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Old 02-16-2010, 09:41 PM   #1
MConnelly
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Default Ideal Fermentation Time

I am a first-time homebrewer and am currently fermenting my first 5 gallons. I brewed on Friday (2/12) and my airlock actively bubbled until this morning (2/16). First of all, is it normal that my bubbling only continued for 3 days? More importantly, how long should I allow my beer to remain in the fermenter before bottling?

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Old 02-16-2010, 09:49 PM   #2
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if your brewing in a bucket yes that is very normal. the CO2 production has dropped to the point to where it can escape through the gap between the lid and the bucket instead of the airlock. just because the airlock isn't bubbling doesn't mean that fermentation isn't still going on. wait 2 weeks then take a SG reading. wait 3 days and take another. if they are exactly the same (adjusting for temperature) then fermentation is over. if not wait another 3 days and test again. only when the SG stops falling is fermentation over.

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Old 02-16-2010, 10:01 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MConnelly View Post
First of all, is it normal that my bubbling only continued for 3 days?
Sure is!

Quote:
Originally Posted by MConnelly View Post
More importantly, how long should I allow my beer to remain in the fermenter before bottling?
You are safe to bottle when the gravity has been the same for three days, as stated by the previous poster. It is a good idea to wait 3-4 weeks until you bottle, though, as your beer will be much, much better tasting.
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Old 02-16-2010, 10:03 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mojotele View Post
It is a good idea to wait 3-4 weeks until you bottle
i agree completely.
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Old 02-16-2010, 11:06 PM   #5
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It's completely normal for your airlock to only bubble for a few days. However, you shouldn't use your airlock as a gauge of fermentation. Sometimes it occurs overnight while your sleeping or the gas is escaping out of the lid and doesn't need to escape through the airlock so while it is a sign of fermentation, don't rely on it.

You are able to leave your beer in the fermenter for weeks. Some people on this forum prefer to leave their beer in their fermenter for a number of weeks to let it age while others bottle the beer right after the fermentation is done.

It's all personal preference.

Use your hydrometer readings to determine when the fermentation is done. If you're antsy because it's your first brew, go ahead and bottle. If you feel like waiting an extra week to let it age, go ahead and do that.

Either way I'm sure it will turn out fine and you'll be stoked about your new hobby!

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Old 02-17-2010, 01:34 AM   #6
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I'm on my 4th batch. I had one that bubbled for five days and one that bubbled for 2. I really don't know what makes some bubble and some not, beyond a good seal on your lid.

I bottled my first after nine days and it came out pretty good. As far as I understand, the longer it is in the fermenter the longer it'll clear up and the more the gravity will drop.

Whatever you do, you should have a second batch brewing asap.

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Old 02-17-2010, 02:24 AM   #7
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4 weeks in fermentor, 4 weeks in bottles. I've finally programmed my brain to the point where I'm not even tempted to cut it short. A pipeline helps too.

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Old 02-17-2010, 03:04 AM   #8
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By the way...Welcome to the board MConnelly!

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