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Old 07-08-2011, 12:23 PM   #1
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Default How long before I should see fermentation bubbles?

How long before I should see fermentation bubbles?

I'm making an Ale, 1/2 gal wheat/LME with and using Wyeast, and have it in the primary now. I added the yeast at 79 deg and after I whisked for 4 minutes to blend in some O2.

TIA

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Old 07-08-2011, 12:29 PM   #2
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if you sanitized right and pitched the yeast, then don't worry about the bubbles. you will probably see them with in the next day or two, but don't worry about them if you don't. do you have a hydrometer? its your best tool to see whats going on in there. good luck!

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Old 07-08-2011, 12:34 PM   #3
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Could be minutes, could be days, it all depends on your practices/procedures, your original gravity, amount and strain of yeast pitched, ingredients, etc, etc. Was the wyeast a Activator pack or a propagator pack, did you build a starter? What was the OG?

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Old 07-08-2011, 12:34 PM   #4
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I'm sure Revvy will be here to share shortly - but I'll try to beat him to the punch:

Bubbles are not an indication of fermentation - they CAN be one result of fermentation, but they can also indicate many other things. And fermentation can and often does occur such that you never see a bubble.

That said, remember that fermentation takes time. It sounds like you may have just brewed your batch. If so, it's time to sit back, relax, and LEAVE YOUR BEER ALONE!

Seriously, give it at least a week in primary - two or three is better - and then break out your hydrometer and see if you're getting near your final gravity. That's the only way to know, for sure, that fermentation has occurred.

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Old 07-08-2011, 01:35 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by COLObrewer View Post
Could be minutes, could be days, it all depends on your practices/procedures, your original gravity, amount and strain of yeast pitched, ingredients, etc, etc. Was the wyeast a Activator pack or a propagator pack, did you build a starter? What was the OG?
Thanks! This is my first beer, although I've made a number of wines (from grape juice, kits, fruit wines and also Skeeter Pee) before.

My starting SG was 1.044, I don't know what OG is. Its from a Midwest Supplies kit.

It was an activator pack I did not make a starter.

SG is at 1.042 now and I see some small bubbles so it looks like its going.

Should I whisk in some extra O2, or just let it go?
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Old 07-08-2011, 01:37 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stratslinger View Post
Bubbles are not an indication of fermentation - they CAN be one result of fermentation, but they can also indicate many other things. And fermentation can and often does occur such that you never see a bubble.
Thanks!

Didn't know that, with the wines I've made I've always seen a rapid fermentation, with lots of bubbles, except for once where I had a stuck fermentation and had to make a starter to get it going.
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Old 07-08-2011, 01:43 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by abefroman View Post
SG is at 1.042 now and I see some small bubbles so it looks like its going.

Should I whisk in some extra O2, or just let it go?
I say again, LEAVE YOUR BEER ALONE!!!

If you haven't read Papazian's book, he has a saying: Relax, Don't Worry, and Have a Home Brew. It's commonly abbreviated as RDWHAHB around here. And it's good advice - once you've brewed your beer and pitched your yeast, relax and let the yeast do their thing. They're pretty darned good at it!

Come back at least a week after you pitched - longer if you can bear it - and test again.

Also - disturbing the wort/beer at this point in any way that would introduce more oxygen is a bad idea. It'd help compounds in the beer to oxidize, making your beer taste like wet cardboard!

By the way, you mentioned that your starting SG was 1.044 - that is your OG (Original Gravity).
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Old 07-08-2011, 01:47 PM   #8
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Well, airlock bubbles aren't always a good indicator of fermentation if you have a leak somewhere (this often happens if you ferment in buckets), but bubbles in the wort itself certainly are (at least at first, later they can just be CO2 coming out of solution). Of course you can only see those if you are fermenting in glass or clear plastic. Quite fun to watch, actually.

As some people have already alluded to, the timing varies widely. The forum standard seems to be that 72 hours is the cutoff after which you you start worrying. Personally, I get uncomfortable after 36 hours, BUT one of my most recent batches didn't start fermenting until 5 days (120 hours) after the initial pitch, and it turned out fantastic. As long as you sanitize everything very well, with a good sanitizer like StarSan, there is little to worry about if fermentation doesn't take off right away.

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Old 07-08-2011, 01:50 PM   #9
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Airlocks aren't any real indicator of fermentation. If one is bubbling, that could mean it's fermenting. It could also mean you were moving your fermenter, the gas in the fermenter warmed up and expanded, or you're experiencing a minor earthquake. I've had a beer that never even once bubbled through the airlock. I checked the gravity after a week, and it sure looked and smelled like fermentation, and by golly, it had fermented down to its FG (I knew this after waiting another 3 weeks of conditioning).

So just don't worry, yeast is good at making beer. And just because one of your batches did X doesn't mean the next one with the same yeast won't do Y. Every fermentation is different.

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Old 07-08-2011, 02:34 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ArcaneXor View Post
As long as you sanitize everything very well, with a good sanitizer like StarSan, there is little to worry about if fermentation doesn't take off right away.
I used a k-meta solution, is that equal or shoudl I use StarSan on my next batch?
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