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Old 10-10-2012, 06:16 PM   #1
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Default Beginner fermentation question

Brewed an Oktoberfest style ale with the True Brew kit. Bought an extra can of malt extract and added two teaspoons of cinnamon to give the brew more depth.

So I brewed on Friday, and after 24 hours in the carboy the airlock was bubbling pretty rapidly. Now, a few days later I'm counting about 2 bubbles every 2.5-3 minutes. This seems slow, I remember with other successful batches I've brewed at least a couple of bubbles per minute.

Am I worried for no reason? And how long should I keep this in the carboy after the bubbling stops completely?

Thanks!


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Old 10-10-2012, 06:19 PM   #2
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You'll be fine. You should leave it in the carboy until fermentation has stopped. So get your beer thief and hydrometer, take a reading, see where its at... and if you get the same number over the next couple of days, you're done.


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Old 10-10-2012, 06:19 PM   #3
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Don't count your bubbles, it doesn't mean anything.
Fermentation hasn't stopped, BUBBLING has...it's NOT the same thing. An airlock is a vent for EXCESS co2, it's not a fermentation gauge. You had a daysof active fermentation, meaning lots of EXCESS co2 was being produced. But it's wound down now...that doesn't mean it's stopped...it's just slowing down as less sugar is still there to be eaten by the yeast. And as there is less sugar to be eaten, then the yeast are farting less....therefore there's no excess gass to need to be released. Doesn't mean they're not finished..



Fermentation is not always dynamic...just because you don't SEE anything happening doesn't mean that the yeast aren't happily chewing away at whatever fermentables are in there....the only way to know comes from gravity readings, and nothing else.


That's why you need to seperate the idea of bubbling = fermentation from your mindset.

Don't stress about what an airlock does or doesn't do. The rate or lack of or whether or not it bubbles at all, or if it starts and stops has more relation to the environment the fermenter is in, rather than fermentation itself. All it is is a vent, a valve to let our excess gas, especially co2, nothing else. It's not a fermentation gauge whatsoever.

It could just as easily be bubbling or stop bubbling for that matter, due to changes in barometric pressure, temperature, or whether or not the cat or vacuum cleaner bumped into it, as it could be to because it's still fermenting.

Activity, action, bubbles, even krausen can be affected by the envoironment just as much as it being caused by the yeast...so going by that is NOT reliable.

If you want to know what's going on with your beer, then take a gravity reading. The only way to truly know what is going on in your fermenter is with your hydrometer. Like I said here in my blog, which I encourage you to read, Think evaluation before action you sure as HELL wouldn't want a doctor to start cutting on you unless he used the proper diagnostic instuments like x-rays first, right? You wouldn't want him to just take a look in your eyes briefly and say "I'm cutting into your chest first thing in the morning." You would want them to use the right diagnostic tools before the slice and dice, right? You'd cry malpractice, I would hope, if they didn't say they were sending you for an MRI and other things before going in....
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Old 10-10-2012, 06:40 PM   #4
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Thank you both for the excellent advice and thank you Revvy for the link to your blog.
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Old 10-11-2012, 06:46 PM   #5
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I always look forward to this post from Revvy. You shoul be honored that he wrote a new one just for you instead of copy and paste from the library.
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Old 10-11-2012, 07:01 PM   #6
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Revvy,
That is a cool little cartoon. Mind if I steal it and blow it up and paste it to the door of my fermenting chamber? I too am way to quick to act sometimes and all it ever did was make more work or create a mess. It would be a great reminder and good for a laugh too.
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Old 10-11-2012, 07:09 PM   #7
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A lot of folks have done it, go for it.
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Old 10-11-2012, 07:18 PM   #8
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I guess I needed to read that again myself. 1st partial mash 2 days ago looked to be doing nada zippo on day 2. My re-hydration temp was off for the US-05,& cell counts were down so far,by this morning there was little krausen & most of the yeast was floating around in clumps.
This PM stuff is def different. Maybe the amount of nutrients in fresh mash with a little extract is maybe more than extracts with who knows how many un-fermentables? I was just wondering about that aspect of it?...
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Old 10-11-2012, 07:24 PM   #9
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I would have copy/pasted the beginner forum right in this thread. Revvy, just showing he has the patience of a brewer who specializes in sours.
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Old 10-11-2012, 07:33 PM   #10
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Revvy is a liar, he works at the hydrometer factory. Hydrometers are useless. airlock activity is the only true gauge of fermentation.


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