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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > How fast can fermentation finish?
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Old 02-08-2008, 03:59 PM   #1
ommegosh
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Default How fast can fermentation finish?

The background:
I am still a newbie, this is only batch 2. The kit is an American Red Ale mini mash from Austin Homebrew Supply: 5lbs LME and 3lbs I think of steeping grains, and dry Windsor Ale yeast, I do not have the other details on me. Brewed on Super bowl Sunday, no problems on brew day this time around. Checked the fermenter on Monday evening and it was fermenting aggressively, so much so I could hear bubbling/gurgling inside the fermenter(bucket) and the lid to the airlock was being pushed off. From Tuesday on, I have seen no airlock activity(bubbling), though this is my first time using a 2 piece airlock maybe it does not bubble the same. My first kit was an Amber Ale with some additives said to improve fermentation times and it also started and finished rather quickly(maybe 3-4 days).

At this point, I am unsure whether my fermentation stopped, slowed down, or simply completed in an insanely short time. I do have a hydrometer/thief and plan to take a gravity reading to see where I am at, though my OG was lower then the kit said to expect. Any thoughts from more experienced home brewers?

Thank you

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Old 02-08-2008, 04:14 PM   #2
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I had the really active fermentation last for only a day or so with dry yeast before, but it tapered off gradually over a couple days. I'm sure it can end abruptly too, just never seen it in my batches so far.

To know for sure you'll need a hydrometer, they're pretty cheap and you can use the tube it comes in as your test vial (take the foam pieces out first). I actually have a thief and hate it. I end up dripping and spilling beer all over myself and the floor with it. I now use a big turkey baster thing my local shop gave me for free as a promotion. I'm sure you can go to Target and get something very similar. Not knowing the OG will make things a bit harder, but if your final gravity is around 1.010 to 1.015 and below, it's done fermenting.

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Old 02-08-2008, 04:19 PM   #3
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The vast majority of my fermentations "finish" (iow, krausen dropped and airlock activity stopped) within 4 days, at least on my ales. Take a reading, that's the only way to know fo sho.

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Old 02-08-2008, 04:20 PM   #4
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+ on the hydrometer. That'll be your best bet. It is totally possible that the beer finishes the primary fermentation very quickly, this is normal. Have you sat infront of it waiting for a bubble? Sometimes you'll see them at about 2-5 mins appart. Anyway, either way, RDWHAHB, your patience will be rewarded... I would leave it in the primary another week or so to get it nice and clear, then rack to 2ndary.

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Old 02-08-2008, 04:24 PM   #5
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It varies depending upon the yeast that you use, whether you use a starter and if you're pitching on a cake. Normally my fermentations are done within about 4 days, but I've had some go as long as 7 days and as short as 48 hours.

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Old 02-08-2008, 04:31 PM   #6
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+1 on 48hours, fastest i'v had atleast.

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Old 02-08-2008, 05:47 PM   #7
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I had the same thing happen this week with my 2nd batch. It was pretty much the same type kit from Austin Home Brew. It fermented really good for about a day and then airlock activity stopped. I am still checking it with my hydrometer daily. I have had the same readings for the past 2 days now but the gravity is not where it should be yet ( instructions state 1.011). I shook it around a bit last night and I will just continue to watch it and take readings till it gets to the right gravity.

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Old 02-08-2008, 06:31 PM   #8
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Zappa

Just curious, did your kit use the same Windsor Ale yeast?

Thanks

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Old 02-08-2008, 07:27 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ommegosh
Zappa

Just curious, did your kit use the same Windsor Ale yeast?

Thanks
No, mine was White Labs English Ale yeast. I made their Special Bitter kit.
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Old 02-08-2008, 07:31 PM   #10
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I have had a touch less than 48 hours before. I used a nice start though.

Greg

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