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Old 01-16-2010, 06:46 PM   #1
gannawdm
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Default Primary fermentation woke up after 2 weeks

After 2 weeks in the primary, I assumed it was done with all fermentation. I brought it downstairs where I was going to bottle it. The next day, bloop bloop, the airlock is bubbling every now and then. Did the transport from upstairs to downstairs wake up the yeast?

I know that lack of airlock activity does not mean that fermentation is not taking place. But if there is airlock activity, then that means fermentation is definitely taking place, right? I guess I'll have to wait a bit longer. The specific gravity is 1.011-12, so I guess we'll see what it looks like in a couple days. It smells delicious though.

btw. I brought it back upstairs where the temperature is better for fermentation. Now it's bubbling like the day after I pitched the yeast. I'm confused.

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Old 01-16-2010, 07:07 PM   #2
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Sometimes airlock activity is not due to fermentation but due to CO2 escaping the beer as it warms up.

As usual, the only way to gauge fermentation is with a hydrometer/refractometer.

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Old 01-16-2010, 07:09 PM   #3
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Good question. Definately if your airlock is bubbling, it is NOT a good indicator of whether or not fermentation is taking place. The only thing you can be sure of, is that CO2 is escaping, but that can be produced for a myriad of reasons.

The only way to be pretty sure your fermentation is complete would be to make sure your gravity reading is constant over a period of a few days.

It could be fermenting, it could not be.... use the hydrometer. I have bottled several ales after 3 weeks in the primary (I do not use a secondary) which were ALL bubbling away... with no issues. In fact, I do not even bother testing my FG until I bottle. Never had a problem, and why should I expect one? 3 weeks in usually more than enough time for an average gravity ale.

Again: Bubbling airlock is just that... it does not mean your fermentation is still happening OR not happening.

I hope you enjoy your beer!

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Old 01-17-2010, 01:55 AM   #4
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OK. That's good to know. I was just a little nervous about bottling. I'll take another reading tomorrow and see if the gravity moves.

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Old 01-17-2010, 02:00 AM   #5
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Uh, you moved your fermenter quite alot to move it downstairs, you kicked a lot of stuff up, and more than likey co2 is venting out of the fermenter, which was probably nicely trapped in the trub. Remember an airlock is not a fermentation gauge, first and foremost it is a vent, to do just what it did, release any co2 it needed to...

Of course the act of moving it COULD have started fermentation up also...but the only way to know it THAT is the case, is with your hydrometer, not because it is bubbling.....

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