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Old 03-11-2011, 01:59 PM   #1
dantose
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Default no airlock activity

OK, so made a batch and transferred onto yeast cake a bit early (80-90° wort). No activity after 48 hours. Pitched some Nottingham on the assumption the yeast were over stressed. Nothing. Pitched aglob of cake from a batch I was transferring to secondary. Nothing. This thing should be going like a bat out of hell. Wtf?

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Old 03-11-2011, 02:09 PM   #2
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Sometimes my airlock gets stuck or I have put too much water in it for it to move. I am assuming though that you are past that, seeing that you are using yeast cake, you must be very knowledgeable. I just did my first yeast cake pitch last night. I added some new wort to it to get it going. Today it is fermenting like mad! Can I get a "hell yeah!" New tricks!!! Does the yeast need oxygen or nutrients?
-Roscoe

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Old 03-11-2011, 02:10 PM   #3
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I'd take a gravity reading & see if it changed. Although it is odd that you have no airlock bubbling after pitching on a yeast cake, it's not a good indication of fermentation.

If you have a lot of headspace in the fermenter, it could take awhile to build up CO2 pressure...or maybe you don't have an airtight seal?

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Old 03-11-2011, 02:15 PM   #4
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Airlock activity is irrevelent. Just gravity points on a hydrometer. Besides, http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f39/ferm...e-signs-43635/, and by visible signs we don't necessarily mean a bubbling airlock. it means gravity reading

It IS a sticky at the top of the beginners forum for a reason, afterall.

Airlock bubbling (or lack) and fermentation are not the same thing. You have to separate that from your mindset. Airlock bubbling can be a sign of fermentation, but not a good one, because the airlock will often blip or not blip for various other reasons...so it is a tenuous connection at best.

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. If it bubbles it is because it needs to, if it doesn't, it just means it doesn't need too...


Your HYDROMETER is the only BEST indicator of fermentation activity. Nothing else is accurate or consistent...

Unless you take a gravity reading you don't know what's really going on, not by airlock bubbling or by krausen formation. Neither of those signs are effective, they don't tell you exactly where on the fermentation process you are.

The amount of krausen can vary for whatever reason, it can come quick and depart quickly or it can linger long after fermentation is complete, and it all be normal.

And airlocks sometimes bubble or they don't. And airlock is a valve, a vent to release excess co2...NOT a fermentation gauge. It's important to make that distinction, or you'll be panicking everytime a an airlock doesn't bubble, or stops bubbling.

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

That's why you need to take a gravity reading to know how your fermentation is going, NOT go by airlocks, or size of krausen, or a calendar, the horoscope or the phases of the moon (those things in my mind are equally accurate).

The most important tool you can use is a hydrometer. It's the only way you will truly know when your beer is ready...airlock bubbles and other things are faulty.

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....

Fast fermentations/slow fermentations/big krausens/small krausens/bubbles starting and stopping, in the long run is really irrevelent....just that you have fermentation. Yeast don't normal normally die/stop fermenting/get tired, that's a premise new brewers believe, but it's not the truth. Yeast have been doing this for 4,000 years, and know how to ferment the beer, they WANT to ferment the beer, it's their entire purpose in life is to eat sugar, peer alcohol and fart co2 (along with some major screwing during the reproductive phase) especially modern 21st century yeast.

All those other things are really just superficial to the purpose at hand, if your yeast took off, unless you let the temp go down near 50, your yeast is still working happily away, despite what the supreficial signs like airlock may indicate.

Relax and take a gravity reading after 72 hours...

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Old 03-11-2011, 04:13 PM   #5
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I know airlock isn't reliable, but every batch I've brewed had nice bubble action going and most yeast cake brews needed a blow off. Yeast have to be working I know, but I want bubbles damnit!

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Old 03-11-2011, 04:16 PM   #6
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yes! i knew i would see revvy on here!

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I'm getting ingredients in the mail today, and I can't even taste my beer yet. What should I do?
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I would make a yeast starter, and pitch it into your mailbox.
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Old 03-11-2011, 04:20 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dantose View Post
Yeast have to be working I know, but I want bubbles damnit!
Relax, don't worry, have a homebrew, and take a bubble bath.
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Old 03-12-2011, 01:11 PM   #8
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It will be interesting to see if Revvy is right, definately repost. Is your temp right since your first pitch? Funny, mine stopped bubbling today and I was worried, maybe I should relax. I'll wait till tonight for the Home brew though, still coffee time...

It smells like a brewery in here...!

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Old 03-12-2011, 03:36 PM   #9
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Although airlock activity is not reliable, it's the only evidense we have of activity in a bucket unless you want to keep popping the lid off. The second batch I brewed using a Mr. Beer fermentor which dosn't use an airlock I let it set for 7 days just like you'r supposed to, took a gravity reading and it was the same as when put it in. I tasted the sample and it didn't tast bad so i pitched some yeast I just took from another beer and let it go again. Seven days later I took the gravity and it was done. I bottled that beer and you can't drink it. Very sour like vinigar. So now I rely on my airlock if I dont get activity in 24 hrs I start looking for the reason. Now that I'm doing 6 gal. batches I dont want to have to dump it.

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Old 03-12-2011, 03:46 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rod734 View Post
Although airlock activity is not reliable, it's the only evidense we have of activity in a bucket unless you want to keep popping the lid off. .
Wrong....if you use it an your airlock doesn't bubble in your bucket are you just gonna assume somethings wrong??? I've been saying this for years, over half my fementations, whether it's buckets or carboys, different size batches, every combination imaginable, have never blipped a single airlock bubble....ever. Yet I've never had a fermentation NOT happen. So if I used your logic, I would be saying 50% of my beers had something wrong with them....Sorry but it's a faulty indicator no matter if it's a bucket or a carboy........

There's nothing inherently wrong with popping the lid on your bucket..especially if you are going to be taking a grav reading. And if you've waited the 72 hours we talk about in the sticky more than likely when you DO open the bucket, you are going to see evidence of a krausen, or you will have a drop in gravity.....

But it also comes down to faith...sorry but the idea that yeast don't work is mostly a noob fallacy....modern yeasts DO perform as they are supposed to...they just may not work as the new brewer THINKS they should, or when they should....But unless you've dumped the yeast into boiling wort, more than l

Likely your yeast will do it's job...Especially if in the case of a liquid you've made a starter which proves viability, and jumpstarts the process. But the instances of a yeast truly NOT performing is very very rare.....

I subscribe to the Colobrewer philosophy as mentioned here Stop bashing my yeast friends!!!
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