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Old 04-07-2008, 04:39 AM   #1
funkydrummer88
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Default Fermentation was over too quickly/when is it done

I'm sure you get this question all the time, but...
I have a pale ale kit that I am fermenting. It took off pretty quickly and was bubbling for at least 36 hours pretty steadily. Probably one bubble every 5 seconds or so. It has come to a complete halt, and I have not seen a bubble if I watch it for several minutes. The kit says to bottle in a week or so when there are no bubbles in the airlock. Does this mean no more bubbling as I am essentially seeing, or no more bubbles in the airlock, as there are still small bubbles in the airlock, and they do move and change shape if I look at them every 4 hours or so. When should I bottle basically? It's been a day over a week to this day. I don't have a hydrometer so I don't know if it's changed enough, or whatever.

On another note, I misread the instructions on steeping, which said to bring the water to a boil, pull off the heat, insert grains, and steep for 20-30 minutes. I thought, add the grains, and bring back to a boil. Therefore, I boiled the grains for 20-30 minutes. Is this bad/effecting the lack of fermentation that I'm seeing, or will it effect the taste of the beer itself? I think I messed this batch up.

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Old 04-07-2008, 04:41 AM   #2
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what was your SG? what is the gravity now? Boiling the grains shouldn't effect the fermentation but can greatly influence the flavor.

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Old 04-07-2008, 04:44 AM   #3
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as I said I don't have a hydrometer which is retarded, but I am impatient and figured that I didn't need to know how much alcohol was in my beer. I realize this.

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Old 04-07-2008, 04:47 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by funkydrummer88
as I said I don't have a hydrometer which is retarded, but I am impatient and figured that I didn't need to know how much alcohol was in my beer. I realize this.
sorry missed that part, I suggest you leave it about 7-10 days to be sure. You are not going to be able to tell the ABV or anything because of not having a hydrometer. But if I were you I would let it sit 7-10 days and transfer that is a safe timeline.

AND BUY A HYDROMETER!!!!!!
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Old 04-07-2008, 04:49 AM   #5
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That sounds like a plan. Will it be really bad tasting because I boiled the grains, or just a mild overtone, or what?

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Old 04-07-2008, 04:54 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by funkydrummer88
That sounds like a plan. Will it be really bad tasting because I boiled the grains, or just a mild overtone, or what?
I dont know if I can answer that Correctly because I have never done it. I have only heard that boiling the grains releases bitter tanins into the beer.
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Old 04-07-2008, 04:54 AM   #7
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It may be done fermenting but the yeast still has work to do cleaning up after the party. BTW, bubbles in the airlock mean nothing in the grand scheme of things. It may or may not still be fermenting whether there are bubbles or not.

I don't know why instructions say to bottle in a week, that is a very bad idea even if you had an hydrometer. Let it sit for a least three weeks to be sure it's done fermenting. Your beer will taste much better and be a lot clearer if you wait. The real bonus of waiting will be reducing the risk of bottle bombs significantly.

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Old 04-07-2008, 06:36 AM   #8
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Don't listen to the idiot directions on the kit. Unless you're doing a secondary (and even then in many cases) its VERY counter productive to bottle the beer after just one week, leave it on the yeast cake for a while and the flavor will improve.

Personally I keep all of my beers in primary for four weeks and then bottle...

Also if you boil the grains you'll get tannins which will make your beer bitter, might still be decent enough despite that.

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Old 04-07-2008, 03:01 PM   #9
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Boiling the grains will impact the flavor of the beer, how much depends partially on the quantity of grain. It will give it an astringent flavor, which is similar to bitter, but with a bit of a pucker factor (like really strong tea). Probably not enough to damage the batch.

A hydrometer tells you when a batch is done. I'd leave the fermenter alone until you can get one. A couple extra weeks even, wouldn't be a problem.

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Old 04-07-2008, 03:40 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by david_42
Boiling the grains will impact the flavor of the beer, how much depends partially on the quantity of grain. It will give it an astringent flavor, which is similar to bitter, but with a bit of a pucker factor (like really strong tea). Probably not enough to damage the batch.

A hydrometer tells you when a batch is done. I'd leave the fermenter alone until you can get one. A couple extra weeks even, wouldn't be a problem.
If I get a hyrdometer, I should test it for 2 consecutive days to see when it's the same reading, correct? This means that I must open my batch of beer. Then I must dip the hydrometer into the beer, or use the measuring flask correct? I will sanitize, but wouldn't this hurt the beer itself as far as oxidation, and bacteria?
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