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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Fermentation & Yeast > Some foam but not bubbles in airlock
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Old 07-26-2012, 09:19 PM   #1
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Default Some foam but not bubbles in airlock

Making a Brewer's Best Rya Pale Ale. Very happy with the way the cooking went, kept the "steep to convert" in the 148-152 range for 45 minutes, did a full wort boil in a 9 gallon pot (with 6 gallons), chilled pretty quick by using a wort chiller to get to 90 then an ice bath, took it to 73 F and then started siphoning. I used star san to sanitize. Used a WLP008 liquid yeast and pitched it direct, then stirred it in a little. I did forget to oxygenate by stirring and when i siphoned there was little to no splashing, so the lack of oxygenation is the only thing I did wrong.

I'm fermenting in a 6.5 gallon bucket and it's sitting on the cement floor of my basement where the ambient temp is about 74. It's been 4 days and nothing happening in the airlock. After 48 hours I took off the airlock and peeked through the hole, there was a thin layer of foam on top. But to date no airlock bubbling.

I haven't check SG yet but it was at 1.055 to start, I will take a reading tomorrow night when I get home. I know that will tell the tale but at this point any thoughts if things are ok or is something wrong? Should I rack to secondary (carboy) tomorrow night? That would be about 5 days in the primary.

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Old 07-26-2012, 10:43 PM   #2
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You should be patient and let the yeast make you beer. If you see foam that means fermentation has begun and is not over. Leave it alone, quit opening the primary up increasing risk of infection and be patient.

BTW, if ambient is 74 then inside the bucket could be close to 80 and unless you are making a Belgian you are way too hot. Ales like to be in the mid 60's so find a way to get the temps down like a swamp cooler or wet tshirts and a fan

If you can't cool things down then off flavors will be present and you will want to keep the beer on the yeast for several weeks to try and clear up those flavors, not just 5 days

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Old 07-26-2012, 11:46 PM   #3
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I would think if the ambient temp is 74 and the bucket is on a cement slab floor in the basement, the temp of the liquid would be the same or less, not more? What am i missing?

In the kit it says after 5-7 days to rack to secondary, while the fermentation is still going and before it ends. Should I do that?

Haven't opened the lid yet just took off the airlock and peeked in through the hole. I saw a layer of foam but it looked pretty thin. I know the fermentation is going, just wondering if it it slow for some reason bc I'm not seeing any activity in airlock. Could be leaking out through the lid but it seems like it's on tight.

thanks

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Old 07-27-2012, 12:11 AM   #4
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Don't listen to the directions on the kit. If you're sure fermentation has started, just put the lid on and it for at least two weeks. If your gravity is stable after that, you can either bottle or rack to a carboy for additional clarification/maturing. With regard to temps, during the height of fermentation I've found temps to be about 5 to 7 degrees above ambient. Get one of those sticky thermometers from the home brew store for a couple bucks. Fermentation temps are one of the most important things when making beer...

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Old 07-30-2012, 01:35 AM   #5
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Thanks I just read this after I racked to secondary. Oh well it should be ok I think. Def fermenting, lots of krauzen and the sg is about .018 and target is .012-.015. I see lots of little bubbles coming up so fermentation definitely going. I will prob leave in the carboy far a couple weeks and then check the fg and bottle.
I read about doing a swamp cooler and I will do that for the next batch to keep the ferm temps in the 60s. Would it help to use a swamp cooler now for the last two weeks of ferm in the secondary? Ambient temp is maybe 70-74.

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Old 07-30-2012, 01:57 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by bd2xu
Thanks I just read this after I racked to secondary. Oh well it should be ok I think. Def fermenting, lots of krauzen and the sg is about .018 and target is .012-.015. I see lots of little bubbles coming up so fermentation definitely going. I will prob leave in the carboy far a couple weeks and then check the fg and bottle.
I read about doing a swamp cooler and I will do that for the next batch to keep the ferm temps in the 60s. Would it help to use a swamp cooler now for the last two weeks of ferm in the secondary? Ambient temp is maybe 70-74.
Now that you removed the beer from the majority of the yeast don't be surprised if you don't hit your FG. The bubbles you see now could just be CO 2 that is off gassing, not continued fermentation.

Since active fermentation is pretty much done a swamp cooler will really not help you out much.

In the future if you ask a question pertaining to your process you should really look to see what answers you got prior to moving forward, most replies here are pretty quick and can save people a lot of hassle and mistakes your initial question received three spot on replies within 3 hours of the original post
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Old 07-30-2012, 02:07 AM   #7
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I would think if the ambient temp is 74 and the bucket is on a cement slab floor in the basement, the temp of the liquid would be the same or less, not more? What am i missing?
Fermentation is an exothermic process. That is, it generates heat, sometimes in the realm of 5-10F.
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Old 07-30-2012, 03:31 PM   #8
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Now that you removed the beer from the majority of the yeast don't be surprised if you don't hit your FG. The bubbles you see now could just be CO 2 that is off gassing, not continued fermentation.

Since active fermentation is pretty much done a swamp cooler will really not help you out much.

In the future if you ask a question pertaining to your process you should really look to see what answers you got prior to moving forward, most replies here are pretty quick and can save people a lot of hassle and mistakes your initial question received three spot on replies within 3 hours of the original post
Thanks, just like my other hobby, reef keeping, i need to learn more PATIENCE with beer making! The two are actually similar in more ways than one...

Big learning curve as I get into this and have been reading a ton on these forums. Looks like for my next (third) batch I will do a couple things different. One is to use a swamp cooler to keep the temp in the mid 60's. In the winter my unfinished section of basement will probably be great as is for ferm temps but right now it's 72-76 and I didn't know about exothermic nature of ferm process... So next batch will be on a swamp cooler and I will also probably just leave the batch in the primary for a month and not mess with a secondary at all.

My first batch was a Brewers Best IPA, and it spent about a week on primary, two weeks in secondary, and has been bottled a week. I will wait another 2-3 weeks I think before chilling it (well maybe sneak a bottle this coming weekend to try it).

For the next batch I think I will try the Dead Ringer from Northern Brewers since Bell's Two Hearted Ale is my Fav.
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Old 07-30-2012, 06:59 PM   #9
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For the next batch I think I will try the Dead Ringer from Northern Brewers since Bell's Two Hearted Ale is my Fav.
It really is a dead ringer, but an extra ounce of Centennial dry hop definitely helps.
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Old 07-30-2012, 10:16 PM   #10
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Good to hear. Well I plan on doing a full wort boil so hopefully that alone will bump up the hoppiness if needed.

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