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Old 12-09-2008, 08:47 PM   #1
NickDixon14850
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Default Airlock never bubbles

So, my girlfriend bought me a complete homebrewing kit for my birthday. The first time I used it, the airlock never bubbled, but the beer turned out fine. Not great, but tasted like a plain lager.

Anyway, I am now brewing my second batch. Once again, there was no bubbling in the airlock in the primary. A few days ago, I racked to my new secondary (better bottle) and the airlock is bubbling.

Air must be escaping from somewhere on the primary. Is this something I should be worried about if the beer comes out alright? Anyone else have this problem?

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Old 12-09-2008, 08:52 PM   #2
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over 50% of my beers never have a bubble, it is normal actually. That's why we say you should never use a cheap chinese plastic airlock as a "fermentation Gauge," it's not...It's an airlock, nothing more, a VALVE to release excess CO2, to keep from blowing the lid off the fermentor...If it's not bubbling that just means that there's not enough CO2 to climb out of the airlock, or the CO2 is just forming a nice cushion on top of the beer like it's supposed to, or the airlock is askew, or it is leaking out the cheap rubber grommet, or you have a leak in the bucket seal...all those are fine...if CO2 is getting out then nothing's getting in....

That's why we recommend to new brewers to use their hydrometers, not their eyes. I believe MOST of the new brewr's "stuck fermentation threads are not, stuk, they are using the airlock as a "gauge" rather than checking gravity.

I have found that oldschool S types seem more reliable than the 3 piece to actually bubble. I think maybe co2 isn't always heavy enough to push up that plastic piece in the center of the 3 piece.

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Old 12-09-2008, 09:12 PM   #3
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Very common problem, that is unlikely to hurt the beer in any way.

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Old 12-09-2008, 09:37 PM   #4
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im 2 days into my first batch and my three piece is bubbling every second or so. I didn't take a hydrometer reading yet, I'm still waiting for my wine thief.

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Old 12-09-2008, 09:42 PM   #5
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You need to make sure you have the 3 piece airlock filled at least half way, otherwise you will never see a bubble.

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Old 12-10-2008, 03:25 PM   #6
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You must be using a bucket for a primary, in which case you likely have a leak around the lid somewhere. Not really a big deal unless your beer is going to sit for a long time, but you might want to see if you can get a better seal anyway.

My buckets have a rubber O-ring inside the lid. Make sure the lid is pushed down properly, and maybe a thin smear of food grade grease will help? My last beer also showed no activity until I transferred to carboy, and I'm betting the CO2 foudn it easier to escape through that lid seal, rather than push the water out of the blow-off tube.

No worries!

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Old 12-10-2008, 03:58 PM   #7
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Hi I am new to the site. Looks like a great resource for begginer brewers which is what I am. So I have a question:

My beer has been fermenting for 36 hours now and the air lock is not bubbling. The plasitc piece in the middle does seem to be changing posiitions from time to time though. There is a small film on the top of the beer. Should I have any concerns? I remember the other times I brewed the airlock bubbled ALOT. Can you tell if its fermenting by the film on top?

I rehydrated some dry yeast with warm water. Wort was around 80-90F when transfered to carboy; yeast was pitched at this point. Heres a pic sorry its sideways but I cant figure out how to fix that. Admin?

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Old 12-10-2008, 04:05 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoserama View Post
Hi I am new to the site. Looks like a great resource for begginer brewers which is what I am. So I have a question:

My beer has been fermenting for 36 hours now and the air lock is not bubbling. The plasitc piece in the middle does seem to be changing posiitions from time to time though. There is a small film on the top of the beer. Should I have any concerns? I remember the other times I brewed the airlock bubbled ALOT. Can you tell if its fermenting by the film on top?

I rehydrated some dry yeast with warm water. Wort was around 80-90F when transfered to carboy; yeast was struck at this point. Heres a pic sorry its sideways but I cant figure out how to fix that. Admin?


Read the post by Revvy above you. And then read this post: http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f39/fermentation-can-take-24-72-hrs-start-43635/
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Old 12-10-2008, 04:26 PM   #9
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The "Film" is Krauzen, it means you have fermentation

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Old 12-10-2008, 04:27 PM   #10
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If the reason for the lack of airlock bubbling is due to a leak elsewhere in the lid or whatever then I would suggest using a little food grade plumbers silicon. Just slap the tiniest amountaround the lid where it contacts the bucket and put a little by the airlock/grommet. You don't need much to get a proper seal.

Though to re-iterate...even with a proper seal it doesn't necessarily mean you will have a noisy airlock.

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