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Old 07-31-2009, 06:21 PM   #1
DtownRiot
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Default Apfelwein Fermentation not happening

I have pitched my yeast into a 2 1/2 gallon batch of apfelwein about 2 weeks ago. The airlock has not bubbled once since then. It was pitched into a 7 gallon ale pail. I was wondering if there is too much headspace in my fermenter to move the airlock, it isn't even half full. I've used this fermenter about 7 times with no problems. I don't know what the deal is. I broke my hydrometer so I don't have readings unfortunately. It smells like sulfur inside the bucket, and the top of the wort is all bubbles. I don't think it's infected, but something is definitely wrong here. Any ideas as of to what may be happening? It was a full packet of yeast intended for a five gallon batch.

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Old 07-31-2009, 06:37 PM   #2
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Why do you feel that something is wrong? Does it smell like the backside of a rhinocerous? did it smell like the backside? if so, I would say you are looking good.

wait another two weeks, then drink. In the meantime, get a new hydrometer.

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Old 07-31-2009, 06:51 PM   #3
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Are you saying that you see "visible signs of fermentation" like krausen on top of the juice, and it smells like rhino farts (normal fermentaion) but just because your stupid piece of plastic airlock isn't bubbling, you think there's something wrong?

Come on Dtown, you've been a member of this here family for 6 months, you are bound to have heard by now that Airlock bubbling, lack of airlock bubbling, stopped airlock bubbling, fast airlock bubbling, slow airlock bubbling, heavy metal airlock bubbling, or disco airlock bubbling really is not an indicator of what is happening to your brew. It is NOT a fermentation gauge, it is a valve to release excess pressure, excess CO2...NOT AN ACCURATE INSTRUMENT....

Yeah there is probably too much headspace to move the airlock, but that just means your airlock isn't bubbling, NOT that fermentation is not happenning.

IF you are going to use your senses then you have two difinitive proofs that fermentation is occurring right there. Ignore your airlcok, NOT krausen and sulfer smells....That's means everythig is perfectly fine...

And if you want to make sure take a hydrometer reading.

But ignore what you airlock is doing or not doing.

It sounds like you have perfect fermentation. So just relax.

I mean, you got Rhino Farts after all....That REALLY means it is fermenting. (It does go away in a few days.)

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Old 07-31-2009, 07:02 PM   #4
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Oh snap, you just got RevSmacked.

Seriously, just, oh jeez, RDWHAHB. (First time I've used that)

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Old 07-31-2009, 09:01 PM   #5
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Bad seal on the lid. Bah. That stuff will ferment even with just the mere mention of pitching yeast.

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Old 07-31-2009, 11:36 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nebben View Post
Bad seal on the lid. Bah. That stuff will ferment even with just the mere mention of pitching yeast.
Yup!!!!!!! And will be potent.



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Old 08-01-2009, 12:25 AM   #7
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I agree with 'Revvy." You have other good indicators of fermentation- the correct odor and bubbles. Don't sweat the airlock. I learned that myself recently. The standard plastic "Ale Pail" has been good to me, but there is nothing resembling a positive lid seal on those things. It would take 12-18 hours before the airlock would bubble, but I had no way of telling how much gas was escaping around the rim.
I then got to the point where I needed additional fermenters, and instead of buying more "Ale Pails," I bought 3 x 7 gal. buckets & lids from U.S. Plastics (these are all fine, #2 HDPE, FDA approved, all the correct stuff) because they were significantly cheaper, and put them to use. I would get earlier airlock action, in the case of one batch using Nottingham, in only 2 hours! I finally figured it's the lids- the U.S. Plastics buckets employ an O-ring seal in the lid that actually seals. You snap that lid down, there's nowhere for anything to go but out the airlock.
So these things are not created equal, and you should definitely make no calculations or measurements based upon what your airlock is or isn't doing. The bottom line is that there is a reason why they sell hydrometers and refractometers.

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Old 08-01-2009, 12:34 AM   #8
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Oh snap, you just got RevSmacked.
Ohhh, we have a new word. RevSmacked. I like it.
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Old 08-01-2009, 01:29 AM   #9
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IMO since you need to wait until Apfelwein is clear before botting/kegging it should be fermented in something you can see through to determine it's clear. Also, it's easier to see fermentation going on other than the airlock bubbling, or not. Best of luck.

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