Fermentation Done, Stuck or Yeast Dead?
I've searched the forums for about an hour this morning and can't find an answer to my situation.
I brewed on Sunday around noon with a Brewer's Best Scotch Ale kit. I colded the wort quickly (and a little too much - it was 55 degF). So I covered the wort and let the temperature come back up to 65degF before pitching the yeast.
During fermentation, the fermenter has been kept between 68 degF and 73degF. The airlock bubbled slowly (about every 3 sec) for the first 3 days, then stopped completely. I doubt the fermenting is done.
Should I check the gravity of the beer now, or wait a week or so? I guess I want to know, if yeast need to be repitched, should I do that as soon as possible?
Thanks for your help guys!
If you want to put your mind at rest you can check the gravity. I've had seemingly regular brews ferment overnight in similar conditions that others have taken 5 or 6 days. You will want to leave it in the primary for a couple weeks anyway. Let the yeasties clean up after themselves and you run less of a risk of off flavors.
Just wait. The same thing happened with my beer. I waited around a week or so, and then took a gravity reading. It had reached FG, but based on all the reading I have been doing here I am going to wait another couple weeks before bottling. I would imagine that you are also close to the FG but waiting makes the beer taste better. :)
In beer "trouble shooting" always think "evaluation" before "action" in other words, evaluate the beer using proper tools (hydrometer, tastebuds, nose) before doing something to "fix" it (i.e. Re-Piching yeast, bottling, or dumping.)
You can't fix something unless you know it's broken...And you can't know something is wrong if you don't "listen" to your beer.
Most new brewers think something's wrong and do something in a "panic," before evaluating truly if something is indeed wrong.
More than likely your beer is fine and it finished early. Fermentations in normal beers don't get stuck unless there are a lot of fermentables present (then it wouldn't be a "normal" grav beer) or there is a major downward temp shift.
Don't ever repitch or even consider repitching before you take a hydrometer reading.
having said that, if it will make you feel better, then take a reading...I personally just pitch my yeast and come back to the beer in a month, checking it on occasion, especially in the first couple of days, to see if it look likes fermentation has started.
But I really don't do anything, I subscribe to the philosophy that the yeast has been doing this making beer thing since loooong before I was born, so they're the experts, and they rarely fail.
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