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Old 01-16-2013, 02:07 AM   #1
bwpigeon
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Default Should I bottle the beer or wait

My first time brewing. I am doing a Red Ale. My question. I have had the wort in the fermenter for 9 days. Last night I took the lid off with the intent to bottle the beer. The top of the wort was covered with a layer of small bubbles and you could see an new bubble coming to the surface. There are not a lot of new bubbles being produced but there appears to still be fermentation. Should I wait a few more days or is it safe to bottle the beer.


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Old 01-16-2013, 02:12 AM   #2
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When in doubt wait it out... Also, a hydrometer sample will tell you what the SG is. Drink the sample to see how it tastes. Take another sample 3-5 days later and see what the SG is. IF the SG is identical, then it's done fermenting. IF there's no off flavors, it can be bottled at any time. If you taste anything like 'green apples' then give it more time. IF you taste anything off, give it more time. If you're paranoid about what the flavor means, you can look it up, and/or post (best to look it up first though). 99% chance you'll be told to just give it more time.


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Old 01-16-2013, 02:15 AM   #3
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Do you have a hydrometer? The best way to tell is fermentation is complete is by taking hydrometer readings 2-3 days apart and observing consistent gravity readings. Then once you have 2 readings in a row with no change, fermentation is complete, but it's a good idea to leave it in the primary for another week or so to let the yeast finish their job and "clean up". You definitely don't want to bottle beer which is not fermented completely. You'll end up with bottle bombs.
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Old 01-16-2013, 02:16 AM   #4
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Follow the advice above, sage words.
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Old 01-16-2013, 02:17 AM   #5
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Wait at least 3 weeks before you bottle your beer, 9 days is not enough to clean up after the yeast. Also, if you are seeing activity in the beer, more than likely it is still fermenting. The best thing to do at this point is take a gravity reading. Have you taken one yet? The last thing that you need to do is bottle while it is still fermenting and cause yourself some bottle bombs.
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Old 01-16-2013, 02:25 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bwpigeon View Post
My first time brewing. I am doing a Red Ale. My question. I have had the wort in the fermenter for 9 days. Last night I took the lid off with the intent to bottle the beer. The top of the wort was covered with a layer of small bubbles and you could see an new bubble coming to the surface. There are not a lot of new bubbles being produced but there appears to still be fermentation. Should I wait a few more days or is it safe to bottle the beer.
Do you see any activity in the airlock? Once you take the lid off you introduce oxygen to the beer, Put the lid back on and let it ferment for two more days. You will want to see some airlock activity. The co2 aka airlock activity will remove the oxygen from the top of the beer. most beers that have a ending gravity of 1.010 are complete! , however this reading should be the same or close to the same in 2 days from last reading, U shouls be able to buy a hydromoter for 7.00 from your HSBS. Good luck!
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Old 01-16-2013, 02:28 AM   #7
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Invest the $8 and buy a hydrometer if you don't have one. 9 days should be safe (I personally don't touch anything before three weeks, but that doesn't mean you can't go quicker), but you can't be sure without gravity readings.

Bubbles are cool, but they tell you between jack and squat. No hydrometer readings, no way to be sure.
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Old 01-16-2013, 02:33 AM   #8
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WAIT!!!!

Your beer MAY be done fermenting, or it may not. Time is your friend. As long as you do not leave the beer in the primary fermenter for SEVERAL months, longer fermentations are better. I (like many other brewers here) recommend fermenting for 3 weeks. Leave it a while longer, and you will have better tasting beer as a result
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Old 01-16-2013, 02:35 AM   #9
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Activity or lack of activity in airlocks isn't any indication of fermentation or fermentation stopped. You need to take a gravity reading over the course of 2-3 days to be sure.
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Old 01-16-2013, 08:25 PM   #10
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Default Gravity Reading

Quote:
Originally Posted by dkeller12 View Post
Wait at least 3 weeks before you bottle your beer, 9 days is not enough to clean up after the yeast. Also, if you are seeing activity in the beer, more than likely it is still fermenting. The best thing to do at this point is take a gravity reading. Have you taken one yet? The last thing that you need to do is bottle while it is still fermenting and cause yourself some bottle bombs.
The Gravity reading is 1.010


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