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Old 08-01-2012, 12:42 AM   #1
stu4stew
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Hello all

I have been reading and watching quietly in the wings for about 6 months and bottled me first batch about a week ago. Thank you to all for all the help and information I have gained

Now to my ?
I brewed my second batch last fri, the 27th. I decided to do the best bitter kit from more beer.
the estimated OG was 1.042-45 I achieved 48. I cam back from a weekend away today to find my 3 piece airlock quiet I took a gravity reading and it was 1.018

Is it possible that I have been done after 3 days or what is going on????

 
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Old 08-01-2012, 12:49 AM   #2
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It is probably close but I would wait until at least day 10 before messing with it. It might go down a little more. I may be wrong but I thing the gravity drops the most in the first few days then the rate of drop slows, but continues for a while.

I usually just leave mine alone til day 21 or after then check the gravity and bottle.

 
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Old 08-01-2012, 01:15 AM   #3
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Don't forget that many things happen during fermentation. Most fermentation takes place in the first 4-5 days. But just because you've hit the Target og doesn't mean you should bottle/keg. There are plenty of things left for the yeast to do, mainly, absorbing all the crazy off flavors they produced during the active stages of fermentation. Let it sit for awhile before making any moves.

 
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Old 08-01-2012, 01:23 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stu4stew View Post
Is it possible that I have been done after 3 days or what is going on????
Totally possible. Regardless, give it at least a week and check again.
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Old 08-01-2012, 01:29 AM   #5
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As a rule of thumb, I usually let it sit for 14 days. For SOME styles it not going to get any better after that (i.e. Hefeweizen, APA (my opinion), most anything below 1.060 og that dosen't require dry hopping (again, my opinion)).
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Old 08-01-2012, 02:04 AM   #6
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As already stated, it's quite possible but needs more time,

BTW, what temperature is it at, warm fermentation Temperatures will definitely speed things up. Yeast like the warmth but in most cases your beer won't

Ales like to be in the mid 60's, if you're warmer then I would let the beer sit on the yeast to clean up possible off flavors from warmer temps
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Old 08-01-2012, 02:46 AM   #7
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A couple things.

1) You mentioned your gravity reading was higher than the kit predicted. When I read this thread, I realized why my gravity readings were a bit off on my first couple batches.

2) If your OG was in the 1.040s, then I have a hard time believing that 1.018 would be the real FG. I would guess that it would get down to 1.012, 1.010 or even lower. So, probably let it go another day or two, then take another reading. If you take a reading several days in a row and it stays steady, then it is finished fermenting.

It is possible to finish fermenting in 3 days. A lot of commercial breweries ferment huge batches in 3 days. However, the quickest fermentation I've had (in a half dozen batches) was about 5 days.

BTW, what yeast did you use?
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Old 08-01-2012, 04:40 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrrshotshot View Post
Don't forget that many things happen during fermentation. Most fermentation takes place in the first 4-5 days. But just because you've hit the Target og doesn't mean you should bottle/keg. There are plenty of things left for the yeast to do, mainly, absorbing all the crazy off flavors they produced during the active stages of fermentation. Let it sit for awhile before making any moves.
If you get the basics correct - proper fermentation temp, pitch enough yeast, aerate - you shouldn't have any "crazy off-flavors" being produced during any part of the fermentation. There are some intermediate products that get produced on the way to making alcohol (namely diacetyl and acetaldehyde), but they get consumed within 48-72 hours after vigorous fermentation is complete. All told, an average gravity ale should be finished in 7-10 days.

So, OP, how do you know if you're done? If you have a stable gravity reading for 3 or more days and the beer tastes good, you're ready to package. If you do have an off-flavor, you might want to let it sit depending on what it is. Some will get "cleaned up," some will fade a bit, and some you'll be stuck with.

 
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Old 08-02-2012, 05:25 PM   #9
stu4stew
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In response to some of the ?'s it probably was fermenting in the high 70's (due to the fact that i was gone for the weekend = no ac, and living in Sacramento area = hot)

but on a side note how do some of you without basements or dedicated fridges keep your fermenters cold in the hot summer months

 
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Old 08-02-2012, 05:43 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stu4stew View Post
In response to some of the ?'s it probably was fermenting in the high 70's (due to the fact that i was gone for the weekend = no ac, and living in Sacramento area = hot)

but on a side note how do some of you without basements or dedicated fridges keep your fermenters cold in the hot summer months
Swamp cooler; ~15 gal rubbermaid tote, water bath, ice bottles, towel. Place the fermenter in the water bath, cover with a towel so that the towel's wicking water around the top of the fermenter, use ice bottles to keep it at the desired temp.
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