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Old 12-12-2011, 10:30 PM   #1
DerStarke
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Default First batch! - Peculiar Gravity reading....

Hello. I've been perusing the forums for a while and have found them to be a great help in the brewing process! So thanks to everyone for their advice.

Today I find myself in need of some advice specific to my batch of beer. I am making the "Innkeeper" from Northern Brewer and am in my 2nd week of fermenting.

Here's the deal. On brew day, it calls for 2.5 gallons of water in the wort. I only had 2 gallons since I was simultaneously reading another brewing guide that suggested 2 and I overlooked the recipe's call for 2.5 gallons. I filled my carboy up to 5 gallons total when I was done. I didn't worry about it, but I figured I should mention it now in case it's part of the problem.

First day of fermenting (11/29) it was a big frothy mess since I was attempting to ferment 5 gallons of beer in a 5 gallon glass carboy. I attached a blow-off hose and it bubbled nicely from that for a few days. On 12/3, I swapped the blow-off with my air-lock and took my first gravity reading (since I didn't have a hyrdrometer when I started) and it was at 1.010. That was the recipe's suggested FG. I took another reading today 12/12, and it was still at 1.010. It looks and tastes fine, but any thoughts on what's going on? Thanks!

EDIT: The readings were taken at temps 68 F both times and I used a Wyeast 1469 Yorkshire Ale yeast packet.

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Old 12-12-2011, 10:37 PM   #2
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Since you haven't said what the original reading was, hard to say. However, 9 days at the same reading at what the recipe says you should end up with == done.

It's entirely possible for a beer to ferment in four days.

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Old 12-12-2011, 10:43 PM   #3
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Hey. Thanks for the quick reply. Is 4 days enough for the yeast to really get the job done, though? I'm not an expert, but from what I was able to gather it seems like that's too quick.

I still get the occasional bubble from the air-lock. Is this normal even after fermentation is done or is it still going? Sorry if this is a ridiculous question!

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Old 12-12-2011, 10:46 PM   #4
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Depending on the temp you are at it can be done in 48hrs. Let it sit for a couple weeks to clean up then you are ready to bottle.

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Old 12-12-2011, 10:48 PM   #5
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Yeah, even if it's done fermenting I wouldn't bottle or keg it yet. I would say give it at least another week or so, though some people would say 3-4 after fermentation is done. The airlock bubbling slowly could be many things, not necessarily fermentation still happening. If you had gravity readings that were the same 9 days apart, I would think fermentation is over.

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Old 12-12-2011, 10:55 PM   #6
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I've even had a russian imperial stout with a starting gravity of 1.10 get down to final gravity in three days. How long that process takes is a function of numerous things, but certainly well within the realm of reasonable to be at final gravity in just a few days.

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Old 12-12-2011, 11:03 PM   #7
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Occasional bubbles after fermentation is done are normal. This is why you should trust your hydrometer rather than your airlock.

Your instructions probably tell you to leave the beer in the primary fermenter for two weeks. Folks around here tell you similar things, or to leave it in longer. That isn't because fermentation takes two to four weeks. It is because the yeast will settle in that time, and will clean up some leftover unpleasantness. Four days actually sounds quite reasonable for your run of the mill homebrewed beer to ferment.

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Old 12-13-2011, 12:09 AM   #8
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The occasional bubbles are likely just residual C02 leftover from fermentation being released. I've had beers bubble occasionally 3 weeks after they finished fermenting.

As others have said, 4 days is plenty for many a yeast strain to ferment out fully. I've had some ferment out in 2 days. I've had some take 2 weeks. However, a week apart with two identical gravity readings says fermentation is done. I'd give it another week or two for the yeast to clean up byproducts and then bottle it up.

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