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Old 01-26-2012, 03:20 AM   #1
Giants12
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The airlock on my first brew just stopped bubbling after 4 days...I don't have a secondary ...so I will go straight from my primary to bottling bucket. How much longer should I leave it on the yeast to clarify before bottling? Should I use bottling yeast or will the priming sugar be enough? Speaking of which...how does that even work if most of the primary yeast is already done?


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Old 01-26-2012, 03:24 AM   #2
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Do not trust the bubbling to tell you if the beer is done - take a gravity reading. If the gravity remains unchanged for two (optimally, three) days, then you know fermentation is complete.

That being said, don't rush things. If I were you, I'd wait at least two weeks from brewing to bottle (if your fermentation is done at day four) - that will give the yeast time to clean up, and your flavor will be better.

Yes, you need to add priming sugar when you bottle - the fermentation stops because the yeast have eaten all of the sugar in your beer (not because they are dead and gone). Priming sugar gives them something new to eat, which they convert to CO2, which gives you fizzy beer.


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Old 01-26-2012, 03:45 AM   #3
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Just took a reading and I am still at 1.020....
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Old 01-26-2012, 04:03 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Giants12 View Post
Just took a reading and I am still at 1.020....
Are these readings on different days? If so, take one more tomorrow night to make sure.

1.020 is a little high for a FG for most styles (though it can be a common point for fermentation to stop at). Do you know what your target FG was supposed to be? You might try giving the fermenter a swirl to get the yeast back up into suspension, and possibly working again.

Do you know what temperature your beer is at? If it's pretty cold, you may also want to consider moving it somewhere a few degrees warmer to get the yeast active.

Regardless, though, you don't want to rush and bottle after only four days. You could be risking bottle bombs, and you almost certainly won't end up with as tasty a beer as you would if you give it a week or two more.
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Old 01-26-2012, 04:12 AM   #5
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Estimated FG is 1.010 - 1.012...so I must have a way to go yet. It is at 65 degrees right now...I will try moving to a warmer place and giving it a quick stir and see if that gets things going again. At what point do u make the call to re-pitch?
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Old 01-26-2012, 04:19 AM   #6
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I know the classic "Omg, don't use the airlock as a sign of fermentation!" warning. I never had a problem until just recently. I probably a good 15 batches on a particular bucket. Pitched a healthy rate of US-04 in a nice friendly American brown ale. Knowing that my 04 is a dirty little beast, I was expecting to clean up a possible blow off. Days went by, no airlock activity. I knew healthy fresh harvest yeast was used, pitched at a decent temp... so I checked the lid seal. Pushed down, played with it, tinkered a bit. Bingo. Overtime the lids fail to secure as well as they did when new. Exiting CO2 takes the path of least resistance. Seeping through a tiny gap around the lid is easier than pushing through the .02 (if that) psi of an airlock.

/Sun Drop caffeine induced ramble that has little to do with the topic. Musings of "what I recently learned"
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Old 01-26-2012, 04:25 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Giants12 View Post
Estimated FG is 1.010 - 1.012...so I must have a way to go yet. It is at 65 degrees right now...I will try moving to a warmer place and giving it a quick stir and see if that gets things going again. At what point do u make the call to re-pitch?
Hmmm. 65 shold be fine for most any ale yeast. Do give it a swirl (not a stir).

As for repitching? I'm too green myself to answer that one. I would urge pateince, though - 4 days is not that long.

My first brew (which, granted, pullled a 1.075 OG reading) took ten full days before the airlock stopped bubbling. Sure, it was mostly done by day four, but it continued to bubble all the way up onto day ten.
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Old 01-26-2012, 04:37 AM   #8
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Leave it alone until Sunday. Take a grav reading. If it hasn't changed, you might be stalled. Post back and cross the re-pitching bridge when you get to it. I'll bet it changes, though.

If it's lower, leave it alone for 2 weeks. Then, take grav readings on 3 consecutive days. If they are the same all 3 days, bottle at your leisure.
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Old 01-28-2012, 03:38 AM   #9
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Thanks all...really appreciate the help . This is a good group of people focused on home brews.
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Old 01-28-2012, 03:51 AM   #10
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From brew day, put in a 70* closet and forget about it for a month. Then switch it to the bottling bucket.

Search on here about doing long primaries.


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