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Old 05-27-2008, 03:26 PM   #1
merlin310
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Default Fermentation Problem...please help

I was hoping you all could shed some light on a problem. I brewed with some friends a few years ago, but have never done it on my own. Finally after a few years of absence, I started back this past weekend. I bought a porter kit and followed instructions to the letter. My fermentation started very rapidly after about 7-8- hours, and was very vigorous. I stopped less than 24 hours later. Is the fermentation stuck? Please help. Must have beer!!

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Old 05-27-2008, 03:28 PM   #2
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You really need to get a hydrometer. How are you judging that fermentation has stopped?

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Old 05-27-2008, 03:34 PM   #3
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I plan on taking a hydrometer reading this afternoon. All the other batches I brewed in the past fermented for about 3 days. This was just short of 24 hours. Is it possible to completely ferment that quickly?

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Old 05-27-2008, 03:37 PM   #4
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Yes, if the temperature is high enough and the OG is around 1.040.

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Old 05-27-2008, 03:40 PM   #5
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I've had a very quick fermentation with my last batch of IPA. I would let it sit for atleast 10 days in the primary, if not a little longer. At this point you've got really green beer, and even though the bubbles may have stopped in the airlock, its still working away at the sugars.
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Old 05-27-2008, 03:45 PM   #6
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Thanks....that helps. It's been the primary since Saturday evening. If I take a hydrometer reading, and it's at the final gravity, should I go ahead and transfer to my secondary or just wait? Thanks for all the help

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Old 05-27-2008, 03:53 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by merlin310 View Post
Thanks....that helps. It's been the primary since Saturday evening. If I take a hydrometer reading, and it's at the final gravity, should I go ahead and transfer to my secondary or just wait? Thanks for all the help
Wait at least a week before taking it out of the primary regardless of whether it's "done". Even though fermentation may be done, the yeast are still in there cleaning up their byproducts. After a week, as long as you have a stable SG over the course of a few days, you're safe to rack.
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Old 05-27-2008, 03:59 PM   #8
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I brewed an oatmeal stout this weekend; similar but different to your porter. But the commonality is that (in my experience) big beers (higher OG) start out with a bang and run their course very fast. But, just because the bubbles have stopped in the airlock does not mean the yeast has stopped doing business.

With the big darker beers I'll let it sit in primary minimum for 2 weeks, secondary for 2 weeks, bottle for 6 to 8 weeks. As my beer making is evolving, frankly I'm more inclined just to leave it in primary for 4 weeks because clearing up a stout is not an issue... you can't see through it anyway.

So my suggestion; ignore your beer till you hit the two week mark... I think you'll be pleasantly suprised where your FG will end up, and (after two weeks) the yeast cake should be compacted for better cleaner syphon to secondary.

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Old 05-27-2008, 04:00 PM   #9
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That helps. One more question. Is it ok to pop it open and take a gravity reading during the week? You guys rock. Thanks for the help.

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Old 05-27-2008, 04:00 PM   #10
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Your yeast just had a big party in your primary. Always give them time to clean up after themselves. It's never a bad idea to keep in primary for 2 weeks. This will give fermentation plenty of time to finish up and then "clean up" after themselves......patience my good man patience. I would start thinking of the next batch you want to brew.....it will keep your mind off the first one. Only having one beer going is tough....you always want to play with it.

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