Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Beer Discussion > Irish Red Ale still fermenting after a month?
Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 12-10-2012, 06:45 PM   #1
kombat
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 1 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 3,928
Liked 1225 Times on 772 Posts
Likes Given: 1099

Default Irish Red Ale still fermenting after a month?

On Nov. 11, I brewed an Irish Red Ale (Donovan's Irish Sunset). The yeast was a washed Wyeast Irish Ale that had been used just once before, in a Dry Irish Stout. The yeast had spent barely a day in storage (in the fridge) before being pitched into the Irish Red Ale.

I fermented in a 6.5 gallon carboy, sitting in a plastic rope tub filled with water, replacing 2-3 frozen Gatorade bottles twice per day (morning & night). The carboy was covered with a wet t-shirt.

After a week (Nov. 18), I moved the carboy out of the swamp cooler and up onto a shelf, where it's been sitting ever since. The temperature strip on the carboy indicates 66-68 F.

I took a gravity reading 2 weeks ago, and it came in at 1.010, so I think it's done. But here's the weird part - the airlock is still bubbling.

I know, I know, "the airlock is not a sign of fermentation, lots of things can cause it to bubble." But the thing is, I can't imagine what else it would be. The carboy has not been touched or disturbed, so it can't be gas being knocked out of solution. The temperature hasn't changed, so it can't be expansion/contraction of air in the carboy. And there are several small "islands" of clusters of bubbles on the surface of the beer. When I watch the airlock, it's not like it's frequently bubbling, but there are bubbles in the StarSan in the airlock, indicating that there has been activity. And the beer is pretty cloudy, suggesting there is still convective activity inside preventing sediment from settling out.

I was hoping to cold-crash, gelatin, and keg this thing over the next week. And the gravity suggests it's done. But these other signs are making me apprehensive. Has anyone else ever experienced anything like this? Any suggestions as to what might be going on? Is it the washed and reused yeast that maybe just doesn't want to quit?


kombat is offline
 
Reply With Quote
Old 12-10-2012, 06:57 PM   #2
501irishred
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
501irishred's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Benton, Arkansas
Posts: 1,252
Liked 124 Times on 99 Posts
Likes Given: 29

Default

You never mentioned what the temp was while sitting in the swamp cooler. If it were a little too cool, it could have got off to a slow start and really got going good only after sitting in the warmer 66-68 for a while...... Still may be ready, but might give it another couple days before checking to make sure.


501irishred is offline
 
Reply With Quote
Old 12-10-2012, 07:09 PM   #3
F250
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Jefferson City, MO
Posts: 516
Liked 36 Times on 33 Posts
Likes Given: 82

Default

It probably just off gassed some C02 as it warmed up. That would be my thinking anyway.

Rick
__________________
Primary - Big Pale Citra Ale (AG)(1.063)
Secondary - Bitter (AG)
Bottled - Best Bitter, Bitter, SNPA clone
On deck - Tank #7 clone.
F250 is offline
 
Reply With Quote
Old 12-10-2012, 07:19 PM   #4
daksin
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
daksin's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: San Diego, CA
Posts: 4,435
Liked 320 Times on 276 Posts
Likes Given: 346

Default

Really, a million things could cause it- changes in barometric pressure are definitely one of them. I wouldn't worry about it.
__________________
I can't be arsed to keep up this list of what's in the fermenters, but hey, check out the cool brewery I own!

twitter.com/2kidsbrewing .. facebook.com/2kidsbrewing .. 2kidsbrewing.com
daksin is offline
 
Reply With Quote
Old 12-10-2012, 08:54 PM   #5
homebrewdad
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
homebrewdad's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Birmingham, AL
Posts: 3,265
Liked 380 Times on 277 Posts
Likes Given: 251

Default

Easy way to tell. Take another gravity reading. Consistent reading for three days (or same reading taken twice 72 hours apart) tells you fermentation is done.

An aside: the bubbles are almost certainly just off gassing.
__________________
Check out the priming sugar calculator, yeast starter calculator, and the beer calorie calculator.
homebrewdad is offline
 
Reply With Quote
Old 12-27-2012, 06:29 PM   #6
ThreeSquare
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: , Wisconsin
Posts: 1
Likes Given: 1

Default

Wow! I have the exact same thing... I Brewed an Irish Red on November 24th. I also used a washed Wyeast Irish Ale. Fermentation at 66 seemed fairly normal but a little slow. Racked to secondary two weeks later. Today (Dec 27) I'm still getting a bubble every couple of minutes. I'm pretty sure I'm at terminal gravity (consecutive readings of 1.014). Is this yeast known as a slow fermenting yeast? Did you bottle or wait for a while?


ThreeSquare is offline
 
Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Marzen still fermenting after a month Greatwhite4 Fermentation & Yeast 3 02-11-2012 04:39 PM
Fermenting Coopers Irish stout at 34c schia General Beer Discussion 10 01-04-2012 10:41 AM
IPA still fermenting at a month and a half...was there too little yeast? Yardwork Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 14 07-25-2011 06:54 PM
NB Dry Irish Stout - Stopped fermenting jamesjensen1068 Extract Brewing 9 05-04-2010 09:53 PM
Irish stout fermenting insnekamkze86 Fermentation & Yeast 20 09-07-2009 12:56 AM


Forum Jump

Newest Threads

LATEST SPONSOR DEALS