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Old 07-18-2012, 02:11 AM   #1
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Default After 2 weeks in secondary - air lock activity again?!

Hi All. Finally registered...no longer a voyeur. Brewing an amber ale with fresh apricots for my first batch (I know, I know...KISS, but I didn't) and seem to have ran into a problem. I racked the beer on top of chopped up apricots (froze them the day before...did not sanitize as alcohol content of beer was at least 5% - probably an error there) about 17 days ago. I was just about to bottle and I noticed activity in the air lock! There was nothing going on there for at least a week! For the past two days it's bubbling every 20-30 seconds or about every minute. Anybody know what this is or what the impact of this may be???

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Old 07-18-2012, 02:23 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by paino_8 View Post
I know, I know...KISS, but I didn't
Indeed.

Has the temperature gone up recently? Increased temperature can lead to CO2 escaping the beer.

In any case, you're probably fine.
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Old 07-18-2012, 02:25 AM   #3
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could be an infection. you need to sanitize fruit before adding it in. that 5% rule is something of a fantasy; real world doesn't work perfectly. let it go for a while, then post pics in a week or so when you start getting the yeast strings across the top. could also be off-gassing; beer getting rid of excess co2

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Old 07-18-2012, 02:33 AM   #4
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thanks, gents. No change in temp...still in same room in same house. No bumping, no vaccuuming, etc. Infection sounds bad...

What are yeast strands and how will I know what they look like? At anyrate, happy to take a pic and post. Don't do anything until airlock activity ceases, right?

Thanks.

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Old 07-18-2012, 02:36 AM   #5
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thanks, gents. No change in temp...still in same room in same house. No bumping, no vaccuuming, etc. Infection sounds bad...

What are yeast strands and how will I know what they look like? At anyrate, happy to take a pic and post. Don't do anything until airlock activity ceases, right?

Thanks.
Have you taken gravity readings? No way to tell why the airlock's bubbling at this point, but a few gravity readings will tell you if the beer is fermenting or not, which is one of many causes of air lock bubbles.
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Old 07-18-2012, 02:51 AM   #6
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@ Nordeast - No readings. My kit unfortunately didn't come with one (Austin Homebrew Supply Father's day special). All I have is that airlock letting me know if I'm going to live or die

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Old 07-18-2012, 02:57 AM   #7
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@ Nordeast - No readings. My kit unfortunately didn't come with one (Austin Homebrew Supply Father's day special). All I have is that airlock letting me know if I'm going to live or die
Then all you know is your airlock is bubbling not WHY.....

Get one. Order online if you have to. All airlock activity means is that you have or don't have airlock activity...nothing else.

Airlocks start and stop for various reasons. Including barometric pressure. or a truck rumbling by on the street. Or the other reasons mentioned or not...Long before it could be an infection.
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Old 07-18-2012, 03:40 AM   #8
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You can even make your own hydrometer. It won't tell you how much alcohol there is but it can tell you if it is changing.

http://m.wikihow.com/Make-a-Hydrometer

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Old 07-18-2012, 04:22 AM   #9
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Thanks all. Take away is it's silly to speculate at this point. Get (or make) a hydrometer. Noted.

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Old 07-18-2012, 04:28 AM   #10
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Not sure why it hasn't been mentioned yet but it is probably just yeast eating sugars from the apricots.

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