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Old 03-24-2008, 01:15 PM   #1
crn
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Default 5 Gallon Ale Pale leak question

I put my AHS Promo Amber Ale in my 5 Gallon Ale Pail yesterday afternoon. This morning I noticed what appears to show that fermentation has not started yet as the airlock is not bubbling. While inspecting the outside of the bucket I noticed a little wort in which it appears came out from under the sides of the lid. I can not get the lid on any tighter than it already is so my question is will this pose a problem? I have not taken the lid off completely to see if it not for sure fermenting and I know it can take up to 36 hours to start fermentation but I just want to make sure it will work. Does anyone think I should transfer it into my 2nd glass carboy just to be safe and use that as the primary?

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Old 03-24-2008, 01:17 PM   #2
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I would guess that what you are seeing coming out from under the lid is proof that fermentation has begun. You may have quite a mess on your hands trying to ferment a 5 gallon batch in a 5 gallon bucket. I would suggest trying to fashion some type of blow off tube in place of an air lock until fermentation slows.

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Old 03-24-2008, 01:27 PM   #3
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Well, I believe it is actually a 6/6.5 gallon bucket but it has the markers on the side for up to 5 gallons. Also the wort may have come out while I tried to aerate it. I am hoping that it didn't though.

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Originally Posted by Liquidicem
I would guess that what you are seeing coming out from under the lid is proof that fermentation has begun. You may have quite a mess on your hands trying to ferment a 5 gallon batch in a 5 gallon bucket. I would suggest trying to fashion some type of blow off tube in place of an air lock until fermentation slows.
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Old 03-24-2008, 01:42 PM   #5
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Remember airlock bubbling is not a true sign of fermentation, only your hydrometer is....

The airlock is outgassing oxygen initially and more importantly co2 (which is of course a byproduct of fermentation), but there are a lot of variables that come into play in terms of the airlock bubbling...You could have for example and bad seal between the grommet (or stopper) and the airlock, or the lid on the bucket isn't fully tight and gas is getting out elsewhere besides the airlock, or the stopper and mouth of the carboy and that would appear slow, while fermentaion is actually occuring rapidly... Or the little bubbler in the airlock could be sitting a little crooked, or become weighted down with tiny co2 bubbles and need to build up a good head of gas before blurping again.

Even having the airlock leaning slightly askew affects it.

I've got a beer in my fermentor that has had almost no airlock activity, but I see the liguid in the airlock is saturated with tiny bubbles so I'm pretty sure activity is occuring...But I won't really know until I take a hydro reading...But since I used a smack pack of yeast and a big starter I trust that the yeasties are doing their jobs...But my last beer on the other hand, the brown ale I pitched on a yeastcake from a previous batch sounded like a machine gun the way the bubbler was going up and down...I ended up needing a blow off tube once it got going...

So as you can see airlock activity varies, and should not be used a a sign of speed or lack of fermentation.

Either way, your beer is fine...It takes a lot to ruin beer....

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Old 03-24-2008, 02:54 PM   #6
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Look closely at the bucket just above the beer...you should be able to see the krausen sticking to side of the bucket on the inside. As long as that is there, your beer has/is fermenting fine. Either way, I wouldn't mess with it until it's time to bottle or transfer, then take a hydrometer reading. I'm thinking you should be ok though.

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Old 03-24-2008, 06:07 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Revvy
Even having the airlock leaning slightly askew affects it.
I didn't know that. I mean, I know that airlock activity [or lack thereof] isn't an indication of fermenting activity but I just hearing the sounds of bubbling/gurgling so I get obsessive about trying to figure out where there's an airleak.
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Old 03-24-2008, 06:17 PM   #8
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A leak that small will be fine. Nothing will travel into the fermenter with gas escaping out.

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Old 03-24-2008, 06:29 PM   #9
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Just wait it out. I brewed a American PA on Saturday, pitched yeast @ 4:00. Had no activity until this morning (little over 36 hrs). No bubbling but a krausen ring was forming. So it can take awhile....

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Old 03-24-2008, 06:53 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A4J
I didn't know that. I mean, I know that airlock activity [or lack thereof] isn't an indication of fermenting activity but I just hearing the sounds of bubbling/gurgling so I get obsessive about trying to figure out where there's an airleak.
My favorite line on HBT ever came this morning...It seems to fit your situation as much as anyone...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobby_M
You do know that as a new brewer, it's your job to insanely worry that you have the only environment on earth where a billion yeast cells can't figure out how to find all that sugar that they crave. ;-)
As long as it's outgassing nothing can get it, so your beer's safe (it takes a lot to screw up beer). People used to brew with open buckets with towels over it and still managed to make drinkable beer (most of the time)....a little leak (if there really is one anyway) won't hurt the beer in there...and after it's done fermenting, you can check to see if there really was a leak, and not just some spilled wort...
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