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Old 10-24-2006, 02:27 AM   #1
PaleAleMale
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Default Airlock question?

I just made my first batch tonight ever...an English Pale Ale. I cooled the wort and added the yeast to my primary fermenter and attached the airlock and filled the airlock half way up w/ water. I dont see any bubbles yet..is this a problem? Also, it looks like the water level is slowly dropping in the airlock...is this a problem? Am i being paranoid or do i have some valid concerns? Thanks for the advice.

- PAM

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Old 10-24-2006, 02:31 AM   #2
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dont worry its a good thing...


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Old 10-24-2006, 02:33 AM   #3
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give it 12-36 hours to see any activity in the airlock.. and the lowering water level is a good thing...

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Old 10-24-2006, 02:35 AM   #4
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thanks for the quick response...reassuring to hear!!

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Old 10-24-2006, 02:39 AM   #5
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It should take off in the first two days. My two batches started between 12 and 24 hours.

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Old 10-24-2006, 02:40 AM   #6
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Hi. Welcome to the forum.

It can take anywhere from a few hours to a couple of days in some cases before you see visible signs of fermentation. Just relax, and keep watching that airlock for signs of activity. Usually it'll kick in within a day, and your airlock will start bubbling.

Don't overfill the airlock. It should only be about half or slightly less full. Are you sure the water level is going down in the airlock? Do you see any cracks or evidence of a leak in your airlock? Does it look like water is being drawn into the fermenter? If any of the water is getting in your beer, there is a possiblity of infection. Then again, that could happen and your beer could turn out fine.

You definitely want to check that air lock for integrity. Pull it out and lay a bit of sanitized or flamed foil over the hole to keep dust from dropping into your beer while you check the airlock for problems. If it seems fine, just reassemble, resanitize, and replace it and stop worrying.

If you want to describe your entire brewing process, it might help us to understand your situation better.

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Old 10-24-2006, 05:03 AM   #7
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Default remember im new...

heres my process:

1) Boiled the malt extract and 3 cups of sugar
2) added 3 gallons of water to a 6.5 carboy for my primary fermenter
3) suctioned out a small amount of wort to wet the yeast and filled a tube w/ wort to test the OG (which came out to be 1.083 - obviously somethin not right there)
4) added rest of wort to primary fermenter and cooled...i think this is where i made my mistake...i didnt cool the wort fast enough and also i pitched the yeast before the wort cooled to 80 F.
5) Pitched yeast, put on airlock

and now im waiting....

the recipe kit was very vague and i wont use it again...

PAM

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Old 10-24-2006, 05:11 AM   #8
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Decreasing water level isn't really a good thing. As your wort cools, it may draw some of the water into the fermenter. This is exactly what you don't want to happen because the water is acting as your contaminant filter. It's probably not a big deal, but it's also not ideal. I usually use a bit of no-rinse sanitizing solution in my airlocks to avoid this possible problem.

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Old 10-24-2006, 06:27 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yuri_Rage
Decreasing water level isn't really a good thing. As your wort cools, it may draw some of the water into the fermenter. This is exactly what you don't want to happen because the water is acting as your contaminant filter. It's probably not a big deal, but it's also not ideal. I usually use a bit of no-rinse sanitizing solution in my airlocks to avoid this possible problem.

i meant the water level of the airlock lowering on its own is a good thing.. a sign of bubbles to come.. sorry for the confusion..

as the 3 piece airlock rises, it looks as if the water level is going down. Once the airlock reaches the height of the water, a bubble of co2 will be released...
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Old 10-24-2006, 07:22 PM   #10
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Quote:
I usually use a bit of no-rinse sanitizing solution in my airlocks to avoid this possible problem.
I sure that works but . . . ICK!!!
Why not use vodka?
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