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Old 03-21-2013, 10:25 PM   #1
jcs401
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How long should i ferment my beer? What are the next steps and how long for each step?



 
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Old 03-21-2013, 10:29 PM   #2
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I would let it go for at least 2 weeks, then check the specific gravity. Take another reading a few days later and if they match, it's finished.


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Old 03-21-2013, 10:39 PM   #3
peters6278
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The answer to your question depends entirely on what kind of beer your making, what your Original Gravity is, what yeast strain you're using, and what your fermentation temperature is. The minimum fermentation time can be as short as a few days (for average gravity ales fermented at 70+ degrees) to a month or more (for high gravity ales or lagers with cold fermentation temperatures. I'd say about 2 weeks is a good estimate for average gravity ales. I say estimate, since although you can pick a day to 'stop' fermentation, the yeast are really in charge here and do their thing at their schedule. Best not to rack the beer out of your fermenter until the yeast are done (confirmed by unchanged hydrometer readings over a few consecutive days, or when you're Final Gravity is sufficiently low enough to confirm you've gotten full attenuation.

Can you share your recipe and yeast strain? I can give you a better idea of what to expect once I see it.

 
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Old 03-21-2013, 10:49 PM   #4
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Til it's done fermenting is the only answer. The next question's answer is til the gravity readings hold steady for 3 samples over the course of a few days.
Then it will depend on if you are bottling or kegging.
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Old 03-23-2013, 02:11 PM   #5
jcs401
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So when is it ok to open the lid on my fermenting bucket to take samples? It been fermenting for 6 days. Should I wait longer to open the lid for samples?

 
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Old 03-23-2013, 02:54 PM   #6
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I'd say yes. I usually wait till the 2 week mark to do a first FG test just to see how close it is to done. If it's still afew points too high above projected FG,I give it another week,& check again. When the numbers are the same 2-3 days apart,it's done. Then I give it 3-7 days to clean up by products of fermentation & settle out clear or slightly misty before bottling.
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Old 03-23-2013, 03:29 PM   #7
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One piece of advice: get a either a winethief or a turkey baster to take the samples with, and when you are ready to take the sample, clean it carefully and sterilize it with a no-rinse solution (StarSan is probably the best, IME, though others may disagree) immediately before use. That will minimize the risks involved with taking the samples.
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Old 03-23-2013, 03:46 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Schol-R-LEA View Post
One piece of advice: get a either a winethief or a turkey baster to take the samples with, and when you are ready to take the sample, clean it carefully and sterilize it with a no-rinse solution (StarSan is probably the best, IME, though others may disagree) immediately before use. That will minimize the risks involved with taking the samples.
+1 for a wine thief and star san. Makes it very easy. You also get to taste your beer at this point!

 
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Old 03-23-2013, 08:17 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Schol-R-LEA View Post
One piece of advice: get a either a winethief or a turkey baster to take the samples with, and when you are ready to take the sample, clean it carefully and sterilize it with a no-rinse solution (StarSan is probably the best, IME, though others may disagree) immediately before use. That will minimize the risks involved with taking the samples.
Quote:
Originally Posted by json2001 View Post
+1 for a wine thief and star san. Makes it very easy. You also get to taste your beer at this point!
Or if the OP is using a bucket just sanitize the hydrometer and drop it in. My hydrometer testing tube takes more than I want to taste so I sometimes just drop it in the bucket.
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Old 03-23-2013, 08:19 PM   #10
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I use the tube the hydrometer came in for testing. Uses less beer.


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