Fermentation time?

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How long should it take for a belgian ale to ferment fully?  I boiled
the wort and put in the yeast on Wednesday night, and Thursday the air
lock was bubbling quite a bit, and by yesterday it had pretty much
stopped.

This is the first time trying home brewing.  How long should I let the
wort + yeast sit in the fermenter before I put in the sugar and bottle it?

Thanks.

--
Matt
mveino at gmail dot com
http://www.phishyphotos.com rmp photo album: http://www.recmusicphish.com IM:  Dividedsky319

Re: Fermentation time?
kiwi wrote:
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Lacking a hydrometer to measure your beer's specific gravity, you can
either wait until the airlock bubbles, say, less than once in five
minutes or so. In my very limited experience the process takes about two
weeks. You don't want to rush beer anyway, since the longer it sits the
clearer it becomes as solids drift to the bottom of the fermenter.

Siphon the clear beer off into another sterilized container while adding
the boiled/cooled sterile sugar-water solution before bottling, if you
want to avoid cloudy beer. The muck in the bottom of the fermenter may
be full of nutrients, but it isn't pretty.

Karl S.
--
And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant.
Matthew 20:27 KJV

Re: Fermentation time?

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How long should it take?  There's time, temperature, the activity of
the yeast, the amount of sugar, the minerals in the water and various
conditions added by your technique . . . Lot of variables and no clear
answers.

Rule of thumb:   a couple of weeks.  But if your wort wasn't aerated
at the start or the wort and water not mixed enough, yeast sluggish or
not proofed, un fermentable starches or sugars . . .  longer.

Another rule of thumb - all first timers worry about it.  Don't.  Beer
frequently gets made in spite of what you do.  You'll get better, and
worry less, with practice.

I would assume, since you are new at this, that your fermentor is a
plastic bucket?  Only one bucket?  You will put corn sugar dissolved
in boiled water ~one cup per five gallons of wort?  Stir it up? then
bottle?

A lot of people start out that way, so you're in good company.  My
first batch was pretty bad.  It wasn't until I forked out the money
for glass carboys and switched to two stage fermentation and using
blow-off on the primary that I could make better tasting beer than the
imported stuff.

If batches two and three tasted like number one, I would have quit.
It is possible (but less likely) to get a good drinkable brew with one
stage plastic bucket fermentation.  

Most people buy the basic system "to see if they like it."    I say
add the carboys etc. then decide.

There was a chef I worked for, many years ago,  he was fond of saying
"You want to learn how to cook?  Eat your mistakes;  you'll learn."


Re: Fermentation time?
Gennerally it will take two weeks.  That is provided you are using a
"basic" recipe.  Higher "sugar" contents will take more.  If you can, a
two stage fermenter is the best way to go.  You will get more of the
"solids" out that way.  With most of the batches I have made it's been
one week in the primary and one in the secondary (preferably glass) and
about 2 weeks in the bottle.  I do have an Imperial Stout working right
now that took one month in the primary and and I can bottle about
December 10 and should be able to sample sometime in June.  Good luck.
Mike

kiwi wrote:
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Re: Fermentation time?
As a full time brewer 60 hours is all that you need, the yeast will start to
die-off because the ethanol content is too high.

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Re: Fermentation time?
brewmaster1 wrote:
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Would you like to explain a bit more about that ?

Cheers
KAsper

Re: Fermentation time?
wrote:

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I don't buy the part about the yeast dying off because of ethanol
content.  Depending on the strain of yeast the ethanol can be as high
as 15%, most people brew beer that is much lower in alcohol than that.

Temperature is the largest single governing factor (assuming the wort
is properly mixed, oxygen content high enough to start the yeast off,
yeast active and numbers adequate)

Now a commercial brewer, who is more concerned with time and profit,
might get a product out the door in a few days - but he has the
filtration apparatus, carbonating equipment, controlled temperatures,
and a good yeast stock.  And did I mention the profit motive?

A home brewer, doesn't have as good control of the variables, will
wait for the particles of grain and hops to settle out of suspension.
And - probably get better results.


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f

Re: Fermentation time?
brewmaster1 wrote:
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May I respectfullt say "No way"...maybe you can finish a beer in 60
hours in a commercial setting, but we're homebrewers...we're not under
the gun to crank 'em out like the pros.  And as far as the yeast dying
off due to the ethanol content...are you sure you're a pro???

    ---------->Denny
--
Life begins at 60 - 1.060, that is.

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Re: Fermentation time?

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to

Is this because your wort is starting at 1100 and in a concentrated form?
You dilute at botteling to expand your efforts into $$.

My regular beer is more beer then water, my lite beer is more water then
beer.  hahahahahaha

__Stephen



Re: Fermentation time?
With belgian ale you should transfer to a secondary fermenter in 5 to 7
days when the foam on top has fallen back into the beer. In about 7 more
days the beer should be ready to prime and bottle. Are you brewing at
the proper temp? A cold basement floor is too cold for an ale. Room temp
is best. Hope this helps.

kiwi wrote:

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Re: Fermentation time?
barnett@hickorytech.net wrote:
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Let the beer dictate it's own schedule...it might be domne in that
timeframe and it might not.

    ----------->Denny

--
Life begins at 60 - 1.060, that is.

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