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Short fermentation?

I brewed a “small batch” one gallon of Irish Red. On day two and three there appeared to be healthy fermentation occurring with the airlock popping every few seconds. By day four the bubbles are nearly gone and the airlock rarely vents. The carboy has been kept at a steady 60-65f. This is my first ever brewing attempt. Is this normal, or has something gone wrong?

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My one gallon batch of Irish Red from NB extract (only my 2nd batch ever) was brewed on Sunday morning. On Monday morning I had to remove the airlock and put a blowoff tube on because fermentation was vigorous. I replaced the airlock on Tuesday evening as things had settled down. Tonight (Wednesday) the krausen has fallen completely and all is quiet. Yeast was pitched at 60F and carboy has been in the basement at a constant 57F - 58F with a towel wrapped around it.

I found this big swing quite surprising at these temps but plan on leaving it a full 3 weeks before bottling and expect a nice, crisp, clean ale. I hope I’m right!!!

Totally normal. The (very, very) rough timeline is:

– Lag (yeast getting warmed up): first day or two.

– Exponential growth (yeast feasting on the sugar): 1-4 days

– Secondary fermentation (yeast doing the dishes and settling down for the evening): 3 days to a couple weeks.

The timeline might get stretched out or compressed down based on a whole slew of factors, and technically there’s a lot of overlap among the phases, but that’s about how an “average” fermentation should work out. The only time you’ll see krausen and significant airlock bubbling is during that 2nd phase.

You should definitely give it the full 2 weeks in the fermentor in any case. It doesn’t look like anything exciting’s happening, and the wait can be downright painful on your first few beers. But that’s the time when the yeast are turning green beer into delicious beer so it doesn’t pay to rush it.

Excellent. Thanks so much.

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