cry malpractice, I would hope, if they didn't say they were sending you for an MRI and other things before going in....
Thinking about "doing anything" like repitching, or bottling, or racking, without first taking a hydrometer reading is tantamount to the doctor deciding to cut you open without running any diagnostic tests....Taking one look at you and saying, "Yeah I'm going in." You would really want the doctor to use all means to properly diagnose what's going on?