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Duration of Active Fermentation

Hello, I had my first brew day on Saturday (1/10/15). It is Caribou Slobber that came with my first kit, and everything went great. Within six hours of putting the wort into the primary fermenter, the bubbler was going crazy, and I had a very thick KRÄUSEN layer on my hands. This continued for about 18 hours, and then the bubbler slowed, and of course, now the KRÄUSEN layer is all but gone.

I understand that this is all a natural part of active fermentation, but I guess I was expecting to last longer. The instructions saying active fermentation lasts 1 to 2 weeks, yet here I am only about 48 hours in and it is waning big time.

Does active fermentation continue once the bubbles stop or should I consider moving it to secondary before 1 week?

Airlock activity does not equate to fermentation activity.

Leave the beer in the primary fermenter for at least 2 weeks before transferring to secondary.

Preferably, do not transfer to secondary and leave for 4 weeks in the primary.

Also, ensure that your fermenter is at an appropriate temperature, preferably toward the low - mid range of the recommended yeast temperature.

[quote=“Dazocs”]Hello, I had my first brew day on Saturday (1/10/15). It is Caribou Slobber that came with my first kit, and everything went great. Within six hours of putting the wort into the primary fermenter, the bubbler was going crazy, and I had a very thick KRÄUSEN layer on my hands. This continued for about 18 hours, and then the bubbler slowed, and of course, now the KRÄUSEN layer is all but gone.

I understand that this is all a natural part of active fermentation, but I guess I was expecting to last longer. The instructions saying active fermentation lasts 1 to 2 weeks, yet here I am only about 48 hours in and it is waning big time.

Does active fermentation continue once the bubbles stop or should I consider moving it to secondary before 1 week?[/quote]

Welcome to the hobby!

It’s not unusual for the first most visibly active stage of fermentation to be completed in 3-4 days, even faster if you ferment on the warm side.

Your ‘bubbler’ or airlock activity is not an accurate representation of active fermentation. The krauesen is a good sign but the fact that it may soon also drop does not mean fermentation is complete.

Don’t think about transferring that wort before 2 weeks, unless you have a hydrometer. If you do then 10 days in you could take a gravity reading for 2-3 days in a row. If the gravity reading is consistent then it’s done fermenting. Otherwise, leave it minimum 2 weeks, 3 is better.

Reassuring words from those in the know. Great! Thanks for the feedback.

I’ve had primary fermentations take anywhere from 18 hours to 7 weeks. Yeast is alive and it does what it wants, regardless of whatever timeframe that we greedy humans want to place on it. Let the yeast tell you when they’re done, not the other way around.

:cheers:

In my experience with the CS, that kit does ferment quickly at first and slow down after that (it’s a pretty violent ferm). But, As stated above airlock activity does not represent active fermentation. Leave it for at least 2-3 weeks then bottle, I don’t worry about a secondary anymore.

The need for a secondary fermentation vessel is a hot topic of debate right now, with several threads on the subject.

Keep browsing the forum for GREAT info and advice, keep your ferm temps in line, keep equipment sanitary, and all will be well…Namaste

Thanks again for the advice. I do have a hydrometer that I will put to use next week.

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