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Old 07-17-2013, 03:19 PM   #1
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Default No bubbling during primary fermentation - when to give up?

Tried my first pilsner (lager) so I bought Brewers best Continental Pilsner.
Followed the instructions on making the wort cooling it, pitching their supplied yeast.

I placed the primary into my fridge which cooled it to around 53-51 degrees. (directions indicate 53 to 59 during primary fermentation)

The instruction say that within 48 hours I should see some bubbling - but its been 72 hours and there has been no activity. Ive never lagered before so I have no idea on how long I should wait until becoming concerned?

any ideas?

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Old 07-17-2013, 03:22 PM   #2
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Is there any krausen on the surface of the wort/beer? That would be a better indication that something is happening than airlock activity.

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Old 07-17-2013, 03:22 PM   #3
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Perhaps your fermenter doesn't have a perfect seal and the co2/gas is escaping elsewhere. Buckets are notorious for this.

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Old 07-17-2013, 03:31 PM   #4
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I have read a lot of comments on here about people never seeing lagers ferment. Lager yeast are bottom croppers and slow moving.

Also - gravity readings will tell you if fermentation is occuring as opposed to bubbling, krausen, etc.

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Old 07-17-2013, 03:40 PM   #5
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It also seems that lagers need more yeast at the start to get going in the normal time frame vs ale yeast amounts. Since lagers brew 10-12 degrees cooler,it's slower & needs more yeast at the outset as I understand it.

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Old 07-17-2013, 03:42 PM   #6
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Have you bothered to take a gravity reading yet? Or are you just speculating there's a problem? Because the only way to know is with your hydrometer.

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Old 07-17-2013, 05:02 PM   #7
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Thanks for all the fast suggestions, I guess I got concerned prematurely, because I just got back - looked in the fridge and it started bubbling. Seems it was off by a day (as per the instructions) Whew....

However, I do have to ask, if the OG was 1.040, and suppose I hadn't seen any bubbling. So I decided to take a SG reading (lets assume there was fermentation occurring ) would I expect the SG to have dropped by a noticeable amount in the first 3 days? Seems too short of a time for changes....

Sorry still really new at brewing and trying to understand everything.

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Old 07-17-2013, 05:07 PM   #8
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Ales can go from 1.060 to under 1.020 in a couple days, even under optimum conditions. Granted, lagers are a slower moving yeast, but half the speed could be expected (1.060 to under 1.040 in a couple days). It's generally the final remaining points of gravity that take the longest because there's so much less yeast (the low flocculating yeasts) working on the more complex sugars (maltrotriose) (i.e. less workers doing harder/slower work).

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Old 07-17-2013, 06:35 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Revvy View Post
Have you bothered to take a gravity reading yet? Or are you just speculating there's a problem? Because the only way to know is with your hydrometer.
This x10000. My first batch I didn't see bubbles. I came here and read up a little, and saw that wasn't that uncommon. It happens. Now I don't worry about it. As long as I have a gravity difference in my refractometer or hydrometer, then I know the yeast is doing it's job. It's just like the only way to know it's done fermenting is to take gravity readings. You can't just assume because the bubbling stops that it's done. Yes, brewing is an art, but it's an art grounded in solid scientific principles.
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