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My first home brew batch has been in the primary fermentation for one week and the gravity reading has dropped from 1055 to 1008. Is it going down too quickly?

  • 4 kg pale ale malt
  • 0,5 kg crystal malt
  • 100 g cascade hops
  • US-05 yeast

The amount of wort after boiling was 16 litres.

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

Nope, you're looking good. Normal, healthy fermentation for most beers completes in about 3-10 days, depending on the yeast and beer in question. Is the first gravity reading you've taken? Wait a couple of days and take another. If it hasn't changed, then fermentation is complete.

At this point your beer has achieved 85% attenuation, which is a little on the high side to my mind but I've never worked with US-05 before. A quick search of the Internet shows that 85% may be in the normal range for this yeast. Your beer may be a bit on the dry side. If the beer tastes good, then no worries.

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I agree that the fermentation is done, but that doesn't mean that the beer is done! The yeast are still busy converting acetaldehyde and higher alcohols into ethanol. Leave it the fermenter, or transfer it to secondary, and leave it for another two weeks before bottling or kegging. –  Tobias Patton Mar 17 '13 at 15:40
    
No argument about post-fermentation cleanup, though I would say that 2 weeks is a bit on the long side. If there are any doubts, take a sample and taste, and err towards leaving it in the fermenter. –  Galapagos Jim Mar 17 '13 at 19:12
    
Thanks for your input! I won't rush it. –  anssias Mar 22 '13 at 11:51
    
It is now bottled. I also took a sample and it indeed tasted a bit "dry" but also strong and hoppy. What makes it "dry"? –  anssias Mar 29 '13 at 7:01
    
@anssias - That's a good question itself, you should ask it as its own thread. In short, a "dry" beer lacks sweetness so the alcohol feels more present, although other factors like hop bitterness or roast malt astringency or carbonation can affect the sense of dryness. Most beers have sugars that the yeast aren't capable of fermenting, and often also sugars that the yeast don't ferment due to attenuation limits. 85% is a strong attenuation, so there will be little residual sugars in your beer. Here's the real question: Does it taste good? –  Galapagos Jim Mar 29 '13 at 18:00
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