Done fermenting after a day?

What went wrong? Was this supposed to happen? Should I throw it out? What do I do now?

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Done fermenting after a day?

Postby MattieSy » Thu Oct 06, 2005 1:40 pm

Hello everyone.

Boiled up my first batch yesterday, a pale ale.

I'm using a DanStar yeast.

Pitched at about 1 oclock pm yesterday, checked at about 5 oclock and my airlock was bubbling pretty actively, about 1 burp per second.

Checked it this morning, it has slowed to about 1 burp per minute.

Opened up the lid just to take a peek and see what was going on.

There's a thick ring around the top of the bucket and there is no visible krausen left, and it smelled like beer!!

Should I rack to my secondary yet? Or give it a few more days?

Many thanks,

Matt
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Gravity?

Postby jeff » Fri Oct 07, 2005 6:49 pm

Did you record your original gravity? What is the gravity reading right now? These values are a much better guage than the airlock.
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Postby MattieSy » Sun Oct 09, 2005 1:31 am

OK, I took a chance and moved it over to the secondary.

I snuck a sample in the process so I could measure the gravity, as well as taste an early sample.

The OG was 1.040, and the measurement I got at the transfer was 1.015.

Is the yeast done? It's been in the secondary now, a glass carboy, and there's no airlock activity at all.

After it clears will it be safe to move onto bottle conditioning? Or is there still too much fermentables left?

Thanks
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Original Gravity

Postby jeff » Sun Oct 09, 2005 1:33 pm

Did you take a reading of the gravity and the temperature before pitching the yeast? Taking note of the original gravity and the temperature before the yeast is pitched are critical pieces of information that help determine 1) if the wort is the correct temperature for pitching the yeast, and 2) how well along the yeast is in its metabolism of the available sugars in the wort as you track progress during fermentation. The temperature is also important in correcting hydrometer readings.

The 1.040 gravity reading that you mention here; is that a reading from before the yeast became really active? Another question: do you know what the temperature of the wort was when the yeast was pitched? The temperature directly affects the rate of yeast activity, and if it was a bit on the high side when you pitched, that may have contributed to a shorter fermentation.

As it stands; if 1.040 was, in fact, your original gravity and 1.015 the terminal gravity, the apparent attenuation is roughly 60-64%. This is low but not unheard of; so it is very possible that you have a complete fermentation, and everything is normal. In my opinion; it is safe to say, given the duration of the fermentation so far, that you are ready to bottle once you are satisfied that the beer has settled out enough. You don't want it to settle too much if you are going to bottle condition the beer, so a week in the secondary should probably be plenty of time.

I have seen bottles explode, but this occurred because of dead yeast and poor record keeping. To me it seems that your yeast is healthy, and your batch should turn out fine. There may be something I missed so please use your own good judgement for the final decision. Hope this helps.
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