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Witbier fermentation done in 2 weeks?

Dear experts:

I ordered and brewed this: http://www.northernbrewer.com/shop/witb … t-kit.html

I broke my damn hydrometer a couple of days ago while brewing something else or I wouldn’t be bothering you good folks. My replacement hydros won’t be here for another few days.

It’s been exactly 2 weeks since boiling. Krausen has fallen and there are just a few random bubbles covering perhaps 10% of the total surface of the wort. Airlock bubbles perhaps once an hour–if any at all. Is it ready to bottle?

NB instructions say primary for 2 weeks then secondary for 2 more (I’ve already determined that secondary is not necessary). The advice from the forums is all over the place on this–some say 2 weeks is fine, others say let it sit but I can’t find anything about this particular batch.

Sooo, should I let this stuff sit in primary for another few days or go ahead and bottle it?

Jim,

Going on all the advice I’ve seen on this forum, if I were without a hydrometer, I would wait at least three weeks, maybe four. Others who are more familiar with the kit and the yeast will hopefully chime in. Even though active fermentation is perhaps done, the yeasties are still doing some clean up work.

If I’ve learned anything over the past 12 months of brewing, it’s that patience is practically always rewarded.

Cheers,
Ron

I wouldn’t bottle any of my beers after 2 weeks. That is a minimum time, and IMO is more designed to get the brewer on to their next brew (and back in the store spending money). 4 weeks has pretty much become my standard, sometimes 5 or 6 depending on my schedule. All done in the primary.

Yeah, as I assumed.

While I waited on you folks to respond, I went ahead and transferred to secondary so I could free up my 6gal primary for my next boil sometime this week (wife is out of town so this is how I stay outta trouble).

So I’ll wait at least until my TWO hydrometers get here and look at it then.

I prolly don’t have to tell you that home brewing is an excellent way to slow down the passage of time. I brewed my 1st batch a month ago and that was a year ago.

Personally,I would wait for your hydrometer to come in the mail and take a sample before bottling,otherwise you’ll never know if your beer fermented completely or not.But really,if it is done,there’s absolutely no good reason to let your beer sit around in the carboy any longer than it needs to.If your beer is done fermenting,it’s just getting stale sitting in that carboy for weeks on end,especially if there’s any chance that it’s sitting on autolyzed yeast.Freshness really is king in the world of beer flavor.I’ve given this advice out to others recently,and it would seem that there are some here who disagree.I mean no disrespect to them,but I’m sticking to my guns on this one.Unless you’re making a strong beer that needs a lot of time to mature,brewing is a simple 3 step process: 1) brew it, 2) bottle it,3) drink it…in as little time as necessary to maximize freshness.I’d probably be happy to have that last statement as my epitaph,quite honestly.You can absolutely quote me on this one,and look for qualified commentary from as many famous beer gurus as you want, to crossexamine what I’m saying.I’m pretty darn confident that they’ll all back me up on it.

Since witbier is best young, I actually have had one kegged, carbed, and ready to drink by 2 weeks when I was in a hurry to get one ready for a party. BUT, I still checked to make sure gravity was stable, and I had enough experience to know what I could get away with. For newbies, you generally are better off erring on the side of longer than you really needed.

Which yeast did you use? The one time I used Wyeast 3944, it stalled and I had to rouse it and heat it up to get it to finish. I’ve since read that that’s not uncommon.

3944 is exactly what I used for the ultra fast one. I’ve never had problems with it stalling, although I don’t use it just super frequently.

I pitched a large starter, raised fermentation temp toward the end of fermentation, and roused the yeast frequently. I also shook the crap out of the keg to force carb quickly, and since it was a wit I didn’t have to wait for it to clarify.

I don’t even sort of recommend this as standard practice, but with a certain amount of luck you can do it. :cheers:

I make a Wit every spring. It’s one of only a few recipes that I don’t tinker with. It’s fantastic as is and I only ferment for 2 weeks, then straight into the keg. 3 days later it’s good to drink! So from grain to glass is around 17-20 days or so.

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