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Old 12-12-2012, 12:30 AM   #1
anderwm
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Default Did I miss primary fermentation?

Hello,

I brewed Friday(4 days ago), last night(3 days since brew) I took a peak in the fermentation bucket because I never heard the airlock bubble. There was no foam or anything visible happening in the bucket. Today I took a Hydrometer reading and it was 1.014 (I just skimmed some off top, is this ok?).

I was brewing from a nut brown ale kit and I (against recommendations) used the yeast packet that came with the kit. When I tried to rehydrate and proof the yeast, they didn't seem to be very lively (I am accustom to yeast in baking but don't know if ale yeast should act the same). There wasn't any foam or anything and it didn't increase in size like baking yeast. Anyway, the kit instruction sheet says SG: 1044-1048, FG: 1.010-1.012. I assume that means starting gravity and final gravity. I didn't test the wort when I first brewed (I know, you hate me and I'm an idiot...this was my first time) so I don't know exactly if I missed primary fermentation and everything is ok or if I should re-pitch some more yeast. I ordered some yeast when the original didn't act as I expected.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated...I have read a lot but have no experience.

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Old 12-12-2012, 12:34 AM   #2
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Probably missed most of the action. I'm guessing an improperly sealed bucket which is why you didn't hear any airlock action either. Looks like you're good.

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Old 12-12-2012, 12:36 AM   #3
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Leave it for 3 weeks or so. I would suspect it has mostly happened already. If you put everything in your batch that came with the kit, your SG would have been right where it was supposed to be. You're fine.

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Old 12-12-2012, 12:45 AM   #4
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Air lock activity is not an indication of fermentation. (hey, I made a rhyme!) One of my batches didn't bubble and it still produced a tasty beer. Wait another 3 weeks as said earlier. At that point, take another hydro reading to confirm fermentation has ended (which it should).

When you check, be sure to sanitize your beer thief with Star San or similar when you take a sample for your reading. After you take the reading DON'T put the sample back in the beer, but taste it. If it tastes like warm flat beer, then you're good.

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Old 12-12-2012, 12:56 AM   #5
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I knew it might not bubble much, but the bucket seems tight. If I push down on the lid air comes out the airlock. I probably wouldn't have been very worried if the yeast had been more responsive when I proofed them.

I poured boiling water over a measuring cup and dipped that in to get my sample. According to that reading it is already on the lower end, closer to the final gravity listed. Should I expect it to go much lower?

I was thinking about racking it into a secondary: is it worth it and when do you typically do that. I was planning on transferring it around 7-10 days for no scientific reason.

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Old 12-12-2012, 01:00 AM   #6
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Leave it alone for a couple weeks.

Just don't touch it.

Have a beer, or three.

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Old 12-12-2012, 01:18 AM   #7
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Some folks do secondary, some don't. Me? I don't. I'm still very new at this hobby, but I've been taking a "keep it simple" approach. Unless I have something to add like hops and fruit, I don't move the beer until I'm ready for bottling.

The lid might seem tight, but it could be loose enough where CO2 pressure could still vent. One of my buckets does the same thing. It's nothing to worry about at all. If you don't already have it, pick up some Star-San. That's much easier than boiling water for everything that's going to touch your beer.

The first batch, imo, is always the hardest. You always feel like something's not right and/or you have to check on your batch for what ever crazy paranoid reason. This is the time where Patience is really your best friend.

So when someone here says to 'leave it alone, don't go near it, stay the #$%! away', etc., heed that advice. Now go drink a beer and revel in your accomplishment!

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Old 12-12-2012, 01:30 AM   #8
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Thanks guys, I'm taking your advice and having a beer at this moment. I will also take your advice and do nothing...you make it sound so simple!

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