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I started my first small batch 1 gal IPA. After I pitched my yeast I had some blow off (as was expected) but it only lasted about a day, then I attached my airlock.

A week into into the brew it was barely bubbling and continued until 2 days before I was going to bottle. Now it is cloudy and bubbling very rapidly but has no foam on top of the surface. Is it possible that I have messed up somewhere along the line and it has started to carbonate?

If it is a temperature problem and it is now just reaching the right temp, how long should I leave it before harm is done? Or is it too late?

  • "A week into into the brew it was barley bubbling and continued until 2 days before I was going to bottle" // What is the interval of time between these two points? If you brewed on "day 1", and at "day 7" it was "barley [sic; hah!] bubbling", and "day X" was "2 days before i was going to bottle", what is X? // What temperature was and is it at? // To answer the titular question: yes, fermented beer has about 0.8 volumes of residual carbonation. But that's not really relevant. I think you just aren't done with fermentation. // Please provide more info, though. – jsled Jan 13 '16 at 3:15
  • It has been 2 weeks since day 1 and due to lack of funds my guess would be temp no lower than 70 degrees up until today which should have been bottle day it was getting a nice amber color like an ipa should.but all of the sudden it has taken on a unfiltered cider color I made sure every thing was thoroughly sanitized and that's why I am confused I've looked at it every other day to check up on it making sure not to move or disturb the batch I can only go on what I see again due to lack of funds so no hydrometer – user13153 Jan 13 '16 at 3:22
  • Also airlock bubbles every 7 seconds – user13153 Jan 13 '16 at 3:25
  • I am concerned where you said you attached the air lock a day later. Was it open to air during that time? If so that could be a point of infection. – Evil Zymurgist Jan 13 '16 at 4:31
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Relax.

As stated yes your beer is carbonating during all stages of fermentaion, as c02 and alcohol is by product from yeast consuming sugars. But the beer won't hold the carbonation since it's not in a sealed container, nor should it be (it's not recommended for a novice brewer, but can be done). So the beer should be "flat" during fermentaion, as in not holding c02 pressure. Some krausen foam is normal early on, but this falls back in and c02 is still produced without making foam for the rest of fermentation.

7-14 days is generally a primary fermentation duration.

7-14+ days for secondary. This stage is done to remove the beer from the floculated yeast in the primary fermentor. Allowing the yeast in suspension to clean up the beer and for that yeast and other particulates to settle out. Making a cleaner clearer beer. If you have air lock activity, it's not done.

Edit: it is normal for the krausen head to fall back it as the yeast starts to floculate, but fermentation is far from over. You will still see almost violent churning still with no foam, until it slows and settles to the bottom.

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