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Old 07-28-2011, 12:48 AM   #1
Khan
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Default Fermentation Question - aka What is going on?

I brewed Yooper's Dogfish Head 60 min clone on 6/19. I measured the SG at 1.075. I pitched a starter of Pacman yeast and fermentation took off as expected. I used a cooler and wet t-shirts to keep the temp at around 65 degrees. On 7/2, I took a SG reading and got 1.028, which seemed high to me. I took the carboy out of the cooler and let it warm up to room temp, around 70-72. There was no krausen visible at this point, but I could see bubbles popping on the surface.

On 7/7, I racked to a secondary and dry-hopped, I know I should have waited, but I needed the carboy. While in the secondary I still noticed bubbles forming around the hop bag. I read somewhere that you're not supposed to dry hop for much more than two weeks, so yesterday (7/26), I racked into a keg and just let it sit. The secondary had a rather large yeast cake at the bottom of the carboy. I took a SG reading today and got 1.020. I tasted the sample, and it was very good, but it also seemed slightly carbonated. There was also head and lacing when I put the sample into the test tube.

My question is this, fermentation has been going on for over 5 weeks. Is this normal? I've never had a beer take this long before. Any thoughts?


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Old 07-28-2011, 01:08 AM   #2
Zamial
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Originally Posted by Khan View Post
On 7/2, I took a SG reading and got 1.028, which seemed high to me. On 7/7, I racked to a secondary and dry-hopped, I know I should have waited, but I needed the carboy. I read somewhere that you're not supposed to dry hop for much more than two weeks, so yesterday (7/26), I racked into a keg and just let it sit I took a SG reading today and got 1.020.

My question is this, fermentation has been going on for over 5 weeks. Is this normal? I've never had a beer take this long before. Any thoughts?
Ok what you did was take 1 hydro reading, based all other fermentation activity off of time + bubbles. (There are people that get jacked hard for this...FYI) A HYDROMETER/REFRACTOMETER READING IS THE ONLY WAY TO KNOW WHAT IS HAPPENING WITH FERMENTATION. This is not me just saying so it is hard fact and you have gone above and beyond to prove this...

Fermentation happens on yeasts time + schedule not ours. They are hard core little party animals but some times they get lazy and take awhile to do their thing.

What you did was move the ale to secondary during active fermentation. Doing this removed the ale from the yeast so it took FOREVER for the yeast to reproduce and try to finish fermentation. This is why there was a yeast cake in secondary...

What you should have done is this: Taken a OG reading then pitched the yeast into the wort. Wait a minimum of 3 weeks (there are a few exceptions to this) and take another reading then wait 24 hours and take another. When you have 2 readings 24 hours or more apart that are the same, fermentation is done. Then rack to secondary and start the dry hopping. When you are happy with the results from dry hopping rack to keg.
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