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Old 04-23-2010, 11:31 PM   #1
ronllave
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Default Beer still actively fermenting after 10 days

I am brewing a Blonde Belgian Ale I found at 7 Bridges Coop (http://www.breworganic.com/organicRi...eeasybrew.aspx). The directions say that fermentation should last 5-7 days, at which point you should rack to secondary or go ahead and bottle/keg. I am planning on racking to a secondary for a couple weeks. It has been 10 days since I pitched the yeast and its still bubbling at around 1 bubble per 3-4 seconds. I haven't taken a gravity reading since I pitched because I figured theres no way it could be done fermenting with the bubbles at this rate.

Should I wait until the bubbles have slowed and my gravity readings are consistent for two straight days before racking to my secondary? I'm just curious why mine is taking so much longer than the recipe recommends.

Thanks for any help!

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Old 04-23-2010, 11:35 PM   #2
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If you must use a secondary(many on these forums dont) just give it a few more days and wait for that SG to stay steady, but it shouldn't hurt if you rack early anyway I don't think.

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Old 04-23-2010, 11:35 PM   #3
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its been said many many many many many times on this forum. an airlock is not a fermentation indicator its a pressure release valve. the only way to tell if fermentation is done or not is to take a SG reading. if its the same 3 days later only then is fermentation done.

never trust a kits instructions after you turn the heat off. kits always rush the brewer to the bottle because they know you will buy more kits faster that way. i know its hard but wait another 11 days. check to see if your gravity has stabilized. if it has bottle and let it sit another 3 weeks in a warm place.

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Old 04-23-2010, 11:37 PM   #4
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Fermentation takes as long as it takes, you know?

I agree, don't rack it until the bubbles stop. Letting it sit in primary an extra week or more is fine. There are a lot of reasons why it might still be going this late: maybe the yeast got a slow start, you got a bad pack with too few viable yeast and they took a while to build up in number, you might not have oxygenated the wort adequately, the temperature could be too low... a ton of reasons.

It is still beer, it will be fine, so... I recommend waiting until the bubbling stops, start taking hydrometer readings, and when they don't change anymore rack to the secondary. Until then, RDWHAHB!

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Old 04-23-2010, 11:40 PM   #5
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Yep, there's no way to tell for sure until you take a few gravity readings. And do yourself a favor and don't listen to a kit that tells you to bottle after 5-7 days. Your beer will be at least 100% better if you give it two weeks or more in the primary before making the next move.

So, since you're already 10 days in, take a hydro sample and see what it says. If it's at or close to your expected FG, then you know you're pretty much done. But check the gravity once or twice more in the next few days and make sure it hasn't changed. Then give it another few days before moving to secondary or bottles.

Also, temperature is important when it comes to fermentation, and the lower the temps, typically the slower the fermentation. You didn't mention it, but what temps are you at right now? That could be one explanation for the longer than expected time if it really is still fermenting.

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Old 04-23-2010, 11:45 PM   #6
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Good advice. Thanks.This is only my second batch so I still find myself relying on the recipes.

I had been keeping the temperature steady at around 70 but we just got a cold spell the past few days and it has been around 64. That might be why it is taking longer.

Thanks guys. I will rely on my gravity readings going forward.

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Old 04-24-2010, 12:05 AM   #7
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The more I read, the more I think the fact that I didn't use a yeast starter has something to do with the longer fermentation time also. I will def. use a starter next go-around.

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Old 04-24-2010, 01:25 AM   #8
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Give it three weeks in the primary, let those yeasties clean up after themselves. Then rack to a secondary for more clarification or bottle.

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Old 04-24-2010, 01:30 AM   #9
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If you're using liquid yeast, a starter is a good idea. If you are using dry, it isn't.
If it's any consolation, I have an IPA that has been fermenting for 5 weeks with the gravity dropping very slowly, and a lager that has taken 4 weeks to get down to FG. They both had large starters and were well aerated at pitching. The IPA was slow because of low fermentation temperatures. I don't know why the lager was so slow, but I'm not going to worry about it.

-a.

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