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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > Still showing signs of fermentation?
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Old 05-12-2011, 02:01 PM   #1
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Default Still showing signs of fermentation?

I brewed a 60 minute IPA clone about four weeks ago and it is still showing signs of fermentation. I used whitelabs california ale yeast. It was in the primary for a week and has been in the secondary dry hopping for three weeks now. Is it normal to show signs of fermentation for this long and will there be any effects on my brew?

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Old 05-12-2011, 02:04 PM   #2
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Just curious, what signs is it showing?

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Old 05-12-2011, 02:06 PM   #3
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The airlock is still bubbling occasionally and you can see activity through the glass.

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Old 05-12-2011, 02:27 PM   #4
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Hmmm...

I'm still very new to this, so hopefully one of the senior members will come and tell you if I'm wrong about this, but from what I've read, just because the airlock is bubbling doesn't necesarrily mean it's fermenting. Could be excess CO2 coming out of the brew, or other factors.

A more knowledgable member might know more about that tpe of yeast...I don't though.

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Old 05-12-2011, 03:39 PM   #5
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I predict that Revvy will soon show up with a ten-paragraph post about this, but I can sum up what he will say in a single word:

Hydrometer.

Edit: Okay, I'll say a bit more. Listen, YMMV, but for me, I have never had a beer stop making bubbles in the fermentation lock. Ever. I think that is unusual, and I can't say what it is specifically about my set up that causes this, but it just keeps bubbling for me, about once every minute or two, even after active fermentation has long ago ceased. The usual explanation is that it is CO2 that is already in solution from previous fermentation being slowly released.

If you're getting several bubbles per minute, that usually would indicate fermentation is still active, but even still, if it's been as long as you say I would take some hydrometer readings to double-check that. Take a hydrometer reading, wait 2-3 days and take another, and if it's still the same then it isn't fermenting, no matter what your airlock is doing.

I don't care if once a day your airlock transforms into a magical elf, leaps merrily off the carboy, dances a little jig and then climbs back on and turns back into an airlock. If the hydrometer says the beer is done fermenting, then it's done fermenting.

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Old 05-12-2011, 04:13 PM   #6
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The fermentation temperature, variety of yeast, and amount of fermentable sugars available are all key factors in the length of your fermentation.

Two questions:

1. What temperature was your primary and what temperature is your secondary?

2. How much apparent attenuation did you have when you transferred from primary to secondary?

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