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Is 2 weeks fermentation enough for a light ale?

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nibiyabi

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My first batch got started Friday night and the anticipation is killing me. It seems to be fermenting very nicely and smells great, so I'm pretty sure I'm past the worry stage for an infection. The instructions called for a 10-14 day fermentation followed by a 2-7 day wait in the keg (I have a kegging rather than bottling kit). I figured longer is better and I'm going to keg it at 14 days and start pouring at 21 days. Do you think that's enough for this guy? I probably wouldn't have bought this particular kit myself, but it came with my kegging kit so of course I wasn't going to let it go to waste! :) Here are the beer's "stats":

Estimated Original Gravity: 1.043
Estimated Alcohol Percentage: 4-4.5%
SRM (Color Range): 5.3
IBU's: 11-13

I actually hit 1.041 for the OG, which is fine I'm sure, but I'd rather be over than under. :p It also came with dry yeast, and I'm definitely going to use liquid yeast from now on. What are some signs that the fermentation and settling are done? According to the instructions, fermentation should be finishing up around this Friday, followed by settling being complete by no later than the following Friday. Do you all agree with this? I don't remember the specific ingredients off-hand, but those "stats" above should be enough for you to know, I'd imagine.

Anyway, thanks for creating this great resource, and I look forward to sharing my brews with you all for years to come! :)
 

evandam

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2 weeks should be fine for this beer, but the only way to know when fermentation is done is when the hydrometer reading stops going down.
 
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nibiyabi

nibiyabi

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Is it alright to drop the hydrometer right inside or should I grab a sample? It would be rather difficult to grab a sample as it's fermenting in a glass carboy with a rather narrow top.
 

brew hoperator

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You can use a wine/beer thief or use a turkey baster (I use this), but make sure you sanitize very well and throw the sample away.
 

BrewDey

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For a lower OG beer like that-2 weeks of fermentation followed by a week or so in the keg should be good. (when in doubt-be patient)

A wine thief works wonders , but you always want to sanitize anything you put into the beer.

Liquid yeasts are great, but they are more expensive, and it's often a good idea to make a starter when using them. Nothing at all wrong with dry yeasts-in fact, you'll see on here that most of the seasoned vets still use a ton of dry yeast. It's cheaper, easier, and the beer ends up great. I use dry for standard British or American ales...but liquid for the more specialty ones (Belgians, German beers, etc.). Nothing wrong with keeping it simple!
 

0202

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Patience is rewarded, or so it seems.

I bottled my first batch 3 weeks after primary. And 2 weeks
into bottling they taste much better than 1 week into the
bottles. I'm assuming they will taste even better 3 weeks in
the bottles.
 
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nibiyabi

nibiyabi

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Thanks for all the advice! :) I probably should keep newbie questions to the beginner's forum. I never would have thought of a turkey baster -- a wine thief looks cooler, but it's not worth the 15-minute drive to my local homebrewing supply store. I'll just get a brand-new turkey baster the next time I'm at Safeway. Thanks again. :)
 
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