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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > Fermentation done? Planning to bottle tomorrow...
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Old 02-17-2012, 09:41 PM   #1
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Default Fermentation done? Planning to bottle tomorrow...

Ok, so I've got my second and third brews in primaries now going on two weeks. The first one is a stout, and I've had consistent gravity readings very close to what final gravity should be on it. With the other beer, however, I haven't been able to get a gravity reading on it. It's only a two and a half gallon batch and I'm fermenting it in a five gallon glass carboy (something I won't do again.) I didn't think about it at the time that I put it in, but my turkey baster I use for taking samples isn't anywhere near long enough to take a sample of it. I can't get a sample of it without pouring some of it out, and I certainly don't want to disturb it like that.

I had a decent fermentation in it, and the airlock stopped getting bubbles up in it after the first five or six days. Anyway, I moved it from a closet to the kitchen today so it could settle after moving it before bottling it tomorrow in case I stirred anything up. Once I moved it (it was a short distance and there was little to no splashing), I started getting bubbles up through the airlock again, every few seconds. It's been about two hours and it's slowed considerably.

Is this still ok to bottle? My stout did the same thing, hadn't bubbled in a week, and once I moved it five feet to the counter top, it started bubbling a little too, but with the consistent gravity readings, I'm not as concerned about this one.

Thanks!

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Old 02-17-2012, 09:57 PM   #2
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Bubbling does not always equal fermentation, especially in the case where you moved the beer. You could have just forced some CO2 out by moving the beer around. Or, temperature change could have caused some CO2 to come out of solution. Or, you roused the yeast and they are continuing to ferment. Anything is possible, and you can't know without your hydrometer.

You say the stout was close to FG. How close? And by consistent readings do you mean they were identical over a few days? If so, that beer is probasbly done and one of the other causes is the source of bubbles. But if you want to be sure, you can take another reading and make sure it's the same as before.

For the other beer, you really can't kniow without gravity readings. After two weeks, with no activity, if the krausen has fallen, you are probably at FG, assuming that nothing unusual happened and your fermentation didn't stick. If you can't take readings, I would play it save, swirl the yeats up a bit and put it in a warmer spot (which you probably already did preparing to bottle) and give it another week to confirm no activity. It's still a gamble without a reading, but it's a safer bet.

You could, of course, take a sample with your racking cane or siphon tube and be sure.

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Old 02-17-2012, 10:16 PM   #3
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You could, of course, take a sample with your racking cane or siphon tube and be sure.
Yep...use your siphon to get enough to get a gravity reading.
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Old 02-17-2012, 10:44 PM   #4
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Wow, I didn't even think to use my siphon. Pretty obvious thing to use...

Ok, just took a reading. My gravity is at 1.026, so clearly it's not done. The sample I took also has a sweet, cidery smell to it. Almost like wine.

This is just a Mr. Beer recipe, using the Canadian Draft with a can of creamy dark extract, and it's called "Dubbel Trouble." I also added half a pack of their "Booster" to it. I know a lot of people here don't care for the Mr. Beer stuff, this was a gift and I wanted to use it.

Anyway, looks like I'll be leaving this one for a while more. Is there any reason to pitch additional yeast, or should I just swirl this one and put it back in the closet? Or just leave it alone?

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Old 02-17-2012, 10:50 PM   #5
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Swirl and sit. Beer is usually done in two weeks, but really there's no such think as usual fermentation. Yeast don't gave calendars and watches.

If it hasn't moved in a week, think about repiching. But I think you'll be fine.

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Old 02-17-2012, 10:53 PM   #6
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Awesome, thanks for the input and the advice. I'll swirl and just wait on it, check it again in a week.

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Old 02-17-2012, 10:57 PM   #7
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You're welcome. And looking back, I'm frankly surprised you got anything useful out of my typo riddled posts.

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Old 02-17-2012, 11:06 PM   #8
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I started with the Mr Beer kit and have made some decent stuff with their kits so long as I added more malt extract. The Booster is responsible for any cidery flavors you get, but they fade over time. Using only half of the booster with the extra malt you should be good. If it was me, I would just leave it be as swirling or agitating it could cause oxygenation. If anything, try and get it a little warmer, but not over 70.

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Old 02-18-2012, 12:04 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by OClairBrew View Post
I started with the Mr Beer kit and have made some decent stuff with their kits so long as I added more malt extract. The Booster is responsible for any cidery flavors you get, but they fade over time. Using only half of the booster with the extra malt you should be good. If it was me, I would just leave it be as swirling or agitating it could cause oxygenation. If anything, try and get it a little warmer, but not over 70.
My first beer was Mr. Beer Whispering Wheat and it turned out decent. It was my first beer and I was just looking forward to starting out so I didn't add any extra malt extract. Pretty boring and bland to me, but it's beer and it's decent.

My first beer with Booster didn't have any cidery flavors, but I left it in primary for over three weeks before bottling, so maybe that's why. Do I need to wait for the cidery taste to go away before I bottle, or is that a judgement call?
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Old 02-20-2012, 06:34 PM   #10
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I think you can go either way... I personally would bottle a week after FG has been reached if you have a hydrometer to check. If not, 3 weeks fermenting and then taste and see after 3 weeks. If it tastes cidery, give it another couple weeks and try again.

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