Has fermentation stopped??

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Willygilly

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My 5 gallon batch of pale ale seems to have stopped fermentation. There were bubbles coming through my air lock slowly for the first couple of days, but now there is nothing. This batch of wort is 6 days old. I have not done anything to try and restart it, but have considered a couple of things. I am brewing in a 25 Gal double wall stainless steel vessel. See attached pics. I'm not sure what to do or what to check for. Any help will be greatly appreciated.
 

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lumpher

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It could very well have finished in 6 days, but the only way to be sure is to check it with a hydrometer a few days in a row (2 or 3) and see if there's no change. It depends on yeast, ingredients, and starting gravity, but a pale ale will usually end up around 1.012.
 

RM-MN

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My 5 gallon batch of pale ale seems to have stopped fermentation. There were bubbles coming through my air lock slowly for the first couple of days, but now there is nothing. This batch of wort is 6 days old. I have not done anything to try and restart it, but have considered a couple of things. I am brewing in a 25 Gal double wall stainless steel vessel. See attached pics. I'm not sure what to do or what to check for. Any help will be greatly appreciated.

There are two things working in tandem here. First is that the yeast only produce CO2 during the time there is plenty of sugar to eat. They usually will have eaten that within 2-3 days. Second is that you have a very small leak in the seal of your fermenter. During the fastest fermentation time there is a lot of CO2 produced and it will overpower the leak and make the airlock bubble slowly. By day 6 all the sugar is gone, the yeast probably have completed eating secondary compounds produced during the early phase and now are beginning to flocculate and settle out. This will continue for a long time but most of us only let the early material to settle before we bottle or keg it but the longer you wait the less sediment will make it into your bottles or keg. I normally set my beers have between 2 and 4 weeks in the fermenter.
 

ncbrewer

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I agree there's no indication of a problem. I would target three weeks in the fermenter before bottling. Take an early gravity sample three days ahead, then another on bottling day to see if gravity is stable. It will normally be finished by that time, but if it has dropped, wait and check again later. And it should be clear or slightly misty.
 

hotbeer

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When you zoom in on the 2nd pic, there seem to be plenty of bubbles. Lots of things can make your airlock not bubble while lots is going on in your beer and it is bubbling.

Bubbles really don't tell you whether it's finished fermenting. Check with a hydrometer or just wait 2 to 3 weeks and till your beer looks... dead. I typically don't even sample for a SG until the beer starts to look real clean. That's usually at least 10 days, sometimes 5 weeks.

And just because it is finished fermenting doesn't mean that it's ready to bottle or keg. More good stuff seems to happen after the ferment if you leave it on the yeast cake.

There are some very similar threads listed at the bottom of this page that you might want to browse through.

And this one too....
Everything stopped!
 

hottpeper13

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You stated a double wall fermenter. How did you cool it during the exponential phase? When fermenting at high temps it's over quickly.
 

hotbeer

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For an ale, I'm not to certain that active cooling is necessary. But if that is a double walled FV then it'd be a good idea to monitor what the temp of the beer is inside. Then if your beer routinely exceeds the upper limit of the ideal range for your yeast, then you can decide how you want to manage that. But even if you don't, I doubt that a brief excursion of temps outside the ideal range will hurt your beer so much that you won't like it.

Safale US-05 and WB-06 currently claim 78.8° F (26° C) as the upper ideal limit. Others might be as high or higher too.

Usually my beers only spike to about 74 to maybe briefly 76°F for just a day maybe less maybe more when the krauesen is about at it's most active.
 
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