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Joe G

Been a bit cold - can fermenting go longer than 3 weeks?

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Hi all -

I was just about to cold crash my Howling Red Ale today, and had a taste before hand.  It didn't taste completely done yet.  I'm guessing because it has been a bit colder than normal this week, and the temp showing on my stick-on thermometer on the LBK is showing about 66 degrees, which I'm guessing is slowing the fermenting process a bit.  Problem is, I'm going out of town until Thursday, about 5 days past bottling time.  Is it OK to let it continue to ferment a bit longer like that?  Sorry if this is a basic question, this is the 7th beer I've brewed (all with great results) and I've never encountered this issue before.  Thanks for any advice!

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66 is fine, in fact it's PERFECT.  If it didn't taste sweet, it's done.

 

It's also ok to go 3 weeks and 5 days.  😉

 

 

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Thanks @RickBeer !  Good to know the temp isn't as much of an issue as I thought.  It definitely did not taste sweet, but kind of had an aftertaste of very slight vinegary-ness, which I have read elsewhere is a sign the fermenting has a few more days to go.  So I will let it go to Thursday and look forward to bottling upon my return!

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Any "vinegar-like" taste is not a good sign.  But as to whether or not it's done, fermenting eats sugar so the taste test is sweetness.  Using a hydrometer would tell you whether it's actually done, no tasting needed.

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@RickBeer I may not be describing it right, it is just a flavor i tasted once before when tasting my beer before crashing.  I let it go a few more days and it was fine.  But that was a more basic recipe, this is the Howling Red, so maybe I'm just tasting the different hops I've never used before?  I don't know.  Would rather play it safe.  

I did just get my hydrometer, I just need to learn how to use it first before trying, haven't had the time to read a bit more about it.  Will likely use it for my next brew.

 

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Hydrometers are easy to use, look under RickBeer's post. No harm in going a few extra days either, but if the yeast are very cold, they have stopped working ( ale yeast). I think that 66 deg F is perfect, and I try to brew near that.

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On Thursday, March 07, 2019 at 10:15 AM, RickBeer said:

66 is fine, in fact it's PERFECT.  If it didn't taste sweet, it's done.

 

It's also ok to go 3 weeks and 5 days.  😉

 

 

Do you ever tire answering this question? LOL. Maybe it's the beer, but do I sense a level of snarkiness in your use of uppercase for the word "PERFECT"?

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On 3/7/2019 at 11:31 AM, Joe G said:

@RickBeer I may not be describing it right, it is just a flavor i tasted once before when tasting my beer before crashing.  I let it go a few more days and it was fine.  But that was a more basic recipe, this is the Howling Red, so maybe I'm just tasting the different hops I've never used before?  I don't know.  Would rather play it safe.  

I did just get my hydrometer, I just need to learn how to use it first before trying, haven't had the time to read a bit more about it.  Will likely use it for my next brew.

 

Hydrometer is a great tool. Make sure to log your readings and observations for each brew as it's a great help when you brew a recipe again.

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