I am making NB cream ale. It is my first attempt. I am supposed to let the wort ferment for 2 weeks before bottling. It has been one week and the foam on the top is gone. The bubbling through the airlock has stopped. Do I let it go for another week or start bottling now?
I’m sure the fermentation is done. However, just let it sit for another 2 weeks to allow the yeast to settle and clean up various metabolic byproducts. After that, feel free to go ahead and bottle.
Quick fermentations are not unheard of. For me most mid-ranged beers get done in 3-4 days.
I’d let it go for at least ten days. Like Dimik said the yeast cake is still metabolizing things like diacetyl right now. You probably don’t need two weeks.
Yet, the best way is to take a hydrometer reading. Then a day or two later take another. If both readings are the same it is done.
I would recommend you use the hydrometer until you have more experience. It is a good habit to get into.
I agree with the above. Another reason to let it go a bit longer is if it’s not done and you prime/bottle, your bottles could explode. That would not only be a mess but extremely dangerous.
Two consecutive hydro readings doesn’t necessarily mean the cleanup is done. On the other hand I don’t ver bother with hydro readings to determine when fermentation is over, I know it from the cessation of CO2 evolution and then I let it go another several days and bottle.
The reason NB says two weeks is to give the active yeast enough time to finish cleaning up the diacetyl (does anyone else have a brain fart trying to type the word diacetyl, wanting to put the l before thy y? ).
After that I would rack over to secondary to cold condition if possible (or use gelatin) before bottling. Be sanitary! Every time you rack over, the risk is there for infection! But if you are sanitary in all steps, you will be rewarded with a much cleaner and clearer looking and tasting beer.