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Old 01-27-2009, 10:00 PM   #1
Rhymenoceros
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Default No Hydrometer. How do I know when fermentaion is done?

So I don't have a hydrometer (I will defiantly be getting one for the next brew) so I'm not sure when the fermentation is done, but what are some good other ways to tell. The air lock went berserk for the first 2 days then it went silent and the krausen went down, now there are just some small "colonies" of bubbles on top, does that mean its still fermenting. Also the temperature has be low in my house lately (despite turning up the thermostat) so now the thermometer on my carboy is reading 60, could the yeast have gone dormant and spring to life again when I bottle and make bombs?

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Old 01-27-2009, 10:05 PM   #2
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Your best bet is to let it sit as long as you can without going crazy with anticipation. I know it's hard, but I would let it sit at least 3 weeks. That will only do good things for your beer.

The white bubbles are signs of yeast activity and more than likely once you warm it up, it will take off again.

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Old 01-27-2009, 10:05 PM   #3
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Without a hydrometer, it's impossible to tell for sure. I'd run to a lbhs and pick one up. Assuming it was a normal gravity beer, and ur not gonna get a hydro, u will almost always be ok by 3-4 weeks. Usually much sooner, but it's best to wait atleast 3 weeks anyways. Depending on the yeast ur probably fine at 60.

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Old 01-27-2009, 11:20 PM   #4
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Order one today by mail. It will get to you and you will be able to take two readings before a 3-4 week sit time is up.

Then, you have it for your next batch.

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Old 01-27-2009, 11:21 PM   #5
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let is sit for three weeks from start

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Old 01-27-2009, 11:52 PM   #6
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wait till bubbling is done and wait another week

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Old 01-28-2009, 12:43 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rhymenoceros View Post
So I don't have a hydrometer (I will defiantly be getting one for the next brew) so I'm not sure when the fermentation is done, but what are some good other ways to tell. The air lock went berserk for the first 2 days then it went silent and the krausen went down, now there are just some small "colonies" of bubbles on top, does that mean its still fermenting. Also the temperature has be low in my house lately (despite turning up the thermostat) so now the thermometer on my carboy is reading 60, could the yeast have gone dormant and spring to life again when I bottle and make bombs?
Don't ask the yeast in my carboy this question, because after 26 days they are still slowly moving along! I confirm this with a hydrometer, and if I shine a light on the top of the carboy, I can see a scant bubble rise here and there. I'm still seeing about a .001 drop every day.

Even if you didn't measure the initial gravity when you brewed, you can still get meaningful numbers now to test if fermentation is complete. If FG stays at one number for three days or so, it's probably done.

FWIW, my latest brew's odd behavior seems the most unlikely of all since it has been at ~63-67 for two weeks, ~58 for four days, ~53 for three days, and ~33 for one day. Within hours after putting it on my kitchen counter, it awoke with a fury. It was 1.014 at the end of the 53-58F streak prior to 33F. Agitation or re-entering the warmth of my kitchen awoke the beasts. SWMBO is not impressed by these shenanigans , since I wont put anything away because "It is almost ready to bottle, honestly!" .....
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Old 01-28-2009, 03:37 PM   #8
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Without a hydrometer, then leave it alone 3-4 weeks...

Of course in that timefram you can GET a hydrometer.

But many of use leave our beer in primary for 3-4 weeks in primary. I usually only take 2 readings one before yeast pitching, and one on bottling day, a month after pitch day.

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Old 01-28-2009, 08:00 PM   #9
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I went out and got one, its ok now.

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