First days of fermentation

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Murphylee83

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So within 8 hours of fermentation I had c02 bubbles every 1 second, and through out that same day. The next day I had c02 every 2 seconds. It’s seems like it’s already starting to taper off a bit. I know it’s supposed to do that, but I just thought it would be about the same the next day if not more. I’m doing an imperial stout, and I guess my question is do you guys think that means a lower possible outcome in abv. I forgot to do a pre reading so I’m not sure where it was to begin with. I only have like 2 under my belt, so I’m just really trying to figure this all out
 

Lampy

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It sounds like your yeast are doing ok, but it is possible that your ABV might be lower than expected. That happened to me on a big stout that I made a few weeks ago: It was very active for a few days, then no activity was visible within the next couple days. Ended up with a higher final gravity and lower ABV than I expected.
I would give it at least 1 week past when visible bubbling stops before moving to bottling.
Any real experts have other words of advice?
 

CascadesBrewer

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So within 8 hours of fermentation I had c02 bubbles every 1 second, and through out that same day. The next day I had c02 every 2 seconds. It’s seems like it’s already starting to taper off a bit. I know it’s supposed to do that, but I just thought it would be about the same the next day if not more. I’m doing an imperial stout, and I guess my question is do you guys think that means a lower possible outcome in abv. I forgot to do a pre reading so I’m not sure where it was to begin with. I only have like 2 under my belt, so I’m just really trying to figure this all out

Providing more info would make it easier for people to chime in. What size batch? What was the expected starting gravity? What yeast did you pitch and how much? What is the temperature of the beer or the room where the fermenter is located?

A lot of ale yeast strains will perform 80% of the fermentation in the first day or two. This is especially true if fermented warm and if a large amount of healthy yeast is pitched. An aggressive fermentation of a high gravity beer can generate a lot of heat, pushing the temp of the wort up 8F / 3C or so above ambient.
 

jdauria

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CO2 bubbles alone do not measure fermentation. Are you using a bucket to ferment in? They are notorious for not sealing properly allowing CO2 to escape under the lid instead of through the airlock. Also, how much head space you have in the fermenter is a factor too, the more head space (distance from beer to top of bucket), means the CO2 won't escape out the airlock as fast. What yeast did you use, was it dry yeast or liquid and what was the gravity of your beer? Those all factor into fermentation also. An imperial stout means a strong beer, if using liquid yeast, if you only pitched 1 pack, it may have not been enough yeast, so it would take longer to really get fermenting.. If you used dry, it may be enough, but whether you sprinkled dry yeast on top of beer, or hydrated the yeast first with warm water, can also make a different on how fast the beer starts fermenting. Lastly, fermentation temp is key too, too cool, fermentation is slower, too warm, it will ferment fast but may get off-flavors. Basically, let it ride for 2 weeks at least, then open it and take a gravity reading.
 
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Murphylee83

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Providing more info would make it easier for people to chime in. What size batch? What was the expected starting gravity? What yeast did you pitch and how much? What is the temperature of the beer or the room where the fermenter is located?

A lot of ale yeast strains will perform 80% of the fermentation in the first day or two. This is especially true if fermented warm and if a large amount of healthy yeast is pitched. An aggressive fermentation of a high gravity beer can generate a lot of heat, pushing the temp of the wort up 8F / 3C or so above ambient.
Sure. I’m using 2 packs of safale-04 yeast, so maybe that is it. I didn’t know they fermented so quickly. Temp is around 73. 5 gallon batch. Expected gravity around 10.There is a yeast cake on the bottom already as well.
 
