When is it done fermenting?

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Frenchy

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I've not seen anyone ask or address this specific question. If I'm brewing in a white "Ale Pale", how do I know when my wort is done fermenting? Do you open it up and drop a hydrometer ever day to make sure the gravity isn't still dropping (doesn't seem right)? I wasn't sure how anyone actually checks this if they can't see what's going on inside the fermenter.
 

Kickass

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I pop the lid, draw off a small sample with my sanitized wine thief (A.K.A. turkey baster) and measure gravity. Just don’t put your sample back into the bucket after taking your gravity reading. Drink it or dump it down the sink.
 

TheBroonery

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It's usually ready 8-14 days after the boil. The surest way to know is to take a gravity reading. But rather than drop the hydrometer into the fermenter, extract a sample using a sanitized baster.
 
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Frenchy

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Thanks. I was a little worried that was the wrong thing to do. Thanks for the help.
 

BigTexun

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I'm not an expert... but, in my experience... I've simply chosen to "let it be" for 14 days, realizing that it finished in nearly every case, sooner than that. Why? It doesn't hurt to let it sit longer... in fact, I'm guessing that it may even help it a wee bit.

Patience, once again, is a virtue.
 

osgrimmy

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I agree let it sit for at least 2 weeks but I give mine an extra week also. Actually sometimes I leave it for a month.

I know how you feel when I first starting brewing I stared at it, opened it constantly, and took readings everyday. I just couldn't resist I was fascinated by the entire process and dammit I wanted to try it so bad. Now I realize I was doing more harm then anything just opening it up to possible infections from opening and closing the lid and removing samples everyday for the hydrometer.

So my words of wisdom are... let it be :)
 
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