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Old 10-09-2009, 11:38 PM   #1
Sean187
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Default how long will my airlock bubble?

I have a Porter Extract kit in primary. I brewed last Sunday, bubbling started late Monday. Has been steady since then. How long will this bubble. Is it bad to bubble too long? FYI.... Pitched dry yeast at 67 degrees. Fermenting at 72. Thoughts???

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Old 10-09-2009, 11:40 PM   #2
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Three days to a week usually. The yeast are still working after the bubbling stops. I like to leave mine for three weeks total.

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Old 10-09-2009, 11:42 PM   #3
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RDWHAHB (Relax, Don't Worry, Have a Home Brew).

Your yeasties are having a ball in there, fermenting their hearts out. Nothing to be alarmed about. You'll most likely see some sort of airlock activity for at least a week, and 72 is a good fermenting temp for your beer. What you're seeing is completely normal.

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Old 10-10-2009, 12:56 AM   #4
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Aye. Just let the yeasties do their thing. They're in control from this point on.

The odd war-whoop or cheer for your yeast doesn't hurt either. Good karma, and all that.

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Old 10-10-2009, 01:02 AM   #5
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Most brews finish producing CO2 within about 7 days or so, but some can go on for several weeks (especially higher gravity brews). I have one at the moment that has been fermenting slowly for 4 weeks now, but it spent the first couple weeks fermenting at below optimum temperature because I forgot to adjust the thermostat before going on a trip.

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Old 10-10-2009, 01:12 AM   #6
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It really doesn't matter. That's NOT the best gauge of knowing what your beer is doing.

airlock bubbling, lack of airlock bubbling, stopped airlock bubbling, fast airlock bubbling, slow airlcok bubbling, heavy metal airlcok bubbling, or disco airlock bubbling really is not an indicator of what is happening to your beer, really isn't important, and it is NOT an accurate gauge of fermentation.

If your airlock was bubbling and stopped---It doesn't mean fermentation has stopped.

If you airlock isn't bubbling, it doesn't mean your fermentation hasn't started....

If your airlock starts bubbling, it really doesn't matter.

If your airlock NEVER bubbles, it doesn't mean anything is wrong or right.

Your airlock is not a fermentation gauge, it is a VALVE to release excess co2.

Your airlock will more than likely slow down anytime now, but that doesn't mean that fermentation is done.

Fermentation is not always "dynamic," just because you don't SEE anything happening, doesn't mean that anything's wrong, and also doesn't mean that the yeast are still not working dilligantly away, doing what they've been doing for over 4,000 years....


The only way to truly know what is going on in your fermenter is with your hydrometer. Like I said here in my blog, which I encourage you to read, Think evaluation before action you sure as HELL wouldn't want a doctor to start cutting on you unless he used the proper diagnostic instuments like x-rays first, right? You wouldn't want him to just take a look in your eyes briefly and say "I'm cutting into your chest first thing in the morning." You would want them to use the right diagnostic tools before the slice and dice, right? You'd cry malpractice, I would hope, if they didn't say they were sending you for an MRI and other things before going in.....

So after it's been about 10 days take a hydrometer reading and see whare the beer's at. And just becasue the yeast if finished fermenting doesn't mean it's job is done, the yeast, if given time likes to clean up after itself, getting rid of all the byproducts of fermentation that leads to off flavors.

That's why you wil find many of us leave our beers in primary for a month.

Even John Palmer in How to brew says;

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Leaving an ale beer in the primary fermentor for a total of 2-3 weeks (instead of just the one week most canned kits recommend), will provide time for the conditioning reactions and improve the beer. This extra time will also let more sediment settle out before bottling, resulting in a clearer beer and easier pouring. And, three weeks in the primary fermentor is usually not enough time for off-flavors to occur.
I tell new brewers to forget what their airlock does or doesn't do, it's really a flawed tool, and not a "gauge of fermentation."

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Old 10-10-2009, 03:02 AM   #7
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Revvy, I can't tell you how many times I have read this post by you, and it never gets old! Patience makes great beer, listen to the man. Airlocks are not a guage of fermentation, this being true of my last APA. I checked on it the morning after pitching yeast, didnt see any activity, opened up the lid, and seem that stomach soothing layer of foam. Moral of the story is, my airlock never moved, but by checking it with my hydrometer I knew fermentation was happening and when it ended.

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Old 10-06-2010, 09:47 PM   #8
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i can see why people love glass carboys lol one day i will have to get one myself hehe

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Old 10-06-2010, 09:54 PM   #9
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not to thread-jack here... but is this were primary vs. secondary fermenters come in? sounds like it can be helpful after week 2 to pull lid on primary bucket, take a hygro reading, and transfer to secondary fermenter for another week or so. no?

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Old 10-06-2010, 10:04 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by byproxy View Post
not to thread-jack here... but is this were primary vs. secondary fermenters come in? sounds like it can be helpful after week 2 to pull lid on primary bucket, take a hygro reading, and transfer to secondary fermenter for another week or so. no?
If you want to, sure that's ok to do.

I don't usually bother, and my beer is clear with just using one fermenter. I do rack and use a clearing vessel (bright tank for breweries) if I'm dryhopping or adding oak chips or something like that. The term "secondary" is really not the appropriate term here- a clearing tank or bright tank is actually the correct term. I use secondaries often for wine, in which a genuine secondary fermenter is used. That's when the wine is racked off of the fruit and airlocked to prevent oxidation. It's not really done the same way for beer.
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