Fermentation seems to have ended... early. What now?

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by Bgiebels, Mar 8, 2017.

  1. Bgiebels

    Bgiebels New Member

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    I brewed a stout on Saturday 3/4/2017. The initial fermentation was very active. But now the fermentation seems to have ended. How do I tell if it has ended after only 4 days? What do I do if it indeed did end this early?
     
  2. Ozarks Mountain Brew

    Staff Member

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    just swirl it a bit without opening it, then wait at least 7 days and take a gravity reading with a hydrometer
     
  3. Mark D Pirate

    Mark D Pirate Well-Known Member

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    Sometimes you can actually get to final gravity in 4 days , Follow Ozarks suggestion and you'll know for sure .
    What was your fermentation temp ?
     
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  4. jeffpn

    jeffpn Well-Known Member

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    When you get the same hydrometer reading 2 or 3 days in a row, it's done fermenting.
     
  5. Bgiebels

    Bgiebels New Member

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    Thank You!
     
  6. Bgiebels

    Bgiebels New Member

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    Thank you!
     
  7. Bgiebels

    Bgiebels New Member

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    I haven't started taking Hydrometer Readings yet thinking that I had another 11 days of fermenting to wait on... I'll take one to see if it is close to the expected Final reading.

    Thanks,
     
  8. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    Don't...The only reason to take a gravity early is if you suspect a stuck fermentation. What tells you that it's done? is the yeast dropping? Even when the vigorous first stages are done, there's still a lot going on. Yeast cells are finding the harder-to-digest sugars and they're using up the by-products of fermentation. If you take a gravity at day 7 and it's at FG, leave it for another week to clear. Doesn't hurt a thing to leave it undisturbed for a couple of weeks after FG and then cold crash or package, depending on how clear it is. More time, up to a point, makes better beer.
     
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  9. Mark D Pirate

    Mark D Pirate Well-Known Member

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    Patience grasshopper .... Let the beer do its thing .
    One of the most important ingredients in beer is patience and I'm yet to find a LHBS that sells any
     
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  10. jmcnamara

    jmcnamara Well-Known Member

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    I believe it's a byproduct of brewing another batch?
     
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  11. Mark D Pirate

    Mark D Pirate Well-Known Member

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    There is that as well , rate i'm going i'll have a whole bank of fridges set up or bid on that gycol chiller i see going up for auction
     
  12. Myndflyte

    Myndflyte Active Member

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    Personally, I'd just let it sit. I don't even bother checking gravity readings until 14 days.
     
  13. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    Sounds like fermentation was quick being an ale at good fermentation temperature like 20c I'm sure it will be fermented out in one week. A few more days for the yeast to clean up off flavours then I'd chill her down. Of course one exception take your hydrometer readings man :). It goes hand in hand with brewing it's one of your most important pieces of brewquipment your little glass float. Without this you risk creating little hand grenades:eek:. You don't want to be one of "them" homebrewers who's bottles are always going off with a bang in the shed:p.

    Next brew take a reading before you pitch your yeast then at the end a few days apart and you should be apples.
     
  14. nzbrew

    nzbrew Active Member

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    Quite normal what you are describing. My ales usually only show airlock activity for a few days. As others have said, it may be at final gravity but the yeast still has some cleaning up to do.
    Some will pull the trigger earlier, but I leave it for 2 weeks (often 3) before touching it. I'm confident in my process so I only take one gravity reading as I package, but the proper way is to take readings a couple days apart to make sure fermentation is done.
     
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  15. Mark D Pirate

    Mark D Pirate Well-Known Member

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    With brews I've done before i have skippes the second reading , my mash and yeast propagation techniques are very constant so I know what to expect .
    Taking a second reading is cheap insurance
     
  16. Bgiebels

    Bgiebels New Member

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    Well, I did take a reading... before getting your message. The beer is near it's final gravity. Currently 1.024 but expected is 1.020. I can't tell if the yeast is dropping or not. The beer is extremely dark and I can't see a light shine through it at all. I happened to go ahead and taste my sample I took... mmmmm I'm going to like this one.

    The first one I made, an American Blonde (that came with the brewing kit) was terrible. I just dumped it down the drain tonight. I don't think I'm going to be disappointed in this one.

    Based on your comments, I take it the extra 11 days will help it clear up as well.

    Thanks,
     
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  17. Bgiebels

    Bgiebels New Member

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    Thanks, I'll let it rest for the 11 days... and then take another reading. I'm assuming the gravity isn't going to drop that much but the extra "cleaning" will be good.
     
  18. Bgiebels

    Bgiebels New Member

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    I certainly did take the hydro-reading before I pitched the yeast. The original reading was 1.070 and the reading I took today was near the expected gravity at 1.024.

    Thanks,
     
  19. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    Og or .070 and FG of .020 is less than 70% attenuation. You can get more than that from most yeasts. I'd give it a little swirl just keep the colony interested. Even at .020, there's potentially a lot of sugar left in there and bottling might be problematic. I think it'll be a better beer all around if you can get a few more points out of it and get it down below .020.
     
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  20. Myndflyte

    Myndflyte Active Member

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    Yeah I saw that too but OP did mention that it was a stout so I thought maybe he did a higher mash temp or threw in lactose. But I agree, if none of those things were done, he should have a lower FG.
     
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