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Old 05-30-2012, 08:45 PM   #11
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this is one of the most amusing rants i've read on these forums. thanks for the easy lulz.

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Old 05-30-2012, 08:54 PM   #12
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I've had fermentation (enough to produce bottle bombs) with zero airlock activity (I watched for an extended period of time... sorry, no baby monitor or proximity switch), and I've just recently had airlock activity, due to a slight temperature change, after fermentation had finished and was confirmed with a hydrometer.

Airlock activity proves some kind of gas is escaping your fermentation vessel, and that is it. It does not indicate what that gas is (excess O2 in the headspace, CO2 from fermentation, escaping CO2 from slight degassing, etc.), why it is escaping (pressure change due to atmospheric pressure, pressure change due to temperature, CO2 production from fermentation, etc.), nor does it indicate whether or not your beer has begun, or has finished, fermenting.

Everyone preaches experimenting yourself on this board instead of just preaching theory without practice. I've practiced it. My experience with the airlock is that it can be very easily, and has been, inconsistent and has given me false information.


Oh... and cool story bro. Haters gon hate.

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Old 05-30-2012, 09:31 PM   #13
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OK Revvy, you got me on the two hour fermentation. It was a bad example. I didn’t think it through. I use a 4 L starter and see airlock activity after an hour, takes off in 4-6, but I suppose that tiny volume could be air coming out of solution.

I use a universal one hole stopper in a glass carboy and I don’t see how that could leak. I don’t know what you mean about “beer/wine on the ceiling” or “airlock failure rate.” Is the thing going to explode because the water got stuck in the double bubble?

If your fermentor leaks like a sieve, then it would be dumb to conclude that no bubbles means no activity. If you check the OP, my original assertion is that “airlock activity is meaningless” is not true and misleading. A useful indicator is far from being the only tool in the toolbox.

What you seem to be saying is that lack of airlock activity is not a good reason to panic. Good advice. If I thought I had a stuck fermentation I would look for a hydrometer. Still I did plenty of batches without one.

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Old 05-30-2012, 10:17 PM   #14
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Airlock activity can be just from increased pressure in the fermenter.

There is a video that I am looking for that shows an empty carboy with an airlock bubbling away. Pretty simple just change the temp and the pressure will increase.

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Old 05-30-2012, 10:48 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beergolf View Post
Airlock activity can be just from increased pressure in the fermenter.

There is a video that I am looking for that shows an empty carboy with an airlock bubbling away. Pretty simple just change the temp and the pressure will increase.
Heh, I have seen this myself. I have a carboy I had cleaned, and not wanting to have dust in it, I placed an airlock on it (not being used anyway, right?).

Silly thing bubbled for a bit. I can guarantee that there was no fermentation going on.

Airlock activity = gas release. Airlock activity does not equal fermentation guage. Lack of airlock activity absolutely does not mean lack of fermentation (which is what 99% of newbie airlock-related posts are about).
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Old 05-30-2012, 10:52 PM   #16
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No bubbles indicates the reaction is very slow or zero. This could mean the fermentation hasn’t started yet, it’s stuck or done.


Or it means you have a leaky fermenter.

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Old 05-30-2012, 10:52 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Revvy View Post
And therefore the thousands of "children" who panic every day because their airlocks don't bubble EVEN WHEN THERE'S CONFIRMEND FERMENTATION through hydrometer readings are hallucination?

And how bout all those lager brewers who also never see, or see little or no airlock activity, because since it is cold, the gas doesn't expand enough to actually cause an airlock to bubble?

And how does an airlock that may or may not bubble, or can bubble slow, or fast or not at all, can start and stop due to changes in barometric pressure, temperature, or whether or not the cat or vacuum cleaner bumped into it, help you to know how or even if a brew is fermenting at any given time? Half the time my airlocks NEVER bubble. And sometimes the lowest gravity beer will have an airlock blowoff whereas I could be brewing a barleywine that barely bubbles?

The rate or lack of or whether or not it bubbles at all, or if it starts and stops has more relation to the environment the fermenter is in, rather than fermentation itself. All it is is a vent, a valve to let our excess gas, especially co2, nothing else. It's not a fermentation gauge whatsoever.

And the only TRULY airtight fermenters out there are if you ferment in a keg or a conical, something that can contain the pressure of fermentation.

Contrary to what you may think, neither a bucket OR a carboy with a bung is airtight. As I stated above you don't want it to be airtight, unless it's a keg or a Stainless conical, unless you like beer/ wine on your ceiling.

I've said it over and over and trolls like to try to get me, or even accuse me of lying (which I don't get why I would lie about something like this) but over the years of LOTS of batches of ALL SIZES and BOTH carboys and buckets, better bottles or glass, carboy caps or bungs, new buckets old buckets, s-types and 3 piece, I get about 50% airlock failure rate (but 100% success rate of fermentation) and it's any number if things, usually simply a non tight seal in the bucket or carboy or grommet....but to me the reason doesn't matter....the point is just trying to glance at an airlock and know what the beer is doing, just is NOT accurate.

My belief is that 1 occurrance is an anamoly, 2 may be a coincidence, BUT 3 or more occurance is an epidemic...and that's the case for folks relying on airlocks all the time, to me if 1 brewer comes on saying his airlock is not bubbling, AND he takes a reading and finds fermentation is going fine, that's an anamoly...

But DAILY on here there are at least 10 threads stating the exact thing...so MAYBE there is something to this idea that airlocks can be faulty. AND if they have the potential to be faulty, then how can we trust them to tell us what's going on?

You can quibble about it all you want, or deal in semantics, but we deal in sheer volume of users on here, and daily we have airlocks not bubbling, and many of them where a gravity reading indicates that fermentation is happening beautifully.

And yes, in an IDEAL situation (like let's say fermenting in a keg with a tight seal and no leak from around the airlock) the airlock SHOULD bubble 100% of the time (providing there's not too much headspace.) If more co2 is created than can be contained in the spavce of the fermenter, THEN an airlock should bubble....because an airlock is a valve.

But MOST of us don't have IDEAL situations, and rarely is a plastic or glass fermenter airtight- it really isn't supposed to be anyway...SO we aren't in the best situation to have IDEAL 100% accuracy of an airlock...


In other words, been there, done that, had this silly argument a million times before...and yet people STILL have fermentations that never see an blip, and folks have airlocks bubbling even after MONTHS of inactivity because of something like a change in temps...


Airlocks are vents, not fermentation gauges. And one of the most superfluous things in brewing, that new brewers seem to put the most stock in.


*shrug*

It your beliefs that scares the noobs, folks have actually dumped their beer because their airlock never bubbled, without ever testing it. Others have racked immediately when an airlock has stopped, and ended up with with stuck fermentation or bottle bombs, because they equate airlock stopping with fermentation ending....

Yeah you can through a lot of pretty math about how an airlock should bubble, yet every day we have a ton of people coming on who say their isn't.

Didn't people also "mathematically" prove a bumble bee is incapable of flight?
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Old 05-30-2012, 10:54 PM   #18
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Hydrometer FTW. Everything else is just guessing.

Guessing is something we do all the time, but if you want to KNOW, there's only one answer.

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Old 05-30-2012, 10:55 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chalmer9 View Post
tryhard
I'm sorry, did you have something to add to the conversation? Some point of logic to show that the post you quoted was incorrect in some aspect?

If not, why drop a silly insult? What is this, 4th grade recess?
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Old 05-31-2012, 12:04 AM   #20
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Someone mentioned this video earlier. Another reason why airlocks, are an oh so accurate a gauge of fermentation.


Think it's ready?

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