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Homebrewing: Robust Porter Brew-Along Day 8
Fermentation looks like it's finishing up and the airlock bubbles have slowed to almost nothing. As the yeast complete their job of processing the sugar, they clump together by a process called flocculation and settle to the bottom. Even though they're not really producing alcohol anymore, they are working to improve the flavor of the beer. When yeast move into dormancy, they actually re-absorb flavor compounds that are generally regarded as undesirable, such as the butter-flavored chemical diacetyl. Letting the beer sit undisturbed for a week or so after fermentation allows this process to complete and really helps clean up the flavor of the beer.
The krausen has also fallen into the beer and settled at the bottom of the carboy. Most of it in is in that thick whitish-colored cake you see at the bottom of the carboy, which is made up of dormant yeast and protein, along with hop and grain particles. When you finally transfer the beer to a bottling bucket, it's a good practice to leave as much of this behind as possible, so it doesn't end up in your bottles.
We're going to let this sit for a few more days in the dark, and on Friday we'll take a gravity reading to calculate the alcohol content and take a little taste to see how the flavor is coming along.
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