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Old 03-23-2008, 10:14 PM   #1
Chip
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Default Bad Primary Bucket?

Anyone ever get a bad primary bucket?

Several weeks ago I made a double batch of Ale and borrowed a primary from a friend. His bucket was bubbling like crazy and mine was not. It would seal, hold pressure as the little plastic thing in the air lock would move to the top of the airlock and then just sit there. On my bucket, I pushed on the lid it would bubble like mad and then the plastic thing would raise up again, but no bubbles. It is if the pressure builds up just enough to move the plastic thing up by not enough pressure to make it bubble.

On Friday I made a batch of stout and I am getting the same thing our of hte same bucket. I did try different airlocks and get the same results. The bung is pressed so tight in the lid that it squeeked when I pushed it in and it will not turn. I put a bit of water around it to see if it is leaking gas and no bubbles - the fit is tight. I know the beer is fermenting as it has that wonderful foam on top and you can smell it when you enter the room so the gas is getting our somewhere.

It is as if the bucket of lid has a small pin hole in it. The lid is down tight.

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Old 03-23-2008, 11:26 PM   #2
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Couple of thoughts...

First it sounds like everything is just fine, as long as the gravity is dropping it's fine.
Things it could be, like you said a pinhole somewhere, but even then during high krausen, so much co2 is let off, I can't believe a pinhole would be big enough. Also, maybe your not watching long enough for the bubble?
Last, because I had this happen once... a lot of co2 was dissolved into solution and when I went to rack it was foamy as hell through the siphon. I would still think you'd get airlock activity though.

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Old 03-24-2008, 12:04 AM   #3
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I had that a while ago, it was a bad lid o-ring/gasket

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Old 03-24-2008, 02:52 AM   #4
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I do not have a O Ring on the lid. Just a hole in it and a rubber bung that holds the airlock. The challenging thing to me is that the little hat in the air lock is not rising and everything is tight. Perhaps little Co2 is being generated. The temperature is holding steady at 72 degrees. It was at least under some pressure for the first day while the Krausen was forming.

My concern is that I might be getting air in that could lead to contamination. In any case, it will sit if primary at least until next Sat. Then into a secondary.

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Old 03-24-2008, 03:12 AM   #5
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Sure there's enough water in the airlock? Pressing the lid to test it may suck some water out into the bucket when you release the pressure. On the other hand, if there's lots of water in there, the "hat" in the airlock will get jammed up against the lid of the airlock and won't move. If you want to test the grommet or any other potentially leaky area, use soapy water instead of plain. Also, look at the water levels in the airlock: if they're almost the same, even during vigorous fermentation, then it's more than just a pinhole.

Whatever the case may be, some people ferment in open containers, which works alright, and you're doing better than that.

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