From the HBD Archive
From: greg@cemax.com (Greg Wageman)
Subject: Re: Quiet batches
Date: 1990-05-02 20:07:17 GMT

The past couple of digests have had several notes along these lines:

>> I racked the quiet stuff into a carboy anyway, on the theory that it
>> couldn't hurt. My plan is to give it another day or two to wake up. If
>> it doesn't, I'll add about 1/2 cup of sugar, boiled into syrup, just to
>> see if there's anything happening. I figure that small amount won't
>> affect the taste much. If it still doesn't show bubbles, I'll try
>> repitching with fresh yeast, I guess.
>
>I wouldn't worry. Just add the priming sugar to the thing and bottle
>it. My first batch ever (an English bitter) fermented for only 20 hours
>and then stopped. I just assumed it was OK, bottled it with corn sugar,
>and got the carbonation without any problem. The whole thing turned out
>pretty good...

I'd have thought this was old news, but you folks *really* ought to get
yourselves hydrometers, and take specific gravity readings of your
wort before you pitch your yeast, and when fermentation seems to have
stopped. The only truly reliable way to determine when fermentation is
done (and avoid making glass grenades) is to get a stable final gravity
(same reading over 24 hours) in the expected ballpark.

It is quite possible to get 48- or even 24-hour fermentations,
particularly at warmer temperatures (70+ degrees F.). Hydrometers are
easy to use, and just about every home brew supply place sells them.
They definitely help avoid worrying, and they give you an excuse to
taste the unfermented wort and the new beer, which is another good way
to learn more about your brew (at least, it has been for me).

-Greg

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