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Old 04-22-2008, 02:15 PM   #1
Tielson's
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Default I may need help!

Question about my brew we put it in the primary Sunday and it was perking all day yesterday and seems to have stopped today??? The brew is a Witbier, any comments or help would be great. Thanks



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Old 04-22-2008, 02:56 PM   #2
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Default Airlock is not the end all

Air lock bubbles are not a good indicator of finished/stalled fermentation. In a few days, do a gravity reading with your hydrometer to see if it has basically reached FG.

Jim



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Old 04-22-2008, 03:00 PM   #3
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Jim beat me to the punch...But he's right, the only true way to tell is with your hydrometer....

There are a lot of variables that come into play in terms of the airlock bubbling...for example,

The airlock is outgassing oxygen initially and more importantly co2, so that's why it bubbled a lot and then seemed to stop.

You could have for example and bad seal between the grommet (or stopper) and the airlock, or the lid on the bucket isn't fully tight and gas is getting out elsewhere besides the airlock, or the stopper and mouth of the carboy and that would appear slow, while fermentaion is actually occuring rapidly... Or the little bubbler in the airlock could be sitting a little crooked, or become weighted down with tiny co2 bubbles and need to build up a good head of gas before blurping again.

Even having the airlock leaning slightly askew affects it.

Thats why we say repeatedly to USE THE HYDROMETER....

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Old 04-22-2008, 03:20 PM   #4
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Now how many days should I wait till I check with the hydrometer? If I open it before fermenting is complete won’t I risk the chance of infection? Sorry if this seems like stupid questions but this is my first beer. And if air is leaking out in other places could that affect my brew negatively?

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Old 04-22-2008, 03:43 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tielson's
Now how many days should I wait till I check with the hydrometer? If I open it before fermenting is complete won’t I risk the chance of infection? Sorry if this seems like stupid questions but this is my first beer. And if air is leaking out in other places could that affect my brew negatively?
Well, think about this, it is recommended to take hydrometer readings....so if there was a good chance of ruining your beer by doing it...would we be advocating it?

I usually check it 7-10 days after I put it in the bucket....If it's near the target fg, I take it again in a couple days...if it hasn't changed between readings then it is usually ready to move to a secondary for clearing....I just left my last beer in the fermenter for a month, skipped the secondary and went to bottle....

Fermentation builds up CO2 which protects your beer, even from things falling into it, so if it is leaking OUTWARDS then nothing can get in....

It is really really hard to ruin your beer!!!

Perhaps this thread will help you worry less...

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/showthread.php?t=54362

This one is even better

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/showthread.php?t=61798
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Old 04-22-2008, 03:43 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tielson's
Now how many days should I wait till I check with the hydrometer? If I open it before fermenting is complete won’t I risk the chance of infection? Sorry if this seems like stupid questions but this is my first beer. And if air is leaking out in other places could that affect my brew negatively?
I usually leave mine in the primary for 10-14 days, but I start taking gravity readings on day 7. If you take readings on 3 consecutive days and they are all the same, then this indicates fermentation is complete. If you have a wine/beer thief or even a turkey baster you can sanitize it and get a sample from the fermenter. Since CO2 is still being produced, you don't need to worry about infection if you sanitize everything that touches the beer. I always sanitize the outside of my rubber stopper, the rim of the carboy, and the wine thief and no infections yet!

Your other option is to leave the beer in the primary for 3-4 weeks, at which point fermentation is almost certainly done. This will also clear the beer, and I you can use this extra time in the primary instead of using a secondary.
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Old 04-22-2008, 03:48 PM   #7
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If it's any comfort, my first ever brew I took a hydrometer reading every few hours.

By the time I was finished, I was lucky I had any beer left in the bucket.

Now I take and initial reading and another reading in two weeks.

People have the misconception that just looking at your beer will ruin it.

Don't poop in your fermenter when the lid is off and you'll be fine.

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Old 04-22-2008, 03:59 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BierMuncher
Don't poop in your fermenter when the lid is off and you'll be fine.
Truer advice has never been given. This is gonna make my signature.
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Originally Posted by BierMuncher
Don't poop in your fermenter when the lid is off and you'll be fine.
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Old 04-22-2008, 04:57 PM   #9
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You could have for example and bad seal between the grommet (or stopper) and the airlock, or the lid on the bucket isn't fully tight and gas is getting out elsewhere besides the airlock,
+1 This happened to me on 2 different brews, and they both came out fine.



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