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Murphylee83

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CO2 bubbles alone do not measure fermentation. Are you using a bucket to ferment in? They are notorious for not sealing properly allowing CO2 to escape under the lid instead of through the airlock. Also, how much head space you have in the fermenter is a factor too, the more head space (distance from beer to top of bucket), means the CO2 won't escape out the airlock as fast. What yeast did you use, was it dry yeast or liquid and what was the gravity of your beer? Those all factor into fermentation also. An imperial stout means a strong beer, if using liquid yeast, if you only pitched 1 pack, it may have not been enough yeast, so it would take longer to really get fermenting.. If you used dry, it may be enough, but whether you sprinkled dry yeast on top of beer, or hydrated the yeast first with warm water, can also make a different on how fast the beer starts fermenting. Lastly, fermentation temp is key too, too cool, fermentation is slower, too warm, it will ferment fast but may get off-flavors. Basically, let it ride for 2 weeks at least, then open it and take a gravity reading.
It’s a 6 gallon bucket I’m using. There is 5 gallons in so a gallon headspace. I used 2 dry packs of safale-04. Aerated the wort really well, then sprinkled the dry yeast on top of the wort. What is better? Dry or rehydrated yeast? It seemed to take off super quick dry. I’m not going to touch it for another week and a half. I was just curious as to what’s going on is all, because I don’t know much about anything, and I’m getting really interested in just making my own beers now 🤦‍♂️ Gonna try to make a bananas fosters imperial stout….. if I don’t f it up 😂
 

hotbeer

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I just bottled a batch yesterday that was in the FV for a tad over two weeks and I never saw a bubble in the airlock. Not even a displacement of the water levels in it. Of course I don't stand by them anymore and watch them every moment.

From the SG readings It'd finished all but the last 0.001 of fermenting in the first 2 - 2½ day. So if you do or don't get any more bubbling, don't worry. It's not anything more than entertainment. Bubbles in the airlock are not a good way to tell anything about your beer.

I use dry yeast too, and S-04 for this last batch. I never aerate wort for dry yeast. Fermentis/SafAle says it's not necessary. So why do the extra work? Many other dry yeast makers say it's un-necessary too.

Just remember if you save your slurry from one batch and re-use it, it's no longer dry yeast. So then you need to do all the stuff you'd do for saved yeast of any sort.
 
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Murphylee83

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I just bottled a batch yesterday that was in the FV for a tad over two weeks and I never saw a bubble in the airlock. Not even a displacement of the water levels in it. Of course I don't stand by them anymore and watch them every moment.

From the SG readings It'd finished all but the last 0.001 of fermenting in the first 2 - 2½ day. So if you do or don't get any more bubbling, don't worry. It's not anything more than entertainment. Bubbles in the airlock are not a good way to tell anything about your beer.

I use dry yeast too, and S-04 for this last batch. I never aerate wort for dry yeast. Fermentis/SafAle says it's not necessary. So why do the extra work? Many other dry yeast makers say it's un-necessary too.

Just remember if you save your slurry from one batch and re-use it, it's no longer dry yeast. So then you need to do all the stuff you'd do for saved yeast of any sort.
Thanks for the help. I just want to make sure I’m doing things right. 😂 I think that was the 1st time I used the s-04. it’s hard for me not to watch it rn. It’s like that shiny new toy to me at the moment. I’ll eventually get over watching it. I’ve just seen a lot of people saying aeration helps. I’ve just never consulted anyone to see if it actually helps. I know the biggest factor seems to be just the temp range.
 

hottpeper13

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If this is a kit it should tell you the expected SG. When I make beers 1.100 and up they stay in primary for 4 weeks. My others are in for 3 weeks ,even Kveiks.
The best procedure I follow for BIG brews is to make a small beer first and then repitch the entire cake.
 

bobeer

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Depending on the starting gravity 2 packs of s04 should be plenty of yeast; even without a starter. Usually, for big beers, I'd suggest making a starter but 2 packs of yeast should be fine. High gravity beers take longer to finish verses lower gravity beers so I'd let it sit for a little while. If you're in cooler temps currently that is good for primary fermentation but you'll want to warm it up a little bit for it to totally finish up and clean up any biproducts of fermentation. I wouldn't worry much about the airlock activity. I also wouldn't worry about saving the yeast from this beer as with bigger beers the yeast is totally spent after they're done so I'd just trash all the yeast from this batch.
 
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