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Old 09-01-2011, 11:55 AM   #1
parrothead600
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Default Another noob question

I have no mentors in this hobby so I have found the information that I get on this board to be very valuable.
I am making a Maple Wheat Ale (pg 137 of Clone Brews). My starting gravity was right were it should have been. My airlock started bubbling within hours of pitching the yeast. After 8 days, my airlock quit bubbling & the inner bulb sank. On day 10, I took a gravity reading and found it to be where the directions stated the F.G. should be. Success! It's done fermenting, Right?.
Rather than rack it to the secondary & risk oxidation, I decided to leave it in the primary to let it clarify. After I put the lid back on the fermenter, I gently sloshed the bucket in an attempt to release some CO2 & displace any oxygen that was present. Now it is day 20 and my airlock is still bubbling about once every 2 minutes.
If my F.G. was where it was specified on day 10, Why am I still getting airlock activity? This can't still be fermenting, Can it?
I plan on taking another reading prior to bottling. If my F.G. reading hasn't changed in 10-15 days, Is it safe to bottle or should I wait for the airlock activity to stop?

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Old 09-01-2011, 12:03 PM   #2
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Just because your FG was in the ballpark of the recipes doesn't mean it didn't drop a bit more. Really, there isn't much difference between 1.008 and 1.012, and no one can tell you exactly where it will end.

But, still, airlocks bubble for a variety of reasons most often changes in the weather. Warmer liquid will release co2 more readily than cooler liquid, so if the room got a bit warmer the airlock will bubble. Barometric pressure can cause a change of the pressure inside the fermenter, too, causing airlock bubbling. In other words, it doesn't matter a bit if it's bubbling or not.

What matters is that the gravity isn't changing over the course of at least three days before bottling. Check the SG today, and check it on Saturday or Sunday when you plan to bottle. If it's the same, it's fine to bottle it.

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Old 09-01-2011, 12:08 PM   #3
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Airlock activity is not a sure bet of fermentation activity. SG reading is the best way to know. Hitting the FG the directions indicated is a good sign, but since your readings are constant for 10 - 15 days then bottle that baby up. 20 days should be sufficient time depending on the OG and the yeast used, but the absolute indicator is consistent SG readings specially for that long.

Also I am very happy to see another brewer in Big Rapids Michigan!

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