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Crazy Long Active Fermentation

Hello All,

I brewed an all grain brown ale 9 days ago. I transferred it into the secondary on day 7, and the airlock is still bubbling. From what I understood, yeast will use O2 for the first few days, then live off of sugar. I wouldn’t expect the airlock to still be bubbling 9 days later…

I brewed a total of 10 gallons and put them in two separate 5 gallon big mouth bubblers. One airlock is still bubbling, one is not.

What say you?

Hope you did rack like 1/4 into first one, then to the other, about another 1/4 then repeat… You’re hoping to eliminate stratifacation… What was your gravity before racking? Just some of the variables… Sneezles61

I didn’t take the gravity prior to racking into the secondary. I just took a gravity reading post boil.

The airlock was not bubbling when I racked into the secondary.

And what is sacrification?

I mean stratification?

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Post boil OG was 1.052. I dont know that stratification would be much of an issue since I use an exchillorator which is a counterflow wort chiller that cools right into the fermenter to about 68 degrees F.

Well, a little bit of a simplification. I don’t want to insult you, for all I know you may have been brewing for years and hundreds of batches. But, both the aerobic (using O2) process and anaerobic (without O2) process happen at the same time. However, in the early stages of fermentation there is more aerobic fermentation until the available O2 is gone. BUT… the bubbles being produced in your airlock are not O2, but CO2- carbon dioxide. Anaerobic fermentation yields predominantly CO2 and ethanol.
The most important point is that the yeast don’t read. They ferment at their own pace. Granted it mostly depends on yeast pitch rate, nutrient level, and fermentation temperature. But sometimes our little friends just do things the way they want to, not the way we expect.
Then, as sneezles suggests, without taking a SG from each BmB there’s no way you’ll know if one batch was at 1.035 and is done while the other batch started at 1.065 and still has a little further to go. And finally, personally I don’t rack to a secondary (when I do) until I know the fermentation is completely finished. Don’t remove an actively fermenting beer from the yeast unless you have some overwhelming need to slow down the fermentation.
If it were me, I would probably take a current SG from each to see what I’m sitting at. And of course I’d RDWHAHB and wait another week or so before even thinking of what to do with it. Good luck. I’m sure she’ll be fine!

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Thanks for all of the info. I learn something every time I post on here.

Most interestingly, both beers were essentially identical and one had stopped bubbling for quite some time, and the other appears to be quite active. Moreover, one appears to be more active since I racked to the secondary. That’s why I racked to the secondary. They appeared to be done. Although, I now understand that you shouldnt rack to the secondary until gravity has flatlined.

Do think your fermenting should be done. What you might see in your airlock. Co2 escaping. Best thing take a grav reading than you know for sure

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