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Old 01-03-2013, 04:42 PM   #1
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Default No airlock activity on first batch

I'm in my first brew now and it has been in the primary for nearly a week now and there is no activity with my airlock so I decided to open up the lid and take a look. It smells great but not sure if what I see is good or not.. I left the hops and coriander in and something has formed over them and on the sides. Can someone tell me what I'm looking at and if there is anything I need to do?

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Old 01-03-2013, 04:50 PM   #2
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That ring of stuff above the beer level- that's residue left behind by the krausen. The fact that you're seeing it means you had fermentation. It's probably done fermenting, but you should take a hydrometer reading to check. If you don't have a hydrometer, leave it for another week or so to make sure.

No airlock activity does not equal no fermentation- you may just losing pressure through some other small breach, like a loose seal on your bucket lid. Nothing to worry about.

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Old 01-03-2013, 04:50 PM   #3
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What is in the bags?

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Old 01-03-2013, 04:50 PM   #4
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Please read this first.

You had a krausen there, that means fermentation. Airlock bubling or lack of just means that your airlock is or isn't bubbling, and that doesn't mean anything.

Airlock Bubbling dose NOT equal fermentation.....

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Old 01-03-2013, 04:53 PM   #5
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Ditto to the Rev. Looks to me like it's past krausen stage. Check your gravity (look for something less than 1.015-ish). I would bet you are good to go.

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Old 01-03-2013, 04:54 PM   #6
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You left hop bags from the boil in there? Interesting. I've never seen anybody do that. But anyway, you're looking at a beer that has gone through fermentation. The stuff on the hop bags and the side are from the krausen (layer of foam made up of yeast, proteins, and some hop material) that forms at the height of fermentation. Looks completely normal to me. I would close it back up and wait for a couple more weeks, then bottle. If you never got any airlock activity then you probably didn't have the lid on right and the CO2 escaped somewhere besides the airlock. This is fine. Airlocks are overrated. Usually, however, airlock activity slows to almost a stop by about a week in. Good luck!

P.S. There will probably be about a hundred responses to this post that say some variation of "Airlock activity is not a sign of fermentation". So get ready for that.

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Old 01-03-2013, 05:04 PM   #7
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Great info, thank you for the quick and very educating response! The bags contain Northern Brewer Pellet Hops, Cascade Hops and Coriander.

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Old 01-03-2013, 05:36 PM   #8
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Usually people leave the boil hops and spices in the kettle when they transfer to the primary. I'm not sure what the effects of leaving them in for the whole fermentation would be, but I would speculate that you might get a grassy, vegetal flavor from the hops after a while and the coriander might end up being too strong. Or it might be the best beer anyone has ever made... who knows?

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