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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > Long (slow) ferment...?
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Old 07-14-2007, 10:17 PM   #1
Phan71
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Default Long (slow) ferment...?

Okay, I've never had this happen before, but when I went to rack to the secondary today, the beer still had krausen on top. It's been in there a week.

The airlock bubbled good for the first couple of days, and I really haven't noticed much activity since about Tuesday.

This isn't a high gravity beer or anything, so I'm not sure what's going on. The temp has been a little high in the beer closet the past couple of days (74~75F), but I wasn't too worried about it (since I thought it was past the bulk of the fermentation). (I've put it back in the closet with a bucket of ice sitting on top of it, which is how I keep it cool when it's too warm in our place).

Can it take a while for the krausen to fall after fermentation is complete, or is this still going? How normal is this?

Because I know I'll get the question, it's a Scotch Ale (recipe below). And, no I haven't taken a gravity reading because I dropped my hydrometer a couple weeks ago and haven't replaced it yet, so don't even ask!

6.6 lb Northwestern Gold LME (late edition)
2.0 lb Munich malt (10L)
0.5 lb Crystal malt (60L)
0.5 lb Crystal malt (20L)
3.0 oz Chocolate malt (350L)
4.0 oz White wheat malt (2L)
2.0 oz Peat smoked malt (2L)
1.0 oz UK Kent Goldings pellets @ 60 min
1.0 oz US Fuggles pellets @ 30 min
1 tsp Irish moss @ 10 min
Wyeast 1338 European Ale

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Old 07-14-2007, 10:19 PM   #2
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Most likely done fermenting...but you will never know unless you take a hydrometer reading .

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Old 07-14-2007, 10:39 PM   #3
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i'd let the krausen settle. it's not going to hurt it if it sits a few more days, or hell even another week!

you'd probably be fine to rack to secondary, but i always let me beer finish completely before i rack.

take the time to get a new hydrometer, then you won't have to worry about it.

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Old 07-14-2007, 10:45 PM   #4
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Well, since it's too late today to get to the LHBS, I'll have to wait until Monday to get a new hydrometer. Hopefully it'll have settled by then anyways.

But, can anybody tell me, is it normal for it to still be fermenting? Is there anything I should be worried about?

(I've had a batch turn into nail polish remover before , so I tend to over-react when anything "not normal" happens during the fermentation. But, I really want to avoid pouring another 5 gallons down the drain!)

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Old 07-14-2007, 11:32 PM   #5
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dude, there's no absolute rule that fermentation should finish within a week. fluctuations in temperature, yeast conditions, oxygen levels, there are so many variables that could cause a longer fermentation time, but you have absolutely nothing to worry about...it's only been a WEEK. the only thing you should worry about is rushing it or not having enough patience.

THIS is not a problem, not even an issue. your beer is probably done. i've known with a lot of my wheat beers specifically that the krausen will stay several days after they are finished...but i've also left them in the primary for weeks because i was busy and they always turn out fine. just let it settle, take a reading and rack that sucker.

RDWHAHB Good that you're noticing a difference in this brew and posting about it, but this is srsly not a problem.

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Old 07-15-2007, 10:02 AM   #6
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I'm on week 2 of a primary fermentation, and I've talk to guys here who have had MONTHS worth of fermentation (Brave patient souls those men). Like everyone suggests just let it ride. I can't even think of any reason to rack to another secondary to clear it some more if you need to. Someone feel free to correct me on that assumption if its wrong

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Old 07-15-2007, 12:42 PM   #7
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I had a blueberry ale in my primary on Friday after 8 days in the fermenter. It still had a small Krausen on top, but i took a hydrometer reading and got an FG of 1.012 (beersmith calculated 1.013). I just assumed it was done and racked krausen and all. I can't imagine it would've gone much lower. I figure the secondary will finish off whatever it was doing and freed up my primary for my next feat.

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Old 07-15-2007, 10:05 PM   #8
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Thanks for all of the input, guys. I'm going to check it again tomorrow (and hopefully pick up a new hydrometer on my way home from work).

I guess I just worry too much! I hope this one comes out okay, though, since it's the first Scotch Ale I've tried to do.

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Old 07-15-2007, 10:43 PM   #9
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I have a wheat going right now and it's been in there for 8 days and still has a good 3 inch thick Krausen on top of it. I "planed" to rack it yesterday after taking a reading to be sure it was done but I did not even bother getting out the hydrometer when I popped the top and seen that.
Oh well, I gess it's just going to spend a little less time in the secondary.
It has to be bottled and carbed by the 2nd weekend of Aug. for a party that my buddy is having and wanted this beer for it. Good thing it's a wheat, he will never know that it did not have much time to "clear"

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