The Different Stages of Fermentation

If you are a first-time brewer you are most likely unsure what to expect for your first batch. We thought it would be helpful to break down the different basic stages of fermentation in this week's episode of BrewTalk with Mr. Beer. 

The first stage would be right after you pitch your yeast. Most people expect to see something right away but you usually won't. You will get some action with in the first 24 hours of pitching your yeast but not a lot. And you won’t see anything happen right away, so just be patient.

The second stage is what is usually referred to as high krausen and is the most active stage of fermentation. This is during the first 72 hours of fermentation.

So, during the first 3 days, you will see some good action in your beer and foam on top. This is when the yeast is eating up most of the simple sugars first and just going crazy.

After this stage, the fermentation activity will slow and can even sometimes look like nothing is happening, but don’t worry, those yeasts are still doing their thing.

During this phase, they are breaking down more of the complex sugars, so they are not as active, but they are still fermenting away.

Your beer will remain this way until it is done. So the majority of the sugars are eaten up in the first 72 hours then the yeast works on the more complex sugars for the remaining time of fermentation.

It is important to note that when you bottle your beer you will get a slight secondary fermentation activity. The yeast will be a little more active due to the sugar that you added to your bottles. This is what will create the C02 in your beer.

You will also see the same thing if you add fruit for example later in fermentation. So if you add fruit on day 10 of fermentation the yeast will go crazy again and look like high krausen all over again.

One more thing to keep in mind, the more fermentables you have in your beer the more active of a fermentation you will have. So if you are brewing a big beer or something with fruit or added sugars, you will see a lot more active fermentation that you normally would.