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Brews & Views Bulletin Board Service * Brews and Views Archive 2007 * Archive through October 20, 2007 * Bottling Day < Previous Next >

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William Gaggioli
New Member
Username: Beerwill500

Post Number: 3
Registered: 08-2007
Posted From: 76.20.47.6
Posted on Thursday, October 11, 2007 - 06:53 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi Everyone,
I have my very first batch fermenting in the closet at the moment, which I constructed following a recipe in John Palmer's book (more or less). It says the fermentation should be complete safely in 2 weeks in time for bottling, but it's been about 2 weeks and I'm still getting bubbles out of the airlock every minute or so. Can I bottle it or should I wait until bubbling ceases?
 

The Jolly Brewer
Senior Member
Username: Matfink

Post Number: 1840
Registered: 03-2003
Posted From: 213.83.78.243
Posted on Thursday, October 11, 2007 - 08:26 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

wait until the bubbling stops. I can understand your desire to ge this packaged so you can start drinking it, but if it were me I'd leave it another week.
 

Troglodyte
Member
Username: Troglodyte

Post Number: 136
Registered: 10-2004
Posted From: 141.156.238.86
Posted on Thursday, October 11, 2007 - 08:51 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

While the airlock is a fair indicator, the only way you can be certain that your batch has finished fermentation is by pulling a series of identical hydrometer readings over several days.

Odds are, you're done or pretty close. If you don't have a hydrometer, there's nothing wrong with letting it primary for an extra week. Use that extra week to get a hydrometer because a brewery without a hydrometer is like a garage without a tape measure.

Good luck and welcome to the hobby :-)
 

David Lewinnek
Intermediate Member
Username: Davelew

Post Number: 350
Registered: 02-2005
Posted From: 198.51.251.205
Posted on Thursday, October 11, 2007 - 03:51 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

One of my early batches was a Scotch Ale, fermented in a closet during the fall. As the weather got colder, so did the beer, and eventually the yeast slowed down so that the bubbling stopped. I bottled the beer, and an awful lot of fermentation went on in the bottles. They never turned into bottle bombs, they were more like bottle grenades: pop the top, count to four, then grab a mop to clean up the mess.

Slow bubbling indicates that fermentation is slowing down (or that you have a leak). Slow bubbling doesn't prove that fermentation is complete. Fermentation can slow down because the yeast is almost out of sugars to turn into alcohol, because the yeast got too cold, or for other reasons.

A hydrometer test would be good, but you could also taste the beer. If it tastes sweet, let it ferment a little longer, and keep in the mid to upper 60s. If it tastes like flat beer, it's probably ready for bottling.
 

Bob Wall
Senior Member
Username: Brewdudebob

Post Number: 1149
Registered: 11-2004
Posted From: 71.204.51.87
Posted on Friday, October 12, 2007 - 05:19 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Troglodyte offers great advice about getting a hydrometer. Let me expand on it by saying it is best to get in the habit of relying on your readings rather than the observations of the airlock. While it is comforting to see healthy activity, and the airlock provides visual gratification, you will know for certain when you are ready to bottle by hydrometer readings.

Most homebrew kits come with one, did yours?
 

Little Dipper
Intermediate Member
Username: Littledipper

Post Number: 303
Registered: 02-2004
Posted From: 206.114.61.199
Posted on Friday, October 12, 2007 - 06:52 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I like to wait until all foam is gone from the top of the beer and all airlock bubbling has stopped. Then wait at least 2 days before bottling. It gives a little extra time for the yeast to finish up.