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Old 06-11-2009, 09:33 PM   #1
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Default Fermented too long?

I brewed a stout with a few unusual ingredients such as coffee and chocolate May 20th. Noticeable fermentation had stopped within the first 4 days or so, but today (June 11th) it was bubbling fairly regularly again. It is also a little lighter than it was. Has anyone else had this happen before? Does this mean it is rotting?

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Old 06-11-2009, 09:40 PM   #2
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No, it isn't rotting, especially if you haven't exposed it to air. If it has maintained sanitary conditions with an adequate airlock, etc, it's probably fine. It may have stalled because of a temperature change or something similar, and a warmer temperature may have increased noticeable activity again. A much more accurate method of knowing when a beer is "done," instead of the airlock activity, is the use of a hydrometer. It will tell you how much dissolved sugar and the like is in solution, and when your hydrometer readings are the same over a few day period, you'll know it's done. This is somewhat simplified, but really, invest in a hydrometer.

Whether you've fermented "too long" or not is a slightly different topic. Some people say that yeast autolysis occurs after about 4-5 weeks of the wort sitting on the yeast cake. Other people, including possibly those who may yet post, go by a pretty firm 4 weeks in fermentation schedule. Get a hydrometer, if it tells you that your specific gravity is below 1.015ish, you should be fine to bottle pretty soon.

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Old 06-11-2009, 09:40 PM   #3
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I dont think it is rotting. It has been in the fermenter for about 3 weeks. Many people on this site leave it in the primary for well over a month. It's most likely just some CO2 escaping from a temp change, pressure change, etc. I'm sure someone else will confirm this or tell me to stop offering bad advice

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Old 06-11-2009, 09:50 PM   #4
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Okay thanks for the prompt response, I will rest easier. I will bottle tomorrow just to be sure.

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Old 06-11-2009, 09:56 PM   #5
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Why bottle tomorrow to be sure it isnt rotting? I don't follow.

Time is your friend.

I left a stout in primary for over 8 months, and it turned out to be one of the best beers Ive ever made!

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Old 06-11-2009, 10:05 PM   #6
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It wont rot. It will only get clearer and better.

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Old 06-11-2009, 10:33 PM   #7
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Actually tomorrow was my scheduled bottling date anyway. 8 months seems a little long for me, although I'm sure it was delicious.

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Old 06-12-2009, 08:47 PM   #8
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Okay for anyone who is interested it was definitely ruined. I didn't bottle it but I did drink some to punish myself for messing it up and it tasted like I imagine it would taste if I had fermented it with a dead hooker submerged in it.

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Old 06-12-2009, 09:10 PM   #9
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Ruined is a relative term. Some experiments can be really nasty until the flavors stop fighting. Consider racking it and leaving it in a cool spot until the Fall.

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Old 06-12-2009, 09:52 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShameBrews View Post
and it tasted like I imagine it would taste if I had fermented it with a dead hooker submerged in it.

Can't quite say I can place that taste............
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