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Old 05-21-2010, 03:46 AM   #1
Bob1326
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So I just started my first batch 5 days ago. I dove in head first and went all grain on a Brown ale. After 48 hours of strong airlock activity and noisy fermentation (I could hear it if I put my ear to the bucket wall), everything died down. 72 hours later there was no airlock activity at all, but that just means there isn't enough CO2 being produced to push the airlock. Today, after only 5 days in the fermenter, there is no krausen at the surface, but the beer smells great.

My OG was 1.045, and today my hydrometer read 1.012. Obviously I'll take some more readings over the next few days and let it sit for at least another week before bottling, but my question is, can primary fermentation be that fast? I don't have any frame of reference, and I want to know what to expect when I start my next batch in a week or so.

Thanks!!!

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Old 05-21-2010, 03:52 AM   #2
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First off welcome to the forum from St charles Illinois. Congrats on joining the new hobby, secondly congrats on going straight into all grain. With that said, fermentation is primarily done within 3-7 days, however the yeast create a lot of biproducts that if you give them a few more weeks they will clean up and give you more of a cleaner tasting beer. If i were you, and you can take this or leave it, give your beer at least 3-4 weeks in the primary. Like i said they will clean up after themselves but also they will drop out of suspension giving you a cleaner and clearer beer. Use the search function and you will see that a lot of us dont even bother with our beer and let it sit in primary for 3-4 weeks, then straight to bottle or keg. in the mean time if you have another fermenter get another batch going so you can start building up the pipeline, or go out and get yourself some good old craft beer. Cheers!

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Old 05-21-2010, 04:02 AM   #3
Bob1326
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Thanks! I had a feeling everything is going fine, but I just wanted to ask. The only other fermenter I have is a glass carboy. I was planning on skipping the secondary this time and bottling after 2 weeks, but I might have to get another bucket so I can use the carboy for my secondary on batch #2.

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Old 05-21-2010, 04:20 AM   #4
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Welcome! And like wcarter said, the active fermentation stage can come and go before you even realize it so it isn't uncommon at all to see what you're seeing. It's also true that if you let it sit for a week or two longer the yeast will clean up after themselves and help you produce a better tasting final product.

With that being said, congrats. It looks like you're doing everything right and get working on that second batch so you can keep your pipeline going

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Old 05-21-2010, 07:09 AM   #5
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Yea, you don't need to rush the hydrometer testing either. 5 days is YOUNG beer! Let it hang out for a while, and after a couple or three weeks has passed since you pitched yeast , then check your gravity.

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Old 05-21-2010, 09:08 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob1326 View Post
Thanks! I had a feeling everything is going fine, but I just wanted to ask. The only other fermenter I have is a glass carboy. I was planning on skipping the secondary this time and bottling after 2 weeks, but I might have to get another bucket so I can use the carboy for my secondary on batch #2.
Sounds like you're in this for the long haul, starting all grain right off the bat. Perhaps think about spending your bucks on carboys rather than buckets for fermenters. 6 or 6.5 gal carboy for 5 gal batch.
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Old 05-21-2010, 12:19 PM   #7
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One thing that can cause a fast fermentation is warmer temps. Perhaps not a big deal on a brown ale, but still not something that is recommended for most styles. I'd let it sit on the yeast for 2 weeks, if not 3 more. That is just me. I know it's hard to wait when you are just getting started, but the extra time will make the beer taste better.

I think that standard ale yeast will perform best at around 68-72 degrees. And that is the temp of the actual fermenting wort, not the air outside the fermenter. The fermentation process can easily raise the internal temp 5 degrees or more if it's going fast.

Even if the temps and everything are perfect, 5 days is not unheard of for some yeast types.

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