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Old 01-23-2006, 05:32 AM   #1
rflach1
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Default fermenting problem

I'm fermenting my second brew. I have a 6.5 gal plastic bucket primary fermentor with the three piece airlock. My problem is that when i pitch the yeast i don't get any bubbling. I've researched this topic on the this site and tried to eliminate all of the possible problems (ie. making sure the lid is closed.....). My final gravity was what i expected and when i looked at the brew, krausen had developed so i'm assuming the fermentation took place. Has anyone had this experience? Is it that i'm using the 6.5 gal bucket and not a 5 gal carboy(more space for the gas to fill up)? Is it the type of air lock that i'm using (it does fill with gas but doesn't actually bubble and when i push on the lid of the fermentor it forces bubbles into the airlock)? I know i'm over analyzing this subject but the sweet sound of the airlock bubbling was something i was looking forward to and i feel i'm missing out on part of the brewing process.



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Old 01-23-2006, 06:28 AM   #2
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I like the three piece I think they are better and they dont have the seem that the other airlocks have which could leak. What I have found is that sometimes it gets going so fast that it keeps that top piece pushed up and you dont see it. You should be able to look inside the bucket Krausen is a definite sign sometimes it happens so quick you dont see it. If your gravity is there you know for sure. Also you may have a little bit too much liquid in your airlock and that plactic piece may be pushed up against the airlock lid. I like to take the three piece airlocks and take the inside of it out and run the siphon tubing just inside the airlock tube it fits great and then run the tubing in a sanitary solution and then you can see it bubble for sure,(otherwise known as a blow off tube). I have been using glass for my primary lately and this method has worked great for me. You can hear the bubbles very good with the blowoff tube. Good luck.



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Old 01-23-2006, 04:05 PM   #3
DeRoux's Broux
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rflach1
I'm fermenting my second brew. I have a 6.5 gal plastic bucket primary fermentor with the three piece airlock. My problem is that when i pitch the yeast i don't get any bubbling. I've researched this topic on the this site and tried to eliminate all of the possible problems (ie. making sure the lid is closed.....). My final gravity was what i expected and when i looked at the brew, krausen had developed so i'm assuming the fermentation took place. Has anyone had this experience? Is it that i'm using the 6.5 gal bucket and not a 5 gal carboy(more space for the gas to fill up)? Is it the type of air lock that i'm using (it does fill with gas but doesn't actually bubble and when i push on the lid of the fermentor it forces bubbles into the airlock)? I know i'm over analyzing this subject but the sweet sound of the airlock bubbling was something i was looking forward to and i feel i'm missing out on part of the brewing process.
well, if you got the FG you wanted, and there was evidence of a kraeusen (scum line around the rim of the bucket), sounds like you just had a quick ferment. what yeast did you use?

lag times can range from 60 min to 24 hours. sometimes the activity will start, but you may not see it in the air lock for a couple hours. sometimes the majority of activity takes place while your asleep. just let it sit for 3-5 days in the primary, and then rack to secondary to condition and clarify.
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Old 01-23-2006, 04:22 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by DeRoux's Broux
what yeast did you use?
i used wyeast 3944, with the smack pack.

i checked the gravity and it was 1.010, which is what i'm looking for so i went ahead and racked to the secondary. I know that it will "lighten" up and mature when in the secondary, but there was one striking thing that i noticed between this brew(belgian wit) and the first one(light ale) i made.....they are both a lot darker than i thought they would be. now i'm waiting on this brew to finish before judging it but i'm worried that it will have the same "off" taste and darker color like the first beer i made. could this be an infection, poor technique, wrong water....what?
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Old 01-23-2006, 04:37 PM   #5
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Default luis pasteur was right

i did have a similar problem with a 3-piece airlock, i couldnt get it to bubble. i sat for what seemed an eternity waiting for it to bubble, but nothing. the beer was fine, and i couldnt figure out what was wrong with the airlock. i always use the one piece now, they work great! they are actually the same thing as a 'swan neck' bottle that Pasteur used to demostrate that wine was fermented from yeast (duh) as apposed to some magicall being or 'godisgood'.

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Old 01-23-2006, 05:06 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rflach1
i used wyeast 3944, with the smack pack.

i checked the gravity and it was 1.010, which is what i'm looking for so i went ahead and racked to the secondary. I know that it will "lighten" up and mature when in the secondary, but there was one striking thing that i noticed between this brew(belgian wit) and the first one(light ale) i made.....they are both a lot darker than i thought they would be. now i'm waiting on this brew to finish before judging it but i'm worried that it will have the same "off" taste and darker color like the first beer i made. could this be an infection, poor technique, wrong water....what?
I find myself always thinking that my beer looks to dark when in the carboys or buckets. Once you pour one and take the volume down it will look much lighter.
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On Deck -
Primary1 -Hop Knot 10/04/07
Primary2 -
Secondary1 -
Secondary2 -
On Tap
Tap1 - Kelly's Rasberry Cream Ale 7/11/07
Tap2 - Black Stap Porter (8/25/07)
Tap3 - Hefeweizen 7/05/07
Waiting for tap\Conditioning
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Keg2 -
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Old 01-23-2006, 05:29 PM   #7
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rflac, I'd guess the lid/gasket didn't seal tight. If the gas didn't come out through the bubbler, it came out somewhere else.

If the fermenter is empty now, I guess you leak test it by leaving it empty, put on the bubbler, and put it in the sun to heat. Ought to bubble, at least some? Or at least raise the inner floaty part enough to see the difference in water levels between innerest and outerest parts. ???



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1 Tequila, from a prickly pear wine experiment that didn't work. I call it "Prickly Heat"

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