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Old 04-10-2013, 04:17 AM   #1
jfck2000
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Default 1st time brewing - no sign of fermentation?

Hi - I'm totally new to brewing and completed my first kit on Sunday. It's the Brewers Best American Amber. I followed the kit instructions step by step. I was worried because by Tuesday morning I still was not seeing any bubbling in the airlock. (I filled airlock half full of sanitizer water per the instructions and it has some bubbles on top of the sanitizer water that have been there since I filled half full). I put the fermenter bucket in a closet and it's been between 66 - 72 degrees. Yesterday I could notice the faint smell of my brew in the closet. Today I tapped the airlock with my finger because I was growing impatient and it's started bubbling! It bubbled most of the day slowly. Now tonight It's back to no activity. If I tap the airlock it's seems to bubble for awhile and then stop. The smell of the brew is getting very strong and starting to smell up my house (it smells great). Does this sound normal? Is there anything I can do to the airlock to make sure the bubbling stays active? Any suggestions for a newbie?

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Old 04-10-2013, 04:36 AM   #2
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I'd think the below sticky will answer your questions.

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f39/ferm...e-signs-43635/

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Old 04-10-2013, 04:39 AM   #3
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It sounds like its fermenting if you are smelling it. That means CO2 is being created and forced or the airlock. As the saying around here goes, don't judge fermentation by the airlock. Something duck as a loose seal could cause the airlock to not bubble much, or the bulk of fermentation could have happened over night. Just wait it out for a couple weeks and the yeast will do their job. Do you have a hydrometer to check the gravity?

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Old 04-10-2013, 04:46 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by BryceL View Post
It sounds like its fermenting if you are smelling it. That means CO2 is being created and forced or the airlock. As the saying around here goes, don't judge fermentation by the airlock. Something duck as a loose seal could cause the airlock to not bubble much, or the bulk of fermentation could have happened over night. Just wait it out for a couple weeks and the yeast will do their job. Do you have a hydrometer to check the gravity?
Thanks for your reply. I have a hydrometer, when would you suggest I check the gravity? Should I wait and test after a couple of weeks? I'm thinking I should keep opening the lid to a minimum?
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Old 04-10-2013, 05:08 AM   #5
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About 2 weeks is a good starting point for most ales, longer for higher gravity beers. You will want to check the gravity and then check it again a couple days later. If the gravity remains the same then it is safe to bottle. If it drops, then wait a couple more days until you get consecutive readings that are the same. You are correct, you want to keep opening the lid to the minimum. Be sure to keep your theif or turkey baster well sanitized when taking samples. Most people recommend tasting the sample rather than dumping it back in the fermenter to avoid contamination.

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Old 04-10-2013, 05:16 AM   #6
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Sometimes the airlock doesn't fit right or the lid on your bucket, but it sounds like its going off and doing well, don't worry about it

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Old 04-10-2013, 06:19 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Whutever
I'd think the below sticky will answer your questions.

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f39/ferm...e-signs-43635/
.
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Old 04-10-2013, 06:30 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jfck2000 View Post
Hi - I'm totally new to brewing and completed my first kit on Sunday. It's the Brewers Best American Amber. I followed the kit instructions step by step. I was worried because by Tuesday morning I still was not seeing any bubbling in the airlock. (I filled airlock half full of sanitizer water per the instructions and it has some bubbles on top of the sanitizer water that have been there since I filled half full). I put the fermenter bucket in a closet and it's been between 66 - 72 degrees. Yesterday I could notice the faint smell of my brew in the closet. Today I tapped the airlock with my finger because I was growing impatient and it's started bubbling! It bubbled most of the day slowly. Now tonight It's back to no activity. If I tap the airlock it's seems to bubble for awhile and then stop. The smell of the brew is getting very strong and starting to smell up my house (it smells great). Does this sound normal? Is there anything I can do to the airlock to make sure the bubbling stays active? Any suggestions for a newbie?
Wait, then wait some more - it may take dry yeast 2 days to start bubbling.

What temperature was your wurt when you pitched your yeast?
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Old 04-10-2013, 12:23 PM   #9
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From the smell you describe it is fermenting. One quick way to see if it is fermenting is to pop the lid as gently as possible so as to not disturb the layer of CO2 that shields the beer from oxygen. A quick peek into the fermenter should show krausen forming.

The seals in lids and around airlocks often leak and don't allow enough pressure to form in the fermenter to push out bubbles in an airlock. If you see foam or surface bubbles on the beer close it back up and wait three weeks then start taking SG readings. If you see A LOT of foam (krausen) and it is anywhere near to filing the fermenter put in a blowoff . The lower the temperature the more controlled the krausen will be in general so keep it so the beer stays at around 65. Fermentation generally will bring the beer's temperature above room temperature by 5 or more degrees.

OMO

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Old 04-12-2013, 04:20 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by tphjr View Post
Wait, then wait some more - it may take dry yeast 2 days to start bubbling.

What temperature was your wurt when you pitched your yeast?
Sorry for my delayed response - the wort was 70 degrees when I pitched the yeast. I had 1 whole day of active bubbling. 2 days that I could smell it. Now its not doing anything. So I was just going to wait two weeks and start testing with a hydrometer.
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