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Milk Stout fermenting....still!

I brewed a 5 gallon batch of Milk Stout 8 weeks ago as of yesterday. Is it ok that it is still “burping” good in the airlock every 40 seconds, or so?
I also brewed Brickwarmer 4 weeks ago and it is still a slight “burp” every minute. Past batches quieted down after about 5 days. Is this a good thing going on?
Thanks for any input.

sounds normal. just because it’s degassing co2 doesn’t mean it’s still fermenting.

for what it’s worth. you shouldn’t judge by bubbles in the airlock. the only way to know if it’s done fermenting is to take gravity readings. if the gravity remains the same over a 3 day period, it should be ready to bottle or keg

[quote=“S.Scoggin”]sounds normal. just because it’s degassing co2 doesn’t mean it’s still fermenting.

for what it’s worth. you shouldn’t judge by bubbles in the airlock. the only way to know if it’s done fermenting is to take gravity readings. if the gravity remains the same over a 3 day period, it should be ready to bottle or keg[/quote]

Thank you! We are still “new to brew” and learning. This is only our 4th and 5th brew.

I’m not so sure that’s a normal thing to have happening,unless you started with an extremely high gravity.I know that a very slight degree of airlock activity is not unheard of at as far out as 8 weeks,but a bubble every 40 seconds still??I’d check that out ASAP.Don’t wait any longer to crack that carboy open and take a gravity reading.You’re not doing yourself any favors by letting that beer sit around waiting for it to finish fermenting.It should have finished long ago.At this point,even if there isn’t any sort of bacterial contamination going on,it’s just getting staler by the hour,trust me.

I agree that fermentation should be finished by now, but it isn’t getting staler by the hour. I’m drinking a beer that’s been in primary for 2 months before kegging

and it tastes great. Some are better after 18 months :roll:

Jack5j, sanitize and check your gravity. Taste it.

I admire your patience, most new brewers rack and bottle after a week.

I agree that fermentation should be finished by now, but it isn’t getting staler by the hour. I’m drinking a beer that’s been in primary for 2 months before kegging

and it tastes great. Some are better after 18 months :roll:

Jack5j, sanitize and check your gravity. Taste it.

I admire your patience, most new brewers rack and bottle after a week.[/quote]

I would respectfully disagree with that statement.Beer is ready to drink when fermentation and carbonation are complete,with the exception of strong beers that are meant to age or need time to smooth out.Beers in the average alcohol range do not benefit in the slightest from extended aging in the primary fermenter,and can actually suffer from overly prolonged contact with yeast.Freshness really the key to good flavor in beer.There’s no point in slaving over a hot brew kettle for hours on end,only to make yourself wait needlessly for months to enjoy the fruits of your labor.Don’t get me wrong-there’s nothing wrong with being patient and waiting for your beer IF it’s necessary.My personal approach is to let my beer finish fermenting in the primary for about 10 days (for average strength ales),then go straight to bottling,and wait for a full month to drink the beer.That,to me,is not being impatient.That’s just being efficient.Is there a potential downside to that approach?Maybe.But the way I see it,the beer will be safer from any risk of bacterial contamination in bottles than it would have been in the fermenter,and if it’s not ready to drink in a month,I can wait as long as I want to try it again.It will still continue to develop with age in the bottle,just as it would have in the fermenter,and the risk of oxidation and yeast autolysis has been greately reduced.But that’s just my opinion.I would encourage you to continue doing what works for you,but you really should try at least once to get your beer moving out of the primary in less than 2 weeks.I think you’ll be happy to discover that it’s ready to bottle or rack to a secondary sooner than you think.

Decide when to transfer based on time AND specific gravity. Generally I leave all my beers in primary for two to four weeks AND until at least a week after the final gravity has stabilized.

Time in primary is significant, but the beer must finish fermenting then have some time for the yeast to clean up some of the undesirable fermentation products.

Your airlock will lie to you. It will bubble due to changes in atmospheric pressure, release of CO2, etc. Your hydrometer is more trustworthy.

