Originally Posted by gratliff
Brewed my first batch last Saturday (all Malt Amber from a kit). I think that i did everything by the book fine.
I stuck the batch in the basement and within 24 hours, the bubbles started. It bubbled away for about a day and a half. Nothing crazy though, just a steady bubbling. Then it just stopped.
I broke my hygrometer on brew day so I dont have a starting reading. The kit says it should have started around 1.042-1.044 (for now, i'll assume that i was close). The day before yesterday, i took a reading with my new hygrometer, and it read 1.02. I left everything alone and checked again today and the reading is the same. The kit said that the final reading should be 1.010-1.012.
There is a lot of krausen around the inside of my fermenter. It clearly fermented pretty good for a while.
The batch is in my basement at a steady 69 degrees.
What do I do now? Add more yeast? Shake it up? Add
some kind of yeast food? Add some kind of yeast afrodisiac? Bottle it and chase pretzels with it?
Originally Posted by brewsmity
Gratlift, I'm in the same boat as you. I brewed my first batch this Sunday and pitched with Muntons dry (dumped in straight in without re-hydrating). No bubbles Monday AM, but Monday night she was rockin away. Things seemed to slow down quite a bit by Tuesday night and last night she was only perking about 2 bubbles a min.
I haven't taken a gravity reading since putting the batch in the primary. I'm trying to not over think it and also I've been to busy / lazy to Star San my turkey baster and get a sample. Next time I'm going to reserve a small container of the mixed Star San I use on brew night so I don't need to make a new batch to take samples (other posts on the board say you can use a batch for about 1 month).
I will take a reading tonight. If I'm close to my FG I'll rack to the secondary, if not I'll wait and do it this weekend.
This waiting thing is the hardest part...
airlock bubbling, lack of airlock bubbling, stopped airlock bubbling, fast airlock bubbling, slow airlcok bubbling, heavy metal airlcok bubbling, or disco airlock bubbling really is not an indicator of what is happening to your beer, really isn't important, and it is NOT an accurate gauge of fermentation.
If your airlock was bubbling and stopped---It doesn't mean fermentation has stopped.
If you airlock isn't bubbling, it doesn't mean your fermentation hasn't started....Your airlock is not a fermentation gauge, it is a VALVE to release excess co2.
Fermentation is not always "dynamic," just because you don't SEE anything happening, doesn't mean that anything's wrong, and also doesn't mean that the yeast are still not working dilligantly away, doing what they've been doing for over 4,000 years....
I have 9 different fermenters and have been brewing for a few years, and OVER HALF OF MY BEERS NEVER HAVE ANY BUBBLING IN THE AIRLOCK AND THEY ALL TURN OUT FINE!
If you've oxygentated, and pitched plenty of yeast, then you SHOULD reach your yeast attenuation, and get close to the final gravity.....that is all that is important...NOT whether or not you airlock goes "blip" or "Rattattattatta!!!!"
An airlock is a vent for excess co2, nothing more, it's to keep your beer off the ceiling, and is designed to vent and still keep stuff out of your beer....that's really it...
In fact many no longer use airlocks at all, just cover the hole with a piece of tinfoil, or use a piece of plexiglass instead of a lid.
The only way to truly know what is going on in your fermenter is with your hydrometer.
Like I said here in my blog, which I encourage you to read, Think evaluation before action
you sure as HELL wouldn't want a doctor to start cutting on you unless he used the proper diagnostic instuments like x-rays first, right? You wouldn't want him to just take a look in your eyes briefly and say "I'm cutting into your chest first thing in the morning." You would want them to use the right diagnostic tools
before the slice and dice, right? You'd cry malpractice, I would hope, if they didn't say they were sending you for an MRI and other things before going in.....
If you broke you hydrometer get a new one...or leave your beer alone for 3-4 weeks like most of us do anyway. If your airlock isn't bubling then wait 72 hours; (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f39/fermentation-can-take-24-72-hrs-show-visible-signs-43635/
Then take a hydromter reading. that is the only way you will know what is going on!
Unless you bought liguid yeast through the mail in the heat of summer, or added your yeast into boiling wort. your fermentation will happnen.
Yeast just don't not work anymore, that is an idea that came from the bad old days before homebrewing was legalized in 1978 when yeast came in hard cakes that travelled in hot cargo holds of ships and may have sat on a store shelf for god knows how long...But since 1978 yeast science has been ongoing and the yeasts of today, wet OR dry are going to work in 99.9% of the situations we have, if you give them the time to do so.
If you look at ALL these supposed stuck or not started fermentation threads you will see that over 90% of them are REALLY threads were the brewer equated airlock bubbling with fermentation, OR didn't wait long enough.....AND didn't use his hydromter to see what was going on....and over 90% of them, when the brewer took a reading he then was relieved to see that fermentation did indeed happen.
Your hydromter is really the only answer to knowing what is going on, and you will find you will have less worries when you use it, and trust that the yeast know what to do...and are in charge.