Agave Ale with S-04 still bubbling even though at FG?

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fastenova

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I brewed up a summer ale with light LME and Agave syrup. Pitched Safale S-04 directly into wort. It fermeted out pretty quickly then slowed way down, which didn't seem too odd so far... But now it's slowed way way down but I'm still getting bubbles every 20-30 seconds.

OG was 1.057
3 days: 1.023
9 days: 1.019
12 days: 1.016
17 days: 1.014

Now, I'm at 20 days and it's still bubbling slowly, but it's been at 1.014 for several days now - normally at this point I'd have no more airlock activity and a stable FG, but I'm confused about how it's still producing that much CO2 if the gravity isn't decreasing? Brewersfriend suggests that my FG should be around 1.015 so I think I'm on target here.

This is also the first time I've used dry yeast for beer (only used it in the past for mead) so perhaps it's just slightly different behavior than I'm used to with Wyeast or WL?

I'm happy to let it sit a while longer as it is really clearing out nicely and is a beautiful color, but all I have is dark beers on tap and I want something to sip in my back yard with this nice weather! :D

Thoughts?
 

dcp27

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its not necessarily producing co2, its probably just trapped gas coming out of solution. since the fg is still sitting at 1.014 you're safe to rack it as you desire
 

avidhomebrewer

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I wouldn't rely on the airlock to determine if you have active fermentation or not. Go with your hydrometer to tell you for sure. Also, make sure you don't have any leaks around your stopper.
 

hector

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It sounds interesting to me that you reached 1.014 by using S-04 and LME !

I'm now very curious to know how it tastes , because S-04 ruined my previous three Extract-Batches .

Did you use Secondary or it still sits in the Primary ?

Hector
 
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fastenova

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Hector - I'm guessing that it has to do with the fermentability of the agave syrup - as far as I know it's much closer to being 100% fermentable than LME. This is my first time using S-04, I was going to use S-05 but my LHBS was out of it and they said it shouldn't have too big an impact on flavor.

I just kegged it Friday evening and force carbed, it's getting better each day. When undercarbonated you could taste the Agave a bit too much for my palate, but as it's nearing full carbonation it's tasting lighter and thinner, with a much better mouth feel. It's very aromatic, much more so than I was expecting for such a light beer. I used .25 oz of Nugget for bittering and .5 oz of Crystal for flavor (15 min) so it's barely hoppy at all. I may add a little more bittering hops next time.

If it stays this good I'll be brewing it again this summer and use S-05 to compare, or maybe even split into two smaller batches and ferment one with S-04 and one with S-05 to do a side by side.
 
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fastenova

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Also, just to update on the original issue - it had cleared out so well that I know the yeast had mostly settled, so I'm not concerned that it hadn't reached FG.

Is there something most people do to release the CO2 from the yeast cake itself before they rack/keg? As I'm siphoning off the beer, as the volume of beer (and thus pressure on top of the yeast cake) goes down I tend to see little bubbles of CO2 pop up bringing little yeasties into the solution. I was wondering about tapping the base of the fermenter with a rubber mallet to release the CO2 then giving it a couple of extra days to let the yeast re-settle. What do you guys think?
 
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