Author Topic: Has fermentation stopped and should I bottle?  (Read 6556 times)

Offline TheJake

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Has fermentation stopped and should I bottle?
« on: January 27, 2016, 07:02:09 PM »
I'm new to brewing beer, but I have been brewing wine for about 2 years. I just racked my first batch of beer into a carboy from a primary bucket last night. Prior to racking activity in the air was decent, but now there are no signs that fermentation is still happening. The center piece of the airlock hasn't even raised up, so it doesn't look like any pressure is building up.

My question it did I do something wrong? And how long should I wait before I bottle it? I'm really nervous about exploding bottles

By the way starting specific gravity was 1.040 and last night it was 1.015

Offline arctic78

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Re: Has fermentation stopped and should I bottle?
« Reply #1 on: January 27, 2016, 11:42:20 PM »
 I am fairly new myself to brewing but it sounds from what you have said everything is ok with your brew.
The easiest way to tell if your brew is done fermenting is to take gravity readings and if your gravity readings stay the same for 3 days in a row it should be ready to bottle.
So if you take 3 more readings over the next 3 days and it stays at 1.015 ( which seems like a good reading to me )  I would say it is done .

As for your worrying about exploding bottles That is not going to be an issue unless you over prime them with to much dextrose ( if this is what you are using? ). This should not be an issue if you are using  beersmith  to work out the amount needed for the carbonation you are wanting for your beer.

I just made and IPA and for 23litres ( 6.07 G ) i used 120 grams ( 4.23 Oz ) of dextrose which i boiled in 1 1/4 cups of water for 5 mins then let cool and added to a empty plastic fermenter then draind my wort into that to mix it and then bottled and it has turned out fine.

I hope this helps. I am sure someone with a lot more knowledge will correct me if i have led you astray in anyway.

Offline TheJake

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Re: Has fermentation stopped and should I bottle?
« Reply #2 on: January 28, 2016, 04:34:44 PM »
I plan to use the carb drops, and thanks it helps a lot

Offline arctic78

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Re: Has fermentation stopped and should I bottle?
« Reply #3 on: January 29, 2016, 04:11:08 AM »
Never used the carb drops before but glad i could help a little.
good luck with your beer.
What are you brewing by the way????

Offline TheJake

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Re: Has fermentation stopped and should I bottle?
« Reply #4 on: January 29, 2016, 05:42:42 AM »
A Canadian Blonde kit that I added a little honey and lemons to

Offline Maine Homebrewer

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Re: Has fermentation stopped and should I bottle?
« Reply #5 on: January 29, 2016, 01:04:33 PM »
Quote
I plan to use the carb drops, and thanks it helps a lot

You mean those tablets of sugar that look like aspirin? I used them for a bit when I was trying to bottle only a few bottles while putting the rest into a keg, and every single one turned into a gusher after a couple months. Since then I will only carbonate bottles with sugar that has been boiled.

As far as your original question goes, I'm kinda mixed. If it had good airlock activity before racking then you may have racked early. I usually wait until the yeast has dropped out enough that the brew is fairly clear and the airlock has little activity before racking. Racking early can create a situation where there is still food for the yeast, but not yeast to eat it. So there is little airlock activity, but bottling at that time could result in grenades. So I'd go with the know, which is to do what arctic78 suggested.
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Offline Beer Lover

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Re: Has fermentation stopped and should I bottle?
« Reply #6 on: February 03, 2016, 08:06:50 PM »
What you need to do is check the gravity for 3 days. Check the gravity. Document the reading. Wait 3 days. Check the reading again. If no change then bottle.  If a change the wait. Its not done.
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Offline millmoors

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Re: Has fermentation stopped and should I bottle?
« Reply #7 on: February 05, 2016, 09:51:39 AM »
Hi there.
I have seen this before. Sometimes the best is to just give it some time. Sometimes it just goes very slowly
I would definately wait at least 3 weeks before bottling. There should be no problems with ugly taste from yeast the first 5 weeks.
Personally I allways wait 3 weeks before I measure FG. If it is ok I bottle.
By the way what is your room temperature? It depends ofcoarse on the yeast, you use, but usually with ale types 20-22°C is perfect
 

