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Old 03-16-2012, 09:48 PM   #1
mjrinkenbaugh
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Default How relevant is airlock bubbling?

Hello everyone...

I'm fairly new to brewing my own beer and I've got a batch of beer that I started almost four weeks ago now. It's taken some time to ferment and I'm going to check the gravity again tonight to see if I'm ready to bottle. It started at 1.070 and last read (on Sunday) at 1.018. If it's still 1.018 tonight, then I will go ahead and bottle, but here's my question:

I'm still seeing a single bubble in the airlock every 5 minutes. Is that even worth considering as far as if it's ready to bottle or not? I know it could just be a slight fluctuation in temperature pushing air out. Does anybody else even watch their airlock for long enough to see how often they really get a bubble? Is a single bubble that occasional even worth considering with regard to whether or not I might be ready to bottle?

Thanks!

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Old 03-16-2012, 09:51 PM   #2
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Airlocks don't mean much. A hydrometer will tell you all the info you need. I pretty much ignore mine aside from checking to make sure it hasn't dried out.

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Old 03-16-2012, 09:52 PM   #3
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Completely, take your readings if it is the same for 3 days in a row you are set. or do what I do and leave it alone for a few weeks and I don't have to worry about it being done.

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Old 03-16-2012, 09:56 PM   #4
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snccoulter,

If you leave the beer set for weeks on end... doesn't there come a time when the beer NEEDS to be bottled and will develop off flavors if not bottled?

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Old 03-16-2012, 10:02 PM   #5
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snccoulter,

If you leave the beer set for weeks on end... doesn't there come a time when the beer NEEDS to be bottled and will develop off flavors if not bottled?
Maybe depending on style from few months to a year or more might cause a problem. I have heard of forgotten brews in primary for more than 4 months turning out fine.
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Old 03-16-2012, 10:13 PM   #6
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Correct, a couple of weeks is not an issue. I have had a few on the yeast cake for over a month. I am not in a hurry to drink them so I can afford let them sit.

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Old 03-16-2012, 10:13 PM   #7
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How relevant is airlock bubbling?

Don't know, haven't used one in years. Now, if I were to and bulk age a big beer or wine for an extended period that's a different story. My guess is your beer is simply offgassing some co2 that is in solution from fermentation....if your beer is four weeks old and not done fermenting, it is either a huge beer or something is wrong....RDWHAHB
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Old 03-16-2012, 10:20 PM   #8
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Occasionally I'll get a fermenter that will toss out a bubble here and there 3 weeks down the road. Not a big deal.

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Old 03-16-2012, 10:38 PM   #9
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How relevant is airlock bubbling?

Don't know, haven't used one in years. Now, if I were to and bulk age a big beer or wine for an extended period that's a different story. My guess is your beer is simply offgassing some co2 that is in solution from fermentation....if your beer is four weeks old it is either a huge beer or something is wrong....RDWHAHB
I've taken a sample using a thief. There's nothing wrong that I can tell... at least it doesn't taste infected. You might be right about the CO2 just coming out of the solution though...
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