26 Mar
2010
Posted in: Home Brewing
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How Long Does My Beer Need to Ferment? Is My Beer Done Fermenting? Fix Leaking Fermenter Lid

Being new to the brewing process, and having some instructions that arent very clear, I wasnt sure how to tell if my beer was done fermenting?

The instructions say to let it ferment for 10-20 days. That is a pretty big window, how am i supposed to know if the beer is done fermenting after 10 days or 20 days?

I can’t rely on watching the airlock bubble, becasue the lid for the plastic bucket that it is fermenting in has a slow leak, so the airlock doesnt bubble anymore. So it was day 13 of the the fermenting process last night when I opened the lid up. The Beer looked a bit clowdy still, so i tested the alcohol content with the hydrometer and it was only at about 3.5% alcohol by volume. The beer is supposed to be at about 4.3% when finished.

Fixing the slow Leak in the Fementer –

So I snapped the lid back on, and tried to get the best seal that I could. I tried putting it on a few diffreent ways, and finall I got an air tight seal, and the airlock started bubbling again.

Those plastic lids on the fermenter buckets are fussy. It seems like you should just be able to snap all sides down and have a strong seal, but that doesn’t seem to be the case at all. The way I was able to get the air tight seal was by snapping down 3 sides of the lid. Then when I got to the last clasp on the plastic lid, I tried to put a lot of weight on that side, while stretching the lid over in the direction of the last clasp, while snapping it down tightly. This took a few tries, but when I got that airtight seal, I noticed the water level in the air lock slowly start to move and bubble.

The Airlock has been bubbling since and I think that I will leave the beer in there for about 3 more days and check it again to see if the yeast has settled to the bottom, and what the alcohol content is at.

Could the fact that the lid had a slow leak in it, and didnt have an air tight seal prolong the fermenting process a little?

So, what do you think?