Brewing my first batch (American Pale Ale) and it’s been in the fermentor bucket for two weeks. The instructions with the kit (extract + specialty grains, OG 1.048 using Safale US-05 yeast) said fermentation should take 10-14 days. Temperature is holding at 64-65 degrees and has basically been there the whole time.

I had a lot of bubbling action for the first week and none for the past 8 days. I don’t have a hydrometer yet. Is it ready to bottle or should I let it sit a while longer hoping the yeast clear things up?


Let it sit another week then package. Ideally, you’d take a hydrometer reading, but it’s no big deal if you don’t at this point in your brewing. After 3 weeks, it should be done. When you open the top, is there any foam on it?

I have not opened the bucket. I’ve tried to be patient, leave it alone, and not stare at it like a new bike on Christmas.

Opening it up isn’t a big deal. I wouldn’t leave the lid off for any length of time, but having a peak to see what’s going on is fine.

Please take this with the love and understanding intended. Buy a hydrometer! If you bottle early and the beer is still fermenting bottle bombs s*ck. When half of every bottle ends up on the floor and it takes 5 minutes for the head to clear and you have 2 ozs. of beer in the glass it is a pain in the buttocks.
Please note that this is not from personal experience. This happened to a friend of a friend during a full moon during an Elephant stampede. All my beers are perfectly carbonated and taste great.

+1 on the hydrometer. They are well worth it. Never judge your fermenting progress by air lock activity. You will be glad when you buy and use one. I have been leaving my beer in the primary for 4 weeks before taking a gravity reading and the beer is done fermenting by that time. If you don’t have a hydrometer by the time your beer has been in the primary bucket for 4 weeks, I would bet it is done fermenting. Don’t rush the process. I know it is hard not to. Been there and done it.

I am in no hurry to do anything but try to make a good beer. Since I’m new to this any and all advice is greatly appreciated. A hydrometer is on my list of things to buy and I’ll be getting one today between shifts at work.

I agree to wait for at least 3 weeks, and 4 weeks is not bad. Although actual fermentation can be done earlier, there are other processes at work such as the yeast “cleaning up” during the remaining weeks. The beer will be better if you wait, otherwise it would take much longer in a bottle to reach the same level of maturity (for lack of a better word).

The airlock is a liar. Your brew could never bubble that damned thing and could be fermenting fully (although that’s highly unlikely). Buy the hydrometer. Trust the hydrometer. Love the hydrometer.

[quote="Hoppenheimer"Buy the hydrometer. Trust the hydrometer. Love the hydrometer.[/quote]
Trust but verify. Be sure to check the hydrometer in distilled water at 60 degrees F. See if it reads 1.000. If it reads something else then you have to adjust your readings by that amount each time.

well… there’s always the refractometer if you’re willing to shell out the dough.

[quote=“Hoppenheimer”]well… there’s always the refractometer if you’re willing to shell out the dough.[/quote]Buy one hydrometer and it’ll break, so you should buy two (at least). Buy one refractometer and you’re done.

I checked this afternoon and there is no foam on the top, except for some very small circles of it about 1/2- 3/4 in diameter, but I did see a ring from where the krausen had risen.

Bottle it if you must, but I don’t even check typically until almost a month.


When I broke my first hydrometer I rushed out and bought two from an aquarium store. Then I bought one from NB with my next order. Now I have three hydrometers…

You’re low grav PA is finished fermenting. Taste some and see what you think. Remember you still have 2 weeks of aging to go in bottles.


For a lower gravity beer, it’ll be done in two weeks. Anything above 1.055 I let sit for another week or two.

I’m bottling two weeks after brew day on almost every batch.

I crack a cold bottle two weeks after bottling and the beer is always excellent. The ones I let sit for several more weeks in room temp storage get even better though. Which is why I rotate only 6 bottles at a time thought my fridge. :cheers:

Funny there’s all this cheering for hydrometers. I just decided to upgrade to a couple “precision” hydrometers today (from another vendor). I have a refractometer too, but the darn thing is difficult to read. I use it mainly when I want to confirm I’m in the ballpark, like when making a starter.

I’ve had the same hydrometer for 14 yrs. Kegging tomorrow, I’ll probably break it. :wink: