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I have a 1-gallon kit from the Brooklyn Brew Shop (don't laugh; I'm a total n00b). I have a batch of the Chestnut Brown fermenting -- but there is no visible fermentation at all. While I had the blow-off tube connected there was clearly fermentation, but no longer.

Is this a clear indication of a bad batch?

EDIT: The batch is 1 week into the fermentation (out of a recommended 2 weeks) and it's currently 57°F. When I took off the airlock to check the temperature, there was nothing unusual about the smell.

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How long has it been, what temperature was it at? Its very possible that the most active part of the ferment is done. That is not to say the beer is done though. Give it a full 10 days before moving on to your next step. Post and update with the time and temp info and I'll repost with an answer. – brewchez Apr 9 '11 at 0:51
up vote 1 down vote accepted

You're probably doing alright. That is a little bit cool for an ale, but the most active part of fermentation is usually done in 3-5 days. The extra few days is for the yeast to go back and clean up some by-products that they left over from the initial fermentation period, and for them to settle out of suspension.

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I agree with Baka's answer and Brechez's comments. And as with all "is this done" type of questions, would recommend getting a hydrometer. Also never be apologetic for how big of batches you are doing or where you got them. We all started somewhere and starting is the most important part.

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Thanks for the hydrometer recommendation. Sounds like a good book is in order, too. ;-) – Mattio Apr 9 '11 at 2:31

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