PDA

View Full Version : 2 1/2 weeks and still fermenting



Iain
3rd Jul 2007, 12:50 PM
Got a Newcastle ale brew on the go, using a lager yeast, it is pretty cool in the kitchen but it's still happily bubbling away after 16 days.
This sound normal or do I have a problem?

bpj1968
3rd Jul 2007, 06:52 PM
True lager ferments at a lower temp 12 - 18 and lower, about what we are having at the moment in Melbourne. It is a bit slower than ale yeast.

Take a SG reading over a few days and see if it is gettign lower. How fast is it bubbling. Can you see eth water move, followed by a nice burble every now and then, which is normal. Or is it a very occasional burble which may be realted to a change in teh air temp in the fermentor. SG readings will tell you this.

Glenn_M
3rd Jul 2007, 08:39 PM
Iain,
I'd be checking the temp of the brew a few times a day and SG daily. My lager yeast (Bavarian) ferments stronger at 10C in my ferm fridge for 3-4 weeks.

What was the OG of the wort? Are you using Kit + Dextrose or adding some other malts? Higher order sugars can take longer to ferment than dextrose.

I don't think you have cause to worry but a few temp and SG readings along with a taste of the wort from the SG reading will soon put your mind to rest.

I love Melbourne winters! Perfect for brewing up the summers drinking supplies!

Cheers,
Glenn

jimmyh
5th Jul 2007, 07:31 PM
Iain, how do you know that it is still fermenting? Airlock activity is not a reliable indicator of fermentation! As has already been suggested the best way to judge is by a stable hydrometer reading over 2 or 3 days. 16 days sounds like too long for primary fermentation to me, ideally you would rack this beer off its sediment to another vessel in order to clear the beer even further. If you are not going to perform a secondary fermentation, and intend to bottle or keg immediately, I would suggest that, depending on the original ingredients, a hydrometer reading anywhere below 1.018 _may_ be satisfactory, but this depends a lot on what you started with...A larger proportion of sugar or dextrose will give you a much lower expected final reading of course.

Naturally all of this assumes that you are using a GENUINE lager yeast, such as Saflager. There are some yeasts out there which are labelled "lager" whose characteristics are quite unknown, and if they are in fact ale yeasts, they may be sluggish or dormant at lower temperatures and that may be another cause of your long fermentation problem.

The worst possible scenario is that you beer has a bacterial infection and if this is the case, then it will continue to ferment until there are no sugars whatsoever left in the wort. You would also notice some strange appearance of the top layer and possibly some very bad smells as well!

Good luck!

Iain
5th Jul 2007, 07:43 PM
It is genuine Saflager, it is cold and I assume it is taking a bit longer, smells good and the bubbling stopped, may just pull it out and keg tomorrow with a minimal gassing.
Wait for a cold night and gas again to get the 'spritzig' and forget for a while.
Thanks for the responses anyway, has been a great help, kegging is fairly new to me and trying to come to terms with no secondary.

himzol
5th Jul 2007, 07:47 PM
Got a Newcastle ale brew on the go, using a lager yeast, it is pretty cool in the kitchen but it's still happily bubbling away after 16 days.
This sound normal or do I have a problem?

Hi Iain,

As others have said, do a hydrometer reading and see if it's stable over two or three days.

The cooler temps can certainly be a reason for the slow ferment, I have a vienna that is still going after about the same length of time, hydrometer still falling.

H.