Author Topic: Fermentation Check.  (Read 964 times)

Offline Vach

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Fermentation Check.
« on: July 04, 2015, 01:56:04 PM »
First 5 gallon batch brewing right now. Day 15. Bubbles have stopped coming out of the airlock but I think the yeast is still working. I accidentally pushed down on the cover of the bucket and "burped" out air. This lowered the air pressure inside the bucket and leveled the liquid levels in both sides of the airlock.  After doing all that and waiting a day, I looked at the levels on the air lock again and they no longer level. They show that the pressure in the bucket is again greater than the air pressure. This must mean the yeast is still working and creating CO2 , correct?  Can this be an easy way to monitor yeast activity after the active period of bubble production in the air lock?  Once the pressure in the bucket is stabilized the yeast is done, right?  Thanks.

Offline bboy9000

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Re: Fermentation Check.
« Reply #1 on: July 04, 2015, 02:40:38 PM »
It could just be CO2 coming out of solution.  The best way to tell if the yeast are done is to have a consistent hydrometer reading three days in a row.  If the gravity hasn't changed in three days it is probably safe to package the beer.
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Offline Stevie

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Re: Fermentation Check.
« Reply #2 on: July 04, 2015, 02:47:05 PM »
What type of beer, what yeast, what og, what temp?

The best way to know it is done is to check the gravity. If two readings spaced two or three days apart are identical, and near the expected fg, it's done. After gaining a dozen or so bathes worth of experience, you can likely start to skip the second reading.

Offline Vach

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Re: Fermentation Check.
« Reply #3 on: July 04, 2015, 03:41:10 PM »
What's the best way to sample to check gravity?  Can I take the cover off the pail without risking contamination?

Offline majorvices

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Re: Fermentation Check.
« Reply #4 on: July 04, 2015, 04:00:21 PM »
Just pull a sample, keep it sanitary and it will be fine. You can open the lid, just try to keep it covered and take your sample as quick as possible.

Offline Frankenbrew

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Re: Fermentation Check.
« Reply #5 on: July 04, 2015, 05:14:17 PM »
Just pull a sample, keep it sanitary and it will be fine. You can open the lid, just try to keep it covered and take your sample as quick as possible.

Yes, and sanitize whatever you are using to pull the sample. Then, throw away or drink the sample. Don't put it back in the fermenter.
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Offline rubeer_

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Fermentation Check.
« Reply #6 on: July 05, 2015, 06:03:38 PM »
How about using the tap for getting the sample? Is this more risky than opening the lid? I guess the tap should be sanitized before and after opening it, right?

Offline dkfick

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Re: Fermentation Check.
« Reply #7 on: July 05, 2015, 06:11:31 PM »
How about using the tap for getting the sample? Is this more risky than opening the lid? I guess the tap should be sanitized before and after opening it, right?
Yes if you have a spigot on it that would probably be best as long as it's not full of yeast/trub.
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Offline rubeer_

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Re: Fermentation Check.
« Reply #8 on: July 06, 2015, 06:12:36 AM »
Thanks! I have always been afraid of ruining the beer and I normally don't check densities

Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Fermentation Check.
« Reply #9 on: July 06, 2015, 08:39:13 AM »
This brings up an idea for debate. Dont you need to clean AND sanitize? I think so, and its why I'm not a fan of spigots.

So back to the OPs question. There can be CO2 in solution being held there under the slight pressure of the airlock. Once you burp it, then CO2 comes out of solution,  etc. But temp also plays a part in this. So if the temp goes up, liquid expands and CO2 comes out of solution. Also agitation can cause CO2 to come out of solution. Also, the added nucleation points caused by dry hopping can cause CO2 to come out of solution.

Airlock activity is an indication but not the only one, and it can be misleading.  As stated, gravity readings are the best way to know, coupled with tasting and smelling the sample you measure. I use a number of indications to know my beer is done. (With a basic lager or ale) After airlock activity has ceased I look at the beer. If its beginning to drop clear, I will take a hydrometer reading and smell/taste it. If it smells and tastes done I wait another 4 days to a week and take a second reading. If those two readings are the same, I start my fining or chilling or bottling.

Offline curtism1234

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Re: Fermentation Check.
« Reply #10 on: July 06, 2015, 01:48:51 PM »
I just wait 3 weeks for the standard beers and then I don't have to fool around or worry at 2 weeks.

As far as the spigot - I would rather open up the fermentor and take a sample than to have a dirty crusty spigot for a week.

Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Fermentation Check.
« Reply #11 on: July 06, 2015, 01:54:00 PM »
Get a slaray bottle. Fill with Star San. Spray into the spigot, take the sample, spray into the spigot again a couple.of 3 times to flush it out and sanitize.
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Offline dkfick

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Re: Fermentation Check.
« Reply #12 on: July 06, 2015, 08:20:05 PM »
hmm... Maybe it's just me.. but with my spigots/racking valves on conicals I always clean them when I clean the fermenter before the beer goes in... Then I just spray sanitize them before my transfer... and if I wasn't going to transfer everything or if it was my dump valve I would then clean it and sanitize it after the dump... and sanitize it again.

It's been a long day and the above seems like rambling to me now... I guess all I'm trying to say is none of my valves would ever be 'crusty'.
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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Fermentation Check.
« Reply #13 on: July 06, 2015, 08:31:05 PM »
hmm... Maybe it's just me.. but with my spigots/racking valves on conicals I always clean them when I clean the fermenter before the beer goes in... Then I just spray sanitize them before my transfer... and if I wasn't going to transfer everything or if it was my dump valve I would then clean it and sanitize it after the dump... and sanitize it again.

It's been a long day and the above seems like rambling to me now... I guess all I'm trying to say is none of my valves would ever be 'crusty'.
Yes. Pretty much my SOP.
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Offline curtism1234

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Re: Fermentation Check.
« Reply #14 on: July 06, 2015, 08:40:03 PM »
It's been a long day and the above seems like rambling to me now... I guess all I'm trying to say is none of my valves would ever be 'crusty'.

I am just thinking it's better to dip a sanitized glass into the fermentor than it is to run a sample out of the spigot because if you don't get the spigot good and clean it could expose you to germs when you bottle the batch a week or two later. The time to clean a spigot is after all the beer is out and you can completely take the thing apart. Some spigots are move complexly made than others though.
« Last Edit: July 06, 2015, 08:53:09 PM by curtism1234 »