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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > Did my beer stop fermenting?
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Old 10-11-2011, 01:58 AM   #1
Kjtuckley
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Default Did my beer stop fermenting?

Hi - first time poster & first time brewer.

I am brewing an amber ale using a liquid extract kit. Within 12 hours of pitching and sealing my bucket, I had a nice continuous bubbling in the airlock. Then, about 36 hours out - nothing is going on in the airlock and there isn't the noticeable smell I could detect during the first day. Should I be worried? I apologize if this is a frequent question.

KT

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Old 10-11-2011, 02:01 AM   #2
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Don't worry. The bubbling could be anything. Those buckets aren't airtight, so the CO2 could be escaping elsewhere. Do you have a hydrometer? The only way to know is to take a sample, then see if it's changed 3 days later.

Oh no - looks like you'll have to drink some samples!

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Old 10-11-2011, 02:08 AM   #3
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I do have a hydrometer - I guess I'll take a reading in a few days. Very excited about this! I guess with the first batch you get hypersensitive about everything!

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Old 10-11-2011, 02:11 AM   #4
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Ya, just like kyleobie, don't worry and use your hydrometer to see what the gravity is at. Also, you may have finished primary that quickly depending on the temperature where your are fermenting.

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Old 10-11-2011, 02:14 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kjtuckley View Post
I guess with the first batch you get hypersensitive about everything!
Yep. I did! Then I realized I made beer.
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Old 10-11-2011, 07:49 PM   #6
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Ya, just like kyleobie, don't worry and use your hydrometer to see what the gravity is at. Also, you may have finished primary that quickly depending on the temperature where your are fermenting.
I am storing the bucket at typical room temperature - 70-74 range. Can that speed up primary fermentation? I'm taking a reading tonight to see what we've got going on. This is a helpful forum.
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Old 10-11-2011, 07:58 PM   #7
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I am storing the bucket at typical room temperature - 70-74 range. Can that speed up primary fermentation? I'm taking a reading tonight to see what we've got going on. This is a helpful forum.
It's best to keep it in the low to mid 60s. However, taking it up higher at the end will help the yeast wrap things up and clean up byproducts. If you have a way to keep it cooler, I would, at least until the krausen disappears.
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Old 10-11-2011, 08:04 PM   #8
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That's a pretty warm ferment temp. Fermentation produces heat, so the temp inside your bucket was probably several degrees warmer than the room temp. Fermenting too warm can cause some off-flavors. You would probably do well to let the beer sit in the fermenter about 3 weeks to allow the yeast to clean up any off-flavors. Don't worry too much, you'll still make beer. For future batches, look into a swamp cooler to help control fermentation temperature, or simply put the fermenter in a bucket of water and swap out frozen water bottles to help keep temps down.

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Old 10-11-2011, 08:05 PM   #9
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Most of the time a person thinks something is wrong is when they are equating a bubbling or non bubbling airlock with fermentation, then when they take a they see that fermentation is indeed happening.

Yeast doesn't just decide to die. Most of the time bubbling slows down, or ends, NOT because fermentation has stuck or the yeast has died, but because it is simple not generating any EXCESS co2 to cause the airlock to blip. It is not a fermentation gauge, it's a vent, a valve to keep excess gas from blowing the lid off the fermenter. Just because it's not blipping doesn't mean anything is wrong, just that it doesn't need to blip.

Most of the time if fermentation has stalled, it's because the temp has gone down to the dormancy temp and the yeast has gone to sleep, if that's the case you don't need to add more yeast, you just need to move the fermenter to someplace warmer so the yeast can wake up again and get back to work.

Your yeast wants to work, it wants to eat sugar, and pee alcohol and fart co2, it's its sole reason for living, that and ****ing of course. But despite what many new brewers might think, or have read in books from 30 years ago, yeast really doesn't just not work for us anymore, except under the rarest of circumstances, like it getting cooked in a hot car, or if it was drpopped into boiling wort.

More than likely everything is fine, just that you're reading more into what an airlock is than anything else. THat's why it's good to take a gravity reading.

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Old 10-11-2011, 08:57 PM   #10
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Yup. Most often as not,when you see the airlock stop bubbling,initial fermentation is over,& the long,slower haul down to FG is commencing. No worries at all. And my fermenters seal pretty well now that I've looked for/trimmed some molding flash off the sealing surfaces. I also upend the lids,& fill the seal groove with some PBW & clean it with a soft toothbrush. & wipe down the seal surface before puting the lid on.
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