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-   -   May have made a mistake (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f39/may-have-made-mistake-372572/)

chris2307 12-07-2012 03:04 PM

May have made a mistake
Hi all,

I am new to home brewing and am currently on my second brew so still using the basic methods until I can learn more about it and start experimenting.

During my previous batch, I siphoned the beer out from the primary fermenter in to a pressure barrel on day 5. This was what the instructions told me. The batch came out okay, it was drinkable and quite pleasant.

Today, I repeated the same stage, siphoning off the liquid from the fermenting bucket to the pressure barrel. It has also been 5 days (I started it this time last Sunday). However, this time, I noticed half way through siphoning that there were still some bubbles coming to the surface so I then knew the fermentation hadn't stopped.

Now, I know I should have been really careful and there is no excuse for not seeing this before I started siphoning. I am not sure why I didn't check (Mixture of excitement, tiredness, lack of experience I imagine!)

Anyway, my question is this, do you think it will be okay? I had a quick read of the forums and people are saying they like to leave their liquid in the primary fermenter for up to three or four weeks!

I just wanted my beer ready in time for xmas! :(


progmac 12-07-2012 03:14 PM

can you check the gravity and report back?

rodwha 12-07-2012 03:15 PM

CO2 gets trapped in the yeast cake, and very well could have been what you were seeing.
But 5 days really isn't enough time to really get it done well. Major fermentation is most likely over in about that time, but if you give it longer the yeast go back and eat up the things they created while eating the sugars. This is what makes the beer taste better. The things they created aren't great.

JordanThomas 12-07-2012 03:19 PM

Bubbles only indicate that gas is being exchanged. Gravity readings are the only way to determine if fermentation is still going on or complete.

chris2307 12-07-2012 03:20 PM

Okay, thank you. Your reply suggests it won't be a total disaster!

I am also left feeling quite optimistic for my third brew because if my first brew tasted nice to me, then taking on board these tips will make the third taste even nicer!

The trouble I have is that I use a plastic bucket for my primary fermentation. I cannot see inside which is a pain as I cannot asses whether it is fermenting or not. I am also reluctant to open the lid because I have been told that this can make the beer taste vinegary. Which is why I have just been leaving it 5 days and going to the pressure barrel with fingers crossed!

BoomerHarley 12-07-2012 03:31 PM

5 days is not long enough. leave it in there for at least two weeks.

kh54s10 12-07-2012 03:41 PM

I'm not sure what your kit consists of but keep researching. You will find that there are many ways to achieve good results.

My main suggestion is to get a hydrometer, learn how and when to use it and progress beyond the simple kits that give the most simplified (and often wrong or misleading) instructions.

5 days of primary fermentation is often way to short. I have had many beers that didn't finish until around 10 days.

Unibrow 12-07-2012 03:48 PM


Originally Posted by BoomerHarley (Post 4659318)
5 days is not long enough. leave it in there for at least two weeks.

what he said...

chris2307 12-07-2012 03:49 PM

Yes, after Christmas, I intend to get some better kit. The pressure barrel is fine but the primary fermenter isn't.

Cheers for the replies, I will just keep my fingers crossed that this batch comes out OK (As my last batch did)

rodwha 12-07-2012 03:49 PM

Seeing it won't tell you if it's done either. As has been stated the only way to know is to take a hydrometer reading.

I give my wheat beers 2-3 weeks to ferment and these work fast. Others I give 3-4 weeks.

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