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Old 12-02-2012, 03:11 PM   #1
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Default Made my first 5 gallon batch last Sunday, opened fermentor today

Made my first 5 gallon batch last Sunday, opened fermentor today and it looks like nothing happened. It is extremely clean in the bucket. The airlock was bubbling like crazy the first few days. Temperature has been at 63 degrees most of the time. Took a hydrometer reading and it said it was 1.016. It is an autumn amber ale from midwest supplies. Says FG should be 1.010 to 1.012. Did fermentation actually happen?

Suggestions on what I should do would be greatly appreciated.

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Old 12-02-2012, 03:14 PM   #2
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fermentation takes 2-3 weeks........

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Old 12-02-2012, 03:17 PM   #3
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Should I move the bucket around to try to stimulate the yeast?

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Old 12-02-2012, 03:19 PM   #4
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Do you know what the original gravity was? It should have been in the 1.050's or so. In that case you are down to 1.016 in a week. That is fine. Cover it up and check it next weekend. Also, I like to run the temperature up a couple of degrees when it is almost done. That seems to help it finish out. If you have somewhere you get get it up to 68 or so, that would be helpful.

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Old 12-02-2012, 03:22 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tochsner View Post
Do you know what the original gravity was? It should have been in the 1.050's or so. In that case you are down to 1.016 in a week. That is fine. Cover it up and check it next weekend. Also, I like to run the temperature up a couple of degrees when it is almost done. That seems to help it finish out. If you have somewhere you get get it up to 68 or so, that would be helpful.
Unfortunately I didn't take an original gravity. Their sheet says it should have been 1.042 to 1.046.

I can try to get it up to around 68 degrees.
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Old 12-02-2012, 03:33 PM   #6
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Fermentation has definitely happened. If the airlock bubbled actively for a few days and the gravity is down to 1.016, the yeast have done a significant part of their job. You would have had to make a major error in the brewing process to create wort at such a low gravity.

I would theorize that you did not use a yeast starter and did not sufficiently aerate the wort prior to fermentation. This is a common beginner mistake and is not a major deal, just means you'll have to give what few yeast cells are in there a little more time than usual to get down to FG.

The bottom line is this: don't worry, the beer's fine. Give it a few weeks to mellow out, bottle it up and enjoy.

(Also, don't open up a fermenter like the pic shows unless you absolutely have to. Once fermentation has started, oxygen is your enemy).

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Old 12-02-2012, 03:37 PM   #7
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Also, I agree with Tochsner that a few degrees of temperature will help you out. 63 is on the low end of what makes most ale yeast comfortable. 68-70 will help it finish out the job, and will certainly speed things along.

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Old 12-02-2012, 03:44 PM   #8
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Thanks I appreciate all the info. I will definitely get the temperature up.

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Old 12-02-2012, 03:45 PM   #9
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It would help to know what yeast you used. I, very often, ferment in the low end of a strain's listed range. Still does a fine job. I'm even using a strain below the publicly listed range (checked with White Labs first). If the brew isn't inside the listed temperature range, I would get it into it by maybe two degrees (F) and leave it there for another week.

I just kegged a batch (last night) that has been sitting at 48-52F for weeks. It finished within a single gravity point of the estimate. It fermented at the yeasts lower temperature range while active, then calmed/cooled down. The sample I pulled tastes great too. Got one keg in the brew fridge to carbonate and carbonating the rest of the batch in the basement (on gas).

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Old 12-02-2012, 03:46 PM   #10
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Was it extract? If it was extract, then their predicted OG is almost definitely what you ended up with. In that case, it is pretty close to being finished fermenting.

My only guess as to why it looks like nothing has happened is that you washed your bucket with some sort of soap/detergent and then didn't rinse it thoroughly enough before pouring in the wort. The detergent could keep foam/krausen from sticking around (or even forming) just like a glass with some residue that kills the head when you pour a beer.

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