Offline millmoors

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Re: Has fermentation stopped and should I bottle?
« Reply #8 on: February 05, 2016, 10:28:12 AM »
Hi again
How long time in primary fermenter before going on to secondary fermenter ?
I must confess, that I don't use 2 stage fermentation myself as I personally find it a little unnessesary. Secondary is only for clearing up the bear (if it works) and it does nothing for the taste. Also there is a risk of slowing down or even stopping the fermentation, if you go to secondary too soon. As Beerlover wrote, you need to be sure that primary fermentation is close to finalized by tesing OG before secondary.
Even if FG is a little too high it will be beer in the end and I can see from your beerstyle, that you have a sweet taste :-)

Offline Maine Homebrewer

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Re: Has fermentation stopped and should I bottle?
« Reply #9 on: February 05, 2016, 11:07:07 AM »
Quote
How long time in primary fermenter before going on to secondary fermenter ?

I wait until the krausen falls and the beer darkens in color from the yeast falling out. For a typical ale that could be a week or two. For a lager at least a month. The stronger the beer, the longer it takes.
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Offline TheJake

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Re: Has fermentation stopped and should I bottle?
« Reply #10 on: February 07, 2016, 08:52:57 PM »
Every thing seems to have worked out. It's been about 10 days since I bottled and I just opened my first beer. Not quite fully carbonated yet but it was still delicious

Offline arctic78

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Re: Has fermentation stopped and should I bottle?
« Reply #11 on: February 07, 2016, 09:41:54 PM »
 Glad to hear that it all went well and best of all you enjoy the taste of your beer  :D Even if it is not fully carbonated.
I always like to open a beer after the first week of being bottled just to get an idea of the taste and then wait another week and do the same and taste the difference . I usually put 4 beers aside so as i can do these taste test as i find it very interesting how the taste dose change and of course depending on the style of beer you have brewed it my be better to wait even longer before the first taste. I my self have only brewed one beer style so far which has needed a good amount of time in the bottle to condition and i found that around the 3 month mark it was tasting good. That was for an Old Ale. I my also be drinking my beers to soon but i have found about 4 weeks for my IPA'S and they are tasting good to me .
Best of luck with your next brew.

Offline millmoors

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Re: Has fermentation stopped and should I bottle?
« Reply #12 on: February 10, 2016, 12:58:16 PM »
 This is really good news :-)
I do the same as Jake. I open one beer every week to taste how the beer is developing. This is great fun.
Also my experience is that the beer gets better and better. My favorites are strong stouts (around 10%) and very bitter IPA's.
I had a semilar experience as you october last year with a high gravity smoked Stout. OG was 1092 and FG ended up at 1028. I waited another week but nothing happends.
This batch was also my first using a refrigerator. The first 3 days I kept a temperature between 20 and 22°C After 3 days I lowered the temperature to 19-21°C
After this experience I never went under 20°C. In this batch, I measured the temperature in the fermenter by taping a PT100 element isolated from the outside environment to keep direct refrigerator temperature-impact away from the measurement. I think this probably caused the early fermentation stop, as the yeast nearest to the walls inside the fermentor probably was freezing. Now I tape the PT100 to the top of fermenter instead without isolating it from the environment and keep it between 20-22 °C. I trust this prevents the temperature to get too low but still keeps it from overheating especially during the first days.
The smoked stout with FG=1028 developed very slowly in the bottle ( I bottled it after 4 weeks) ended up 2 month after bottling with a great taste and a beautiful round and full body with a impressing light brown foam- but the first taste after 3 weeks in bottle was not impressing, too flat and no foam.
Now the beer is 3,5 month old and has never been better. So like I said: It will be beer at the end- my experience too.
Also I had an experience with an IPA that was very unclear after 3 weeks in bottle-but after 3 month it was almost beer.




 

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