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Old 03-26-2007, 11:49 PM   #1
zonabb
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Default How active should fermentation be?

Ok, it's been 48 hours since I pitched the yeast in my first extract brew. I know fermentation is happening because I removed the arilock after 12 hours because I had too much water in it and I could smell the yeast and see the bubbling. However, since then, I haven't noticed a vigorous bubbling of my airlock. Should I?

The water in the airlock seems to be moving but not actually bubbling on a constant basis?

It's at 68 degree so I'm in the right range. It was a brew kit with Coopers dry yeast.

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Old 03-27-2007, 12:09 AM   #2
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Depends. What did you brew in (brewpail or carboy)? I've read that pails sometimes lose gasses from around the rim. If you have a bubbler airlock (U shaped bend) if the water is higher on the outlet side, you've still got something happening.

Do you still have alot of foam on top, etc... How long did you notice visible activity (some beers finish the active part of fermentation in a day or so?

If you have any visible signs above, just leave it alone and check it at your 1 week from brewing date.

Keep us informed, and we'll help out.

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Old 03-27-2007, 12:16 AM   #3
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I have had a few batches that took a while to gurgle and came out just fine. Good Luck! and enjoy!

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Old 03-27-2007, 12:31 AM   #4
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I'm fermenting in plastic but I thought the lid had a good seal, it was hard to put on. I wouldn't be surprised if the lid was the culprit. Another guy who posted on this baord about his entire first brew process said he got no action at all yet it still worked fine.

It is a u-shaped airlock and it's consistently higher on the outlet side but I'm not hearing or seeing any action, which isn't to say it isn't taking place because the level is going up and down slightly, in fact on the inlet sidfe it's been as low as possible without a "gurgle." I expect more active fermentation, that's all. It's never shown that in the 48 hours since pitching.

I just wanted something more active so I had a signal when it was dying down and ready to go to the secondary.

I assume that in a couple days I should take a gravity reading to determine if it's ready to go to the secondary?

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Old 03-27-2007, 02:01 PM   #5
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Check the gravity after a week. I've had weak ferments, I've had blow offs. You can't always go by airlock activity, but hitting your TG means the batch is done.

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Old 03-27-2007, 02:13 PM   #6
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You can normally check the seal by pressing down gently on the lid and watching to see if the water level in the airlock moves. If it does and doesn't return to level while you hold pressure on the lid then the seal seems OK.

Generally, I'd expect to see some decent fermenting within 48 hours unless the yeast is in a lazy mood. Still, if there's foam building on top of the wort then the yeast is doing its thing.

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Old 03-27-2007, 02:15 PM   #7
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I posted this in another thread too, but airlock activity is not the way to judge when your ferment is active or done. I leave my beer alone for a week after pitching (other than to see if there is any activity just to make sure the yeast are working). After a week, I check for signs of krausen and take a gravity reading. This tells me whether it's time to rack or not.

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Old 03-27-2007, 03:27 PM   #8
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Thanks. I know that within 12 hours, there was fermentation so I'm going to leave it go for a couple more days and take a reading on Friday.

It's tough with your first try at it when you're not seeing what you expect!

But I'm not sweating it.

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