Thank you all. I just literally finished kegging both the stout and brickwarmer. I’ll follow up around Thursday (Thanksgiving) to let you know how they turned out. I really appreciate all of the helpful advice!

I agree that fermentation should be finished by now, but it isn’t getting staler by the hour. I’m drinking a beer that’s been in primary for 2 months before kegging

and it tastes great. Some are better after 18 months :roll:

Jack5j, sanitize and check your gravity. Taste it.

I admire your patience, most new brewers rack and bottle after a week.[/quote]
+1 I don’t know how people drink beers that are literally only 6-8 weeks old, especially when bottled conditioned, they (to me) rarely taste right yet. Throw more age at them and they round out nicely unless it is an IPA.

I agree that fermentation should be finished by now, but it isn’t getting staler by the hour. I’m drinking a beer that’s been in primary for 2 months before kegging

and it tastes great. Some are better after 18 months :roll:

Jack5j, sanitize and check your gravity. Taste it.

I admire your patience, most new brewers rack and bottle after a week.[/quote]
+1 I don’t know how people drink beers that are literally only 6-8 weeks old, especially when bottled conditioned, they (to me) rarely taste right yet. Throw more age at them and they round out nicely unless it is an IPA.[/quote]

Funny you should say that. I am about to cook my 2nd IPA. The first was fantastic!! I had an issue with a Pumpkin Smash that I had added too much water by mistake. After taking advice from members here, I waited. Every glass was better than the previous!

I should probably add then that when I say that an IPA is best when fresh, my experience is that you want to drink them before they get about 3-4 months old. This is because hop character will dissipate over time. Why? I don’t know the scientific reason for it, it just happens.

BTW, my two cents is that when it comes to homebrewing is that you need to field all the opinions and then make an educated decision based on what you have read and heard. Homebrewer is just like any other hobby, a million people all with different opinions.

[quote=“mppatriots”]I should probably add then that when I say that an IPA is best when fresh, my experience is that you want to drink them before they get about 3-4 months old. This is because hop character will dissipate over time. Why? I don’t know the scientific reason for it, it just happens.

BTW, my two cents is that when it comes to homebrewing is that you need to field all the opinions and then make an educated decision based on what you have read and heard. Homebrewer is just like any other hobby, a million people all with different opinions.[/quote]

I agree. There is some fantastic info shared here and I know everyone appreciates it. I think the overall “time heals all mistakes” idea that seems to predominate does seem to work, but very good points made by all. Too bad we all can’t discuss over a few ounces to test the opinions! :slight_smile:

I agree that fermentation should be finished by now, but it isn’t getting staler by the hour. I’m drinking a beer that’s been in primary for 2 months before kegging

and it tastes great. Some are better after 18 months :roll:

Jack5j, sanitize and check your gravity. Taste it.

I admire your patience, most new brewers rack and bottle after a week.[/quote]

Beer is ready to drink when fermentation and carbonation are complete. But the way I see it,the beer will be safer from any risk of bacterial contamination in bottles than it would have been in the fermenter,and if it’s not ready to drink in a month,I can wait as long as I want to try it again.It will still continue to develop with age in the bottle,just as it would have in the fermenter,and the risk of oxidation and yeast autolysis has been greately reduced.[/quote]

I agree most beer is best when fresh. I’m not sure if a month in the bottle is any fresher than a month in the fermenter.

After fermentation as complete, the yeast are still at work cleaning up byproducts.

With quality ingredients and good sanitation, the fermenter is very safe from infection and oxidation.

My practice for regular recipes is 3-4 wks. in primary, and 1-2 wks. in the keg before drinking. It looks like we’re drinking about the same time.

If the end result is great beer, stick with it.

Your risk of infection comes from your process not from sitting in a fermenter. Bacteria doesn’t “crawl”. It’s airborne. So as long as your beer is covered, your risk of infection is pretty slim. Now if the bacteria was already in the fermenter before you transferred it, that is how most infections happen.

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