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URGENT advice needed - I don't know what I'm doing...

Okay I am fermenting my 3rd AG brew (an Irish Stout) and it's been in the fermenter for 18 days and is only down to 1.014 and he airlock is still blowing occassionally...here's the dilemma...

I'm on the plane tomorrow to the UK and won't be back for 3 weeks, what do I do?

1. Bottle tonight and risk exploding bottles if fermentation hasn't finished?
2. Just leave it until I am back?
3. Rack it into a another fermented and leave until I'm back?
4. Other?

I need advice ASAP as still have to pack etc. Also it tasted so good from the small gravity sample I took that I don't what to stuff this up?

Thanks in advance for the advice...

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Leave it.

95% chance it will be fine.
Beautiful mate, that's what I wanted to hear.

Should I risk drawing a pint out of it tonight? - it taste so good.
If you can do so sanitary, go for it.
The 95% chance thing is just to cover my ass really, the lawyers tell me to do it :-P

1. Quite likely bottles will explode.

2. Slight chance of autolysis, but meh, I reckon it'll be sweet. If it doesn't autolyse then it will be one hell of a beer when you get back.

3. There's a chance this'll halt fermentation because you're taking it off the yeast, but then again it's got 3 weeks to finish the job.
can you dump the fermenter in a fridge?
Yip you can it will halt fermentation or even stop fermentation, how many points are you off terminal?
No can't get into a fridge - but it is in a garage and can remove it's insulation if tat helps?

I'm not really sure what FG should be so I'm flying a bit blind.
I'd bottle it or at the very least rack it.

What FG were you expecting? 1.014 sounds low enough to me for a Stout.

If you leave it in the fermenter for 3 weeks on top of the almost 3 weeks so far that'll be almost 6 weeks. That sounds too long to me.

I doubt the bottles will explode after only 3 weeks in the bottle. With an FG of 1.014 there's not a hell of a lot of fermentable sugar left. If you're concerned you could prime for a lowish CO2 vol. If it's overcarbed when you get back you can always burp the bottles (will require recapping if glass bottles).

Sorry for disagreeing with Denim, I know that will probably confuse things.

Good Luck
I'd bottle it too. Sounds to me like it's done. I just did an IPA which took 4 days to reach terminal - even at 18 degrees. 3 weeks would be an unusual amount of time for a standard gravity beer to fully attenuate - I'd say it was done last week.

At least if you bottle it - it'll be ready to drink once you get back from holiday.
Leave it.
Order kegs tonight.
Keg it when you return and start drinking straight away.

DO NOT LEAVE IT COLD. Your greatest risk while away, assuming it is in a plastic fermenter and is sealed, is a little oxidation. This will be increased by cool temps becasue the beer will disolve CO2 from the headspace... and then O2. Here's the bonus: if it is infected you will taste the shite when you get home and you won't have to bother with bottling.

I've left beers for 4-5 weeks in the fermenter and they were perfectly drinkable. I would prefer to get them out a little early, just at after they've cleaned up, so that oxidation is minimised (a few days in the keg, with a wee pinch of sugar at warm temps, will work wonders in that department) but I'm not bothered.
bottle it just finished a dark ale ferment OG 1070 FG 1023 just wouldnt go any more
IMO, I would rack it into a secondary and leave it.

1. if you leave it in the primary, as Stu said you run the risk of oxidation and leaving on the trub for that long you could develop off flavours.

2. You could bottle it, but that takes time and the risk that there will be a lot of yeast still active.

3.Racking into the secondary buys you time, allows the yeast to finish(if it hasn't) and wont allow the beer to develop off flavours from sitting on the trub.

Thats the safest and best solution for you IMO.


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