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Old 10-29-2009, 08:36 PM   #1
DtownRiot
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On Monday I made a three gallon batch of pumpkin ale using safale s-04 yeast. The airlock was going crazy for two days. Then...nothing. absolutely no airlock movement. I figured that b/c my apartment is soooo effing cold right now that the temperature was too low for the yeast. SO i filled my tub up with hot water and set my fermenter in there. Not even two minutes later, the airlock goes nuts. Bubbling twice as much as when I first noticed that it was really moving the days before. Did putting it in the bath really jumpstart the yeast that much? I mean it was so quick from the time i set it in the tub to massive airlock activity. This is strange

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Old 10-29-2009, 08:38 PM   #2
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Suddenly warming up a liquid will cause dissolved gasses (in this case, mostly CO2) to come out of solution and make your airlock go crazy. The gasses in the headspace will also expand as they warm up.

Was putting in the bathtub easier than taking a hydrometer sample and actually seeing what it was doing?

There's a good chance that it just finished with the main part of the fermentation. Can't say that suddenly warming up your beer would do anything but cause problems with off flavors. Especially in hot water. Hot enough, and you'll just kill your yeast.

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Old 10-29-2009, 08:40 PM   #3
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(Revvy should be here momentarily with everything you ever wanted to know about airlocks but were afraid to ask)

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Old 10-29-2009, 08:42 PM   #4
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No, you didn't START fermentation, fermentation was more than likely going on already...all you did when you put your fermenter in HOT WATER was to cause GAS TO EXPAND (CO2) and that is venting out your airlock. When you warm something up they expand.....

Your airlock wasn't bubbling more than likely because it didn't NEED TO. It didn't have any excess to need to vent out, OR it was getting out somewhere else...But it doesn't matter.

I know I've said to you before....quit thinking airlock activity is a gauge of fermention!!!!

airlock bubbling, lack of airlock bubbling, stopped airlock bubbling, fast airlock bubbling, slow airlock bubbling, heavy metal airlcok bubbling, or disco airlock bubbling really is not an indicator of what is happening to your beer, really isn't important, and it is NOT an accurate gauge of fermentation.

If your airlock was bubbling and stopped---It doesn't mean fermentation has stopped.

If you airlock isn't bubbling, it doesn't mean your fermentation hasn't started....

If your airlock starts bubbling, it really doesn't matter.

If your airlock NEVER bubbles, it doesn't mean anything is wrong or right.

Your airlock is not a fermentation gauge, it is a VALVE to release excess co2.

Fermentation is not always "dynamic," just because you don't SEE anything happening, doesn't mean that anything's wrong, and also doesn't mean that the yeast are still not working dilligently away, doing what they've been doing for over 4,000 years....


The only way to truly know what is going on in your fermenter is with your hydrometer. Like I said here in my blog, which I encourage you to read, Think evaluation before action you sure as HELL wouldn't want a doctor to start cutting on you unless he used the proper diagnostic instuments like x-rays first, right? You wouldn't want him to just take a look in your eyes briefly and say "I'm cutting into your chest first thing in the morning." You would want them to use the right diagnostic tools before the slice and dice, right? You'd cry malpractice, I would hope, if they didn't say they were sending you for an MRI and other things before going in....

All you did was try to "fix" something that more than likely wasn't even broken...and without even testing it first.

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Old 10-29-2009, 08:42 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChshreCat View Post
(Revvy should be here momentarily with everything you ever wanted to know about airlocks but were afraid to ask)
You were right....though I swear dtown and I have had this little chat before.
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Old 10-29-2009, 08:43 PM   #6
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Right on time, Revvy! heheheheheheh

And my airlock NEVER bubbles. Not once. Never ever ever.

and I make great beer (if I say so myself)

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Old 10-29-2009, 08:43 PM   #7
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S-04 is a very fast fermenter! Very fast! 2-3 days is not uncommon for the bulk of the fermentation to complete. I just had the very same thing happen with a 10 gallon batch of Sweet Stout. 3 days & all noticeable activity had subsided, at 62F wort temp. It won't get kegged until 3 weeks have passed though.

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Old 10-29-2009, 08:45 PM   #8
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Thanks guys. I'm going to the lhbs for a hydrometer.

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Old 10-29-2009, 08:45 PM   #9
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yup, pitched min on saturday, now it hardly doing anything. If you control temps on it, you dont even have to worry so much about blow offs.

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Old 10-29-2009, 09:30 PM   #10
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Heavy metal airlock bubbling now you are talking LOL!!!

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