How Do I Know My Beer Is Fermenting?

Fermentation turns sugars into alcohol… without fermentation, you would not be able to sit back, sip on your brew and feel good afterwards…

It just wouldn’t happen…

Which is why you need to know if your beer is fermenting or not and what to do if you find out it is not… and it really isn’t that hard to understand…

Most brewers look to see if there is any airlock activity to see if fermentation is happening… but that’s wrong!

Airlock activity simply tells you that CO2 is escaping the fermentor… if you have airlock activity more than likely you have fermentation going on… but if you don’t have any airlock activity you may still have fermentation going on… this really does happen…

Because regardless of whether the airlock is moving or not, yeast eat sugar during fermentation… so what you have to do is measure the amount of sugar in your beer…

On brew day you take a hydrometer reading and get your OG… that is the amount of sugar you start out with… once you pitch your yeast, they’ll go to town and munch on as much sugar as they can over time which means your gravity readings will drop until fermentation is done and you hit your FG…

If fermentation is stuck or not happening for whatever reason, the way you know is by taking a gravity reading and checking to see if it drops or if it remains constant… if it drops, then fermentation is happening… if it’s constant, yeast are not eating sugar and therefore fermentation is not happening…

This is a good way to tell if fermentation is complete…

If your beer is not fermenting, then you have to look at other factors… first off, temperature… the reason why most brewers see their fermentation stall is because they don’t control the

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2 Comments

  • Steve

    Reply Reply January 23, 2013

    Can you held me? I am making a European larger (coopers) brand
    I live in Australia and my beer has stopped working at10-12 any way of making it finish? Thanks. Steve.

    • Jorge

      Reply Reply January 23, 2013

      @Steve – Do you mean the gravity is 1.012?? if that’s the case, it’s probably done…

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