Author Topic: Is Fermentation Complete?  (Read 275 times)

Offline GeeTee

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Is Fermentation Complete?
« on: August 05, 2020, 07:00:03 PM »
I just invested in a Northern Brewer Homebrew Starter Kit I’m brewing my first batch of Block Party Amber Ale. I switched the kit yeast packet with Kveik Ale Yeast as my apartment his warm and it has been fermenting at about 80 degrees since July 31st (5 days at time of writing). The airlock showed some lively activity almost immediately but has since calmed down considerably and the airlock now shows off a few bubbles every 20 seconds or so. Is it still fermenting? I have no hydrometer to test the gravity but can see about an inch of foam at the top if that’s any help. What is the best way to tell (without a hydrometer) if fermentation has stopped? How far apart should bubbles be? Do I need to give it a gentle shake to be sure? How long after I think it’s finished can I leave the bucket just to be sure?

Offline spurviance

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Re: Is Fermentation Complete?
« Reply #1 on: August 05, 2020, 07:20:13 PM »
Sounds like it is still fermenting to me if you're seeing any airlock activity without agitation.  The foam at the top will also go away near the end of fermentation.  The only way to know for sure when it's done is with a hydrometer.  Given the info you provided I'd guess you're less than 5 days away from being done. 
If you're bottling and you decide not to invest in a hydrometer I'd wait until around Aug 20 to help insure that you don't have any bottle bombs.  If kegging you can always transfer sooner.  Assuming you've enjoyed the brewing process so far and think you'll do it again I'd invest in a hydrometer.  They're under $10 and very helpful.
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Offline denny

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Re: Is Fermentation Complete?
« Reply #2 on: August 05, 2020, 07:44:37 PM »
Sounds like it is still fermenting to me if you're seeing any airlock activity without agitation.  The foam at the top will also go away near the end of fermentation.  The only way to know for sure when it's done is with a hydrometer.  Given the info you provided I'd guess you're less than 5 days away from being done. 
If you're bottling and you decide not to invest in a hydrometer I'd wait until around Aug 20 to help insure that you don't have any bottle bombs.  If kegging you can always transfer sooner.  Assuming you've enjoyed the brewing process so far and think you'll do it again I'd invest in a hydrometer.  They're under $10 and very helpful.

OTOH, it's kveik which is often done in 2-3 days
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Offline Bob357

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Re: Is Fermentation Complete?
« Reply #3 on: August 05, 2020, 07:46:13 PM »
You've got a choice between being patient and spending a few bucks on a hydrometer. Either leave it in the fermenter for a total of 3 weeks or get up off of your wallet sand spend a few bucks on an instrument that's an actual need if you're serious about brewing your own beer.
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Offline Fire Rooster

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Re: Is Fermentation Complete?
« Reply #4 on: August 06, 2020, 09:32:51 AM »
"What is the best way to tell (without a hydrometer) if fermentation has stopped?"
As others have recommended, bottle 3 weeks from starting.

Right, wrong or indifferent, all my brews are bottled at 3 weeks.
After 3 weeks, then carb/condition for an additional 3 weeks @73F, then stored @60F.
Beers are chilled for 2-3 days in fridge when ready for consumption.

Honestly, I forget about the brews until my calendar says to brew, bottle, or ready.
Haven't bought beer for about a year, and I have 2 with dinner every night.  Currently
drinking a batch, 2 other batches are drink ready, 1 batch in 3 week bottle condition/carb
phase, 2 batchs fermenting, one of them will be bottled tomorrow.
About every 2 1/2 - 3 weeks a new batch is brewed.

I recommend for some time to only focus on procedures, malts, hops, and yeasts,
adding nothing else to the beer.
« Last Edit: August 06, 2020, 08:44:56 PM by Fire Rooster »

Offline BrewBama

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Is Fermentation Complete?
« Reply #5 on: August 06, 2020, 02:41:48 PM »
NB sold you a starter kit with no hydrometer?  That’s BS.

Like a reliable thermometer, it’s a basic tool you’ll need. Later, a way to measure pH is another instrument you’ll want.

When you do buy a sample flask and hydrometer buy two hydrometers. They get lonely or something because when I have just one I break it. ...but when I have two they last forever.  It’s not if you break it, it’s when.

I like a triple scale (I use specific gravity) and a finish hydrometer. The triple scale is for the starting gravity and the finish hydrometer is for ( you guessed it) the finishing gravity. The FG hydrometer is nice because it has a more precise scale. Make sure you know what temp they were calibrated at and adjust your reading(s) accordingly.

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« Last Edit: August 06, 2020, 03:10:39 PM by BrewBama »
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Offline denny

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Re: Is Fermentation Complete?
« Reply #6 on: August 07, 2020, 02:17:47 PM »
NB sold you a starter kit with no hydrometer?  That’s BS.

Like a reliable thermometer, it’s a basic tool you’ll need. Later, a way to measure pH is another instrument you’ll want.

When you do buy a sample flask and hydrometer buy two hydrometers. They get lonely or something because when I have just one I break it. ...but when I have two they last forever.  It’s not if you break it, it’s when.

I like a triple scale (I use specific gravity) and a finish hydrometer. The triple scale is for the starting gravity and the finish hydrometer is for ( you guessed it) the finishing gravity. The FG hydrometer is nice because it has a more precise scale. Make sure you know what temp they were calibrated at and adjust your reading(s) accordingly.

Sent from my iPadyu using Tapatalk

My favorite is a thermohydrometer.  You've got a thermometer and correction chart along with thehydrometer.
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

www.dennybrew.com

The best, sharpest, funniest, weirdest and most knowledgable minds in home brewing contribute on the AHA forum. - Alewyfe

"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts." - Bertrand Russell