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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > No action in the airlock
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Old 02-26-2013, 05:03 PM   #11
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Just as a comparison since we're brewing the same recipe: I checked my gravity today. OG was 1.042, today (19 days into fermentation) it is still 1.030. But it looked like this:



Our situations are a little different I suppose. I have had some STRANGE lag phase where it took like 16 days for fermentation to really get active (by a lack of kraussen and very little airlock activity until day 16-17).

Smell and taste seem to be ok and no visible signs of infection from yours or mine. So, RDWHAHB I guess

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Old 02-26-2013, 05:05 PM   #12
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You have fermentation. IGNORE what your airlock is or isn't doing. And trust those of us who've been doing it longer than you?

Bubbling doesn't really mean anything other than the airlock is bubbling. And airlock is not a fermentation gauge, it's a vent to bleed off EXCESS gas, be it oxygen or EXCESS co2. It shouldn't be looked at as anything else, because an airlock can bubble or stop bubbling for whatever reasons, including a change in temperature (gas expands and contracts depending on ambient temps) changes in barometric pressure (You can have bubbling or suckback in the airlock, depending on pressure on the fermenter) whether or not a truck is going by on the street, the vacuum cleaner is running, or your dog is trying to have sex with the fermenter. Or co2 can get out around the lid of the bucket or the bung...it doesn't matter how the co2 gets out, just that it is.

And bubbles don't coordinate with anything concrete within the fermenter either, "x bubbles/y minute" does NOT TRANSLATE to any numerical change in gravity....if an instruction says do something when bubbles do something per something, throw the instructions out.

Fermentation is not always dynamic, just because you can't see what's going on, doesn't mean nothing is going on. And just because your airlock starts up, and then slows down or stops in a few days, doesn't mean fermentation is over YET, it just means the excess co2 is not coming out of the airlock...not that the yeast is done.

The only way to know how your beer is doing is to take a hydrometer reading, if you're worried. But not until 72 hours have gone by. Then if you're still concerned, take one...then you'll know.

Counting bubbles does not equate to anything usable in fermentation. It's not like "x bubbles/minute= y gravity points." It just means that co2 is being released....but it could also NOT be bubbling, and still fermenting away.

Relax, leave your beer alone and let it do it's thing for a couple more weeks, and most importantly, IGNORE what your airlock does or doesn't do.

In fact you might find this discussion on the superfluousness of airlocks something that will help you get a handle on this. It was started by a newer brewing who just grasped this concept.

You don't NEED to repitch,looks like you have a happy fermentation going. PLEASE get out of the mindset of an airlock is anything other than a cheap vent. Fermentation happens regardless of whether an airlock bubbles.

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Old 02-26-2013, 05:48 PM   #13
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Yep. If you are using a kit and following instructions, disregard the airlock instructions. That doesn't mean a thing.

Think of the airlock as an escape route for any excess gas and that's it. Even after bubbling slows or even stops, the yeast are still cleaning up. The active portion of fermentation is just the yeast going to town on the simple sugars causing the gas. After those simple sugars are gone, they will work on the more complex sugars. This will help develope a better flavor and clearing of your beer. The instructions that come with kits often don't mention anything about this, except after 5-7 days transfer to a secondary (which is a whole other argument on this forum).


RDWHAHB!

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Old 02-26-2013, 06:55 PM   #14
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Things are fine! I had the same issue recently and I thought something was wrong. Of course I came here and asked. Like everyone is saying, the airlock doesn't monitor fermentation. I had a 7 gallon bucket with only 5 gallons of beer in it and nothing happened in the airlock at all just because the bucket had enough space for the beer and for the co2. So there was an instance where the airlock didn't indicate anything.

I'm pretty new but I keep learning over and over again...just be patient.

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Old 02-26-2013, 07:20 PM   #15
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To quote from above: "Just as a comparison since we're brewing the same recipe: I checked my gravity today. OG was 1.042, today (19 days into fermentation) it is still 1.030."

Is it normal sometimes for the gravity to takes so long to drop?

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Old 02-26-2013, 07:21 PM   #16
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Heads up to Glaurung30, check out Urban Sunshine, they now have brewing supplies and have 3 locations in the Orlando area.

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Old 02-26-2013, 07:35 PM   #17
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Quote:
No action in the airlock
1) Take the airlock off
2) Put the part that goes into the bung into your mouth
3) BLOW

Now the airlock's gettin' some action (<---sorry this is the first thing that popped in my head when I read the title of the thread....)
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Old 02-26-2013, 07:36 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PistolaPete View Post
To quote from above: "Just as a comparison since we're brewing the same recipe: I checked my gravity today. OG was 1.042, today (19 days into fermentation) it is still 1.030."

Is it normal sometimes for the gravity to takes so long to drop?
No, it's not normal for it to take that long. I would expect to reach final gravity within 10 days and I would expect the FG to be lower than you have. Tell us about your brew, the OG, what yeast you used and what the temperature was while fermenting including any temperature changes.
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Old 02-26-2013, 08:05 PM   #19
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I've posted all that info in the "Fermentation can take 24-72 hours" thread.

OG: 1.042 (2/7/13)
Muntons Dry Yeast rehydrated in 75 degree water for 15 minutes
Pitched in 75 degree wort
Fermenting in 6.5G bucket at 68-72 degrees
Current Gravity: 1.030 (2/26/13)

At day 16-17 vigorous airlock activity occurred after no activity and little to no kraussen visible (opaque plastic bucket) and so I got concerned that this late in the game I was seeing such vigorous activity. Checked the gravity and smelled fine, tasted bitter (not done fermenting) and I could see flocculation beginning (floating yeast particles)



image-2900898256.jpg

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Old 02-26-2013, 08:09 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RM-MN
Put the lid back on, your yeast are doing fine. They just need a little relaxation now. The ring of gunk above your beer is a krausen ring and it tells me you have fermentation going on and the yeast need more time to finish. Here's a description of the phases the yeast go through. Yours is in the third phase.

http://www.brewgeeks.com/the-life-cycle-of-yeast.html
Really really interesting reading on the life cycle of yeast. So... Would there be an advantage in "shaking things up" at a certain point in the fermentation? How would I know if the yeast strain would benefit from that?
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