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Irregular Bubbling

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theganda

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So I put my Amber Ale in the fermenter 8 days ago, and it is still bubbling. However, the bubbling is not regular. Every minute or two, there will be a burst of around 5 or 6 quick bursts from the fermenter. I opened it up (couldn't resist) and it looked like there was just real gunky krausen on top. It wasn't an irregular color, although it still does not smell very good (I know, ignore the smell). Is this normal, and should I just let it be? Also, should I wait to bottle until there is absolutely no activity, even if its just pockets of CO2 that are trapped under this layer? Thanks
 

Fingers

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Totally normal. Your pail is just building pressure and then releasing it. One bubble breaks the tension of the water and allows many more in behind it until the pressure eases. Krausen always looks like hell.
 
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theganda

theganda

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Great. I figured so much - I will wait until it stops bubbling then take a hydrometer reading and see where we stand before bottling.
 

Fingers

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Give it at least a week. The bubbling isn't really a good sign of fermentation. It can carry on fermenting even when the bubbles stop. Many of us don't even bother racking it out of primary for three or four weeks. At the very least, you should follow the one-two-three method. One week in the primary, two weeks in the secondary, and three weeks in the bottle. Don't bottle as soon as primary fermentation is done. You need to leave it and allow the yeast to clean up its mess. There are by-products of fermentation that lend off-flavors. Aging in the primary gets rid of that.

Patience, grasshopper. Let the beer do its work for you. ;)
 
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