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Old 07-02-2007, 10:26 PM   #1
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Default Is it fermenting? I'm starting to worry!

I brewed yesterday.
How long should it take before I see activity in the airlock? I thought it was like 24 hours. Am I wrong? I see no activity. Unfortunately I have a bucket, not a carboy, so I cannot see into it.

also, I don't think my Fermometer is correct. It reads around 78*. But my thermostat says 70*, and that's where I keep it 24/7.

Maybe I'm just being a typical noob.

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Old 07-02-2007, 11:49 PM   #2
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Could be your bucket's not sealed around therim, or around the airlock, and the CO2's getting out somewhere other than the airlock.

Either pull the airlock out and look through the hole, or take the lid off the bucket and see if there's krausen (foam) forming. If so, you're fermenting, no worries.

If not, you still might be OK, just a slow starter. What yeast did you use, and how did you pitch it?

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Old 07-03-2007, 12:07 AM   #3
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and specifically, how did you aerate it?

a handy tool is an instant read thermometer...an analog style will run $10 tops, or you can spring for a spendier digital readout.

the plastic that the bucket's made of is a bit of an insulator, it can take hours to show the actual wort temp...so I'm inclined to believe 78F is more accurate. even though room temp is 70, a jug of liquid is usually a few degrees warmer, plus the fermenting action creates a few degrees of heat as well.

EXACTLY what temp was the wort when the yeast was pitched? I only go off my instant read thermometer, and I test both my brewpots (I'm stuck doing two 12quart pots, which I combine in the bucket, with another gallon of cooled boiled water) before I start pouring, and usually have them at or below 70F when I pour into bucket.
I pour pot 1, then stir the bejezus out of it, then i pour pot 2 and repeat. then I add about 1 gallon of water to bring to 5gals, and again stir like my life depended on it, whipping as much air in as I can.

I pitched my yeast yesterday at about 4pm, and when I got up at 7am today I had fairly steady bubbles. by lunch/dinner its a steady flow of bubbles.

most importantly...don't sweat it. give us the details we're after, and take a peek under the hood. Its situations like this that cause me to keep extra dry packets of yeast on hand. It may not be as tailored to your style as a liquid vial or smack pack, but at this stage you don't really have time to make a starter for 3 days.

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Old 07-03-2007, 12:15 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by talleymonster
also, I don't think my Fermometer is correct. It reads around 78*. But my thermostat says 70*, and that's where I keep it 24/7.

Maybe I'm just being a typical noob.

depends on the yeast you pitched. . . did you make a starter??

You're fermometer may be reading high because the act of fermentation actually gives off heat-- Mine typically read 74 or higher in a 70 degree room while fermentation is going on. You may have an airleak in your fermentor if such is the case.
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Old 07-03-2007, 12:30 AM   #5
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I used White labs British Ale Yeast in liquid form. I did not make a starter, I just added it straight in after letting it sit at room temp for about 24 hours. I pitched right about 70*. I aerated it by stirring vigorously with sanitized ladle.

I peeked inside, no foam whatsoever! No bubbles in the airlock. I do not have any dry yeast handy. I can swing by my LHBS tomorrow after work and get some if need be. Will it survive until tomorrow afternoon?

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Old 07-03-2007, 12:35 AM   #6
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wait at least 36-48 hours. If you didn't make a starter, you didn't (technically) have a high enough pitch rate-- it'll take a bit longer. For now RDWAHAHB.

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Old 07-03-2007, 12:37 AM   #7
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Thanks for the help guys. I think I would be crushed if I blew it on my first batch!


But luckily I already have another on order form AHS as well as a couple more on my wishlist!

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Old 07-03-2007, 12:44 AM   #8
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No prob. I think you'll be fine. If after 48 hours you still have NOTHING, I would consider repitching the same yeast.

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Old 07-03-2007, 12:44 AM   #9
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Thanks for the help guys. I think I would be crushed if I blew it on my first batch!


But luckily I already have another on order form AHS as well as a couple more on my wishlist!

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Old 07-03-2007, 12:56 AM   #10
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If after the 48 hours, you still see nothing, you might want to consider running to the LHBS and picking up a pack of dry yeast (Nottingham or Safale 05.) This is a just in case. My guess is it will start, but it's taking a long time because you didn't make a starter. If you need to go with a dry yeast, those two produce some amazing beers, are close enough in style, and you simply pour them right on the top of your beer. With these yeasts I typically start seeing activity as soon as four hours.

Again, however, I'm going to guess that shortly after posting this, you'll post it took off and there was really nothing to worry about after all.

BTW, it sounds like you did everything else just fine! Congrats!

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