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Old 10-25-2007, 08:00 PM   #1
linedpaper
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Default Fermentation/Bottling Questions

I have a couple of questions...

First my airlock has slowed way down. It only bubbles about every 30-50 seconds now. Is this still ok, or do I need to do something? It has been going since Sunday evening. It's an oatmeal stout.

Second, how do I know when fermentation is complete? The directions I had are very ambiguous and don't have a lot of specifics. I did not take a gravity reading prior to beginning fermentation and have no idea what the gravity reading should be when it's done. The instructions simply say to wait about 7 days and that the airlock should stop bubbling when it's done.

As I mentioned in another post, I already know that I made a big mistake (left the lid on during the boil) so I'm not even sure how good this batch is going to taste, but I plan on starting another one after this one is done fermenting.

As far as bottling goes, I understand that it should be 4-6 weeks before drinking, but I was planning on trying maybe 1 bottle per week, just to get a feel for how it's coming along. Any reason not to do this?


Thanks in advance!

Tim

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Old 10-25-2007, 11:06 PM   #2
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I just took a reading with the hydrometer. If I am doing this correctly the reading was about 1.015, but I didn't take an initial reading so I don't have anything to go off of. The temperature of the liquid is about 77 and the directions with the hydrometer say to add 2 at that temperature as it's most accurate at 60. Also I was just sitting in front of it for a minute or so after testing and I didn't see the airlock go at all. Any suggestions or help would be appreciated!

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Old 10-25-2007, 11:12 PM   #3
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Let it go for another few days and take another reading.

Once it stabilizes (3 readings in 3 days all the same) it'll be ready to bottle.

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Old 10-26-2007, 08:43 AM   #4
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Hi sounds to me like you are worrying for no reason. I have left the lid on my pot the entire boil and the beer turned out fine. Also don't worry about bottling right now the air lock is just one sign of active fermentation take your readings like homebrewer 99 said and give it a couple more days. I usually give every batch 2 weeks or longer to ferment. If you want to drink one of your beers every week do it, just make sure to save 6 pack for ageing. I "hide" one from my self and my wife makes it fun when you get to drink a 6 month old IPA or 1 year old mead.
Relax and Have Fun!
Sylas

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Old 10-26-2007, 03:56 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by syblue
Hi sounds to me like you are worrying for no reason. I have left the lid on my pot the entire boil and the beer turned out fine. Also don't worry about bottling right now the air lock is just one sign of active fermentation take your readings like homebrewer 99 said and give it a couple more days. I usually give every batch 2 weeks or longer to ferment. If you want to drink one of your beers every week do it, just make sure to save 6 pack for ageing. I "hide" one from my self and my wife makes it fun when you get to drink a 6 month old IPA or 1 year old mead.
Relax and Have Fun!
Sylas
Thanks for the info! Question, is there an advantage to leaving it in fermentation longer? I checked the gravity again today and it is still at 1.015. If it is still the same tomorrow and Sunday should I just go ahead and bottle, or is their an advantage to waiting?
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Old 10-26-2007, 06:03 PM   #6
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Don't feel rushed.

I usually let my beer sit in the fermenter for 2-3 weeks before I bottle. The only reason I would suggest you bottle earlier is to free up your fermenter for another batch.

On my first batch I felt rushed, thought I had to bottle after 1 week (that's what the directions said), and I wish to this day I wouldn't have. It sucks to dump your first batch.

Patience patience patience. If you want quick beer make a hefeweizen.

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Old 10-26-2007, 06:24 PM   #7
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Thanks for all of the advice. I think I will leave it longer, next week on pay day I'll order more ingredients and a wort chiller and wait to bottle until they arrive, so that means it will have been in fermentation for close to 2.5-3 weeks at that point.

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