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Old 04-02-2007, 07:52 PM   #1
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Default Fermentation: How Long is Too Long?

Second brew. OG was 1.066. An IPA from Midwest. Yeast used - Wyeast Smack Pack no starter. The fermentation took off after 6-8 hours and was pretty vigorous for 24-36 hours. It is now the 6th day and I am still getting a bubble every 30-33 seconds. Maybe I read too much, but I saw that a lengthy fermentation may be caused by introduction of either bacteria or wild yeast to the wort. They begin to ferment the unfermentable sugars.
I haven't taken a hydrometer reading since pitching the yeast last Tuesday. I am planning on racking to a Secondary(Clearing) fermenter on day 7.
When should I begin to worry? and Should I go ahead and rack to the Secondary on day 7?

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Old 04-02-2007, 08:06 PM   #2
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I've heard of people leaving their beer in primary for 3 months and I personally have just bottled/kegged a beer that was in primary for a month. You could take a reading and get an idea of how close you are to your F.G. and then rack to secondary.


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Old 04-02-2007, 08:19 PM   #3
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On day 7 take a SG reading. I have a feeling you will be right where you want to be. If so rack to secondary, if not, well, opinions differ here. I would say if it hasn't finished put the top back on and let it go a few more (3) days and check again. Getting a bubble every 30 seconds at day 6 isn't bad.

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Old 04-02-2007, 08:41 PM   #4
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My Belgian Blonde from Midwest (not suggesting a connection) was my longest primary ever. Easily 12 days before I felt comfortable moving it to a secondary. Even there, it continued to form a slight krausen and the yeast sediment was 1/8" to 1/4" deep.

This 5% brew turned into a 6+%. Very good beer, but definitely not a session ale.

Give it time. Use your hydrometer every couple of days so you can observe the fermentation "velocity". I would hesitate to use your air lock bubbler to determine that.


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Old 04-02-2007, 09:52 PM   #5
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If it isn't near the TG by day 7, leave it in the fermenter. Racking too soon will just increase the amount of time it will take to finish, because you've taken it off most of the yeast.

If your ale is infected (which I highly doubt), racking it won't un-infect it.

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Old 04-03-2007, 01:31 AM   #6
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Day six? I wouldn't worry too much. After two weeks and still bubbles I'd be more curious.

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Old 04-03-2007, 03:52 PM   #7
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personally, I have left my extract beer in the fermenter for up to 23 days. This beer was actually better than the ones I take out sooner.

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Old 04-04-2007, 12:41 PM   #8
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Thanks for the replies. Took a reading yesterday and it was 1.016 which was within the range for this IPA. (from 1.012-1.018) Racked to the secondary. Am still getting a bubble every 90 seconds but all smells and looks good.

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