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First batch - wondering about primary fermentation

Hi all - I brewed my first batch ever on Sunday. American Amber extract kit. OG of 1.043, a tiny bit lower than it’s supposed to be. As of last night, only 3 days after brewing, fermentation had slowed to bubbling only once every minute and a half.

So, standard beginner’s question: “should I be worried?” Or is that OG within the margin of error, and is that fermentation speed not worrisome? I have not yet measured OG again to begin testing when to end primary fermentation.

Thanks for your help,
Dave

Nope, you shouldn’t be worried. All bubbles tell you is that CO2 is being released…they’re really not a reliable indicator of fermentation. Just forget that it’s there for another 2 weeks or so, then check the gravity.

Thanks!

Two weeks? Everything I’ve read says 1-2 week primary fermentation. I was going to start checking gravity on Sunday.

[quote=“dzaffrann”]I was going to start checking gravity on Sunday.[/quote]Patience is your friend - new brewers are often worried about sticking to an arbitrary and concrete schedule like “1-2 weeks in primary” and will rush a beer through the process. Give the yeast at least two weeks (or more) to do their work, then take a gravity reading.

Sounds good to me - thanks for the advice.

I almost always follow a 3 week primary, then stright into bottles. 3 weeks on the yeast cake isnt’ going to hurt anything and in my experience will only make your beer better. No need to use a secondary either IMO unless you are adding fruit, lagering, or aging. I even dry hop in primary.

Doesn’t the extract kits always say ready in 6 weeks?
For my next kit I’m just doing a primary fermentation and then straight to keg.
So it should be about 3 weeks to keg and then if I do a fast carbonation method my keg should be ready a few days after, correct?

[quote=“crud99”]Doesn’t the extract kits always say ready in 6 weeks?
For my next kit I’m just doing a primary fermentation and then straight to keg.
So it should be about 3 weeks to keg and then if I do a fast carbonation method my keg should be ready a few days after, correct?[/quote]

Yeah, but don’t watch the calendar, watch the beer. 3 weeks should be plenty of time, but don’t rush it if it’s not.

There are a lot of factors that influence fermentation time, and trying to keep the beer to a strict schedule is more likely to cause you trouble than help you, unless you are a professional brewer and time is money.

Cultured yeast can take anywhere from 2 days to over a month to ferment out a batch depending on strain, fermentation temperature, cell count, yeast viability, oxigenation of the wort, gravity of the wort, and probably many others as well. If you are making a typical beer and using an appropriate sized starter of healthy yeast with decent fermentation conditions, you are generally safe leaving an ale for two weeks in the primary before you check to ensure it is done. Done is defined as two or three days in a row with the gravity stable. For lagers, double that to four weeks. Or you can start checking earlier - it may be finished, but don’t assume it will be.

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