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Help, quick! Fermentaton Finished???

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goodiekev

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I was just about to rack my latest brew, Irish Stout, over to secondary, but when I removed the lid of the primary, there are still small bubbles creaping up to the wort surface. It has been eight days since I brewed. I only used one packet of ale yeast and I haven't seen or heard the airlock move for over three days. Should I replace lid and airlock and let it continue for a few more days? Or will it be okay to go ahead rack. Was planning on secondary for two weeks before bottling. Thanks in advance!

K
 

michael.berta

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Take a hydrometer reading and transfer when you reach your final gravity. We can't count on cheap plastic airlocks to gage fermentation...
 

android

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i'm sure even if it isn't finished (most likely it's close), it won't hurt much to rack it to secondary.
 

cjdezz

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I just made an irish stout and it turned out good. I had a similar problem ie not knowing if fermentation had stopped. I checked the gravity and although it was a little higher than i would of liked it wasn't changing over 2 days so i deemed fermentation done. If you don't have a hydrometer its a guessing game as to if fermentation is done or not. They only cost a few bucks!
 
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goodiekev

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Alright, thanks for all the relpies. I have decided to leave it in primary at least for the rest of the week.Then, I will measure again.

The closet in which the fermentation is left stays around 55 degrees F, so maybe that has contributed to a slightly longer fermentation period. OG was an estimated 1.062, using an average of various calculators that use the same inputs. Current SG is 1.026 at 55 degrees F.

On a side note, does anyone have any experience with the built in Alcohol scale on their hydrometer? How reliable are these estimates of potential ABV?

Thanks again,
K
 

llazy_llama

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You're fermenting an ale at 55 degrees fahrenheit? Yeah, that's going to take a long time to finish. Bring it up to about 65 and give it a few weeks there. Since this is a stout, there's not really any reason to use a secondary. Sure, your beer will be more clear... but it's a stout. How can you tell the difference?
 

double_e5

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Don't rely on the potential alcohol scale on the hydrometer. They are not accurate for beer.

This will get you close: (OG - FG) * 131 = ABV.
 

ifishsum

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I agree with Llama, bump up the temp to 65-68 and leave it for a couple more weeks to finish out, I'd probably just skip the secondary at that point but you can still do it if you like.
 
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goodiekev

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All is well. I am going to wait another week or so. I have moved the batch to another closet inside that stays around 65-70, depending on whether my wife closes the door or not.

I realize that secondary is not necessary, however, I want to get my next brew going ASAP, so I need to free up my bucket.

FYI: For you bottlers out there, I just picked up a case (12 botltes) of Carta Blanca 32oz bottles from my neighborhood general store. Only cost $25. Well worth it to me. It never hurts to ask. They are also available at Total Wine for $25.99/case in NC.

K
 
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