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Old 06-02-2009, 02:10 AM   #1
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Default Been fermenting for 12 days, can I bottle?

Ive got a wheat cream ale going and it started fermenting 18 hours after pitching with a vigorous krausen that blew the lid on my bucket. After a day the krausen settled down and airlock almost stopped bubbling but then continued. After 7 days in the primary i transferred to secondary and bubbling still continued for another week. The bubbling has finally slowed and i think stopped(hasnt moved in an hour) so should i bottle? i should mention that ill be adding some raspberry extract at bottling.

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Old 06-02-2009, 02:29 AM   #2
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Have you taken any hydrometer readings? If so has it been steady for 3-4 days?

I am pretty new to this hobby, but i like to leave my brew in the primary at least 10-14 days, then a min of 14 in the secondary then i bottle and condition for 3 weeks.

I think most people on here will tell you that the airlock is not a fool proof way to tell if fermentation is complete. Take some hydrometer readings and if it is steady for a few days then i would bottle.

i am sure someone with more experience will chime in on this soon.

congrats on the brew!

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Old 06-02-2009, 02:33 AM   #3
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SNB did say it well. Take hydometer readings before doing anything with your beer. Make certain that the readings remain the same for a day or two. Then you are certain it is finished fermenting.

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Old 06-02-2009, 02:34 AM   #4
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I'm no expert, but I typically wait 3 weeks before I touch my brew. then take a few hydro readings for a couple days. If it's steady, then I bottle.
If you feel the need for moving to a clearing vessel, you should wait until your brew is done fermenting (take 2 or 3 hydro samples with a day or two in between), then move to clearing.
The only thing that I do while my brew is fermenting is try to keep the brew temp below 68deg.F or so.

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Old 06-02-2009, 02:45 AM   #5
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ok so how do i take hydrometer readings from a carboy w/ carboy cap just take the airlock out and put the racking cane in? then put airlock back?n00b

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Old 06-02-2009, 02:49 AM   #6
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The best thing I know to get a sample is a wine thief. If you don't have that, your racking cane or a turkey baster will work in a pinch. Sanitize it, pop off your airlock or carboy cap if you're using something bigger like a turkey baster. Get your sample and then seal it back up. Do that today, then do it again later in the week. If they're the same, then you COULD bottle.

but....

If you give it another week or two, you'll get much better beer. When the yeast finish fermenting, they move on and start eating up all the by-products they left behind that can cause off flavors in your beer.

More time also gives a chance for more of the yeast and any other particles (break material, hop particles, protein, etc) to fall out of suspension and collect at the bottom of your carboy, making your beer clearer and leaving you with less sediment to deal with in the bottles.

We all know waiting can be painful when you're wanting to try your first brew, but you'll be paid off if you can put off bottling as long as possible.

Give it a day and go to your local home brew shop and pick up a wine thief to take your sample with. While you're there start planning your next brew. Maybe even pick up another carboy and get started on it! It'll give you something to do while you give this one time. Then you'll have your first brew to drink while you give this one time and start your third batch. Fill the pipeline, my friend!

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Old 06-02-2009, 06:43 AM   #7
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I use a turkey baster and it has been great so far, i think a wine thief would be better, but the baster was 1.99 so it is hard to beat.

+1 for getting another carboy and starting another brew asap, the more you have going the easier it is to be patient. I rushed my 1st brew along and i dont' think i got the full potential out of it.

Now i brew a batch every other week until i fill all my available carboys, that way i always have something to be "working on" and it is easier to let the beer do its' thing longer each time.

The pipeline is your friend!!

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