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Old 04-02-2013, 05:14 PM   #1
Watson79
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My first batch. After 16 hours the yeast was going so crazy it was coming through the airlock. Thanks to this forum I learned how to make a blow-off. Everything was going great, but then after 30 hours the output stopped. I"m not getting any bubbles at all. If I press ever so slightly on the lid of the fermenter I get a bubble or two. Is it done fermenting? what do I do?

 
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Old 04-02-2013, 05:19 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Watson79 View Post
My first batch. After 16 hours the yeast was going so crazy it was coming through the airlock. Thanks to this forum I learned how to make a blow-off. Everything was going great, but then after 30 hours the output stopped. I"m not getting any bubbles at all. If I press ever so slightly on the lid of the fermenter I get a bubble or two. Is it done fermenting? what do I do?
Chances are your lid isn't making a complete seal and is allowing gas to escape at the rate of production. Just chill out for now. Check on it after 5 or so days and see how it's doing.

 
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Old 04-02-2013, 05:19 PM   #3
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When the rapid bubbling slows or stops,only initial fermentation is done. It'll now slowly,uneventfully creep down to FG. Then give it another 3-7 days to clean up by products of fermentation & settle out clear or slightly misty.
Then prime & bottle away.
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Old 04-02-2013, 05:28 PM   #4
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Each yeast is different, some will do most of the fermentation right up front while others will drag on for a week or two with noticeable activity. The fermentation is still ongoing, just at a more mellow pace so just give it time to finish up. Also, airlock activity is not the best way to judge what is going on in there.

 
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Old 04-02-2013, 05:44 PM   #5
Watson79
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Awesome guys, thanks so much. I had been planning on secondary fermenting. (It's an imperial stout.) Should I scrap that plan and just let it sit longer in primary?

 
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Old 04-02-2013, 05:48 PM   #6
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no reason at all to do a secondary unless you are planning to batch-age it for a long time (more than a few months) or if you are adding something like fruit or oak. Otherwise the secondary will not really accomplish anything and you should just skip it. In any case, for an imperial stout I wouldn't do anything with it for a minimum of 3-4 weeks in primary. It could take several weeks longer for a big beer, depending on a number of factors. Of course only gravity readings will tell you when the fermentation is 100% complete.

 
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Old 04-02-2013, 08:11 PM   #7
Watson79
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Also, airlock activity is not the best way to judge what is going on in there.
What is the best way to judge? The directions all say airlock activity, but this is my first time. Is it simply FG? If so, doesn't checking FG risk introducing infection?

 
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Old 04-02-2013, 08:12 PM   #8
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What is the best way to judge? The directions all say airlock activity, but this is my first time. Is it simply FG? If so, doesn't checking FG risk introducing infection?
Checking the gravity is the only way to know. As long as you clean and sanitize everything that touches the beer you'll be fine.

 
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Old 04-02-2013, 08:24 PM   #9
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There aren't many bacteria that can live in the harsh conditions that beer provides for them, being acidic and alcoholic. Doing a decent job of sanitation will take care of the few that can.

 
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Old 04-02-2013, 08:40 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Watson79 View Post
What is the best way to judge? The directions all say airlock activity, but this is my first time. Is it simply FG? If so, doesn't checking FG risk introducing infection?
If your instructions are telling you to only use airlock activity to tell you whether fermentation is complete, I would seriously question the validity of those instructions. Gravity readings are the only sure way to know what is going on with your fermentation. Airlock activity can be affected by a variety of factors including temperature changes. About an hour ago I pulled a bucket out of my swamp cooler (big bin filled with cold water) and the change in pressure immediately made the airlock go crazy. As far as infections, just sanitize everything and practice good sanitation and you'll be fine.

 
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