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Old 12-16-2010, 03:40 PM   #31
BuddyBrews
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Originally Posted by Yooper View Post
A good time to take a reading is whenever you are concerned, or when you plan to do something with the knowledge.

For example, I brewed a pale ale last Thursday. I'm going to open it and take a reading today, because if it's finished and clear, I'm going to dryhop it.

I know it fermented, as there are plenty of indications last week that fermentation was taking place.

So I'll check the SG today and dryhop it. In another week, I'll check the SG. If it's the same, I'll bottle or keg it.

If I'm worried that a beer isn't fermenting, I check the SG. If I am getting ready to bottle the beer, or do something else with it, I check the SG. Otherwise, I just leave it alone.

I think one of the reasons I'm more laid back is because I have a lot more carboys! I really don't have much time to worry about one fermenter, because I have about 6 carboys of wine right now, one ale pail of beer, and I'm brewing today. Brewing is a great hobby for procrastinators, since the beer and wine are better if left alone and allowed to "clean up" after themselves in the fermenter.
Gotchya. Better knowing than just hoping.
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Old 09-26-2012, 03:05 AM   #32
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What you should have done, was to wait 72 hours, and take a hydrometer reading. And not care whether the airlock bubbles or not. Half my beers NEVER have a bubbling airlock, but I've never had a fermentation not happen before. Like I was quoted above.

Airlock bubbling and fermentation are not the same thing. You have to separate that from your mindset. Airlock bubbling can be a sign of fermentation, but not a good one, because the airlock will often blip or not blip for various other reasons...so it is a tenuous connection at best.

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....

If your airlock starts bubbling, it really doesn't matter.

If your airlock NEVER bubbles, it doesn't mean anything is wrong or right.

Your airlock is not a fermentation gauge, it is a VALVE to release excess co2. If it bubbles it is because it needs to, if it doesn't, it just means it doesn't need too...

Often an airlock will bubble if the fermenter has been disturbed in some way, like a change in temperature, change in atmospheric pressure, the cat brushing against it, opening it up to take a hydro reading, any number of things. The co2 has sat in stasis for a period of time, then it was disturbed so it is not longer at equilibrium with everything else now. And therefore it is blipping in your airlock...

Or you could indeed have fermentation happening, since maybe your fermentation was laggy and a change in temp restarted fermentation.

Airlock bubbling only tells you that co2 is coming out of the airlock, it is not telling you why. And there's various reasons. That's why it's not a good idea to equate airlock bubbling with fermentation...It could be because it is fermenting, or it could not be because of fermentation...so it's not a trustworthy tool.

And airlocks sometimes bubble or they don't. And airlock is a valve, a vent to release excess co2...NOT a fermentation gauge. It's important to make that distinction, or you'll be panicking everytime a an airlock doesn't bubble, or stops bubbling.

Fermentation is not always "dynamic," just because you don't SEE anything happening, doesn't mean that any-thing's wrong,, and also doesn't mean that the yeast are still not working diligently away, doing what they've been doing for over 4,000 years.

That's why you need to take a gravity reading to know how your fermentation is going, NOT go by airlocks, or size of krausen, or a calendar, the horoscope or the phases of the moon (those things in my mind are equally accurate).

The most important tool you can use is a hydrometer. It's the only way you will truly know when your beer is ready...airlock bubbles and other things are faulty.

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....

Thinking about "doing anything" like repitching, or bottling, or racking, without first taking a hydrometer reading is tantamount to the doctor deciding to cut you open without running any diagnostic tests....Taking one look at you and saying, "Yeah I'm going in." You would really want the doctor to use all means to properly diagnose what's going on?

Next time just ignore the airlock and if you are concerned take a gravity reading.

Dam happening again.... but i will be taking gravity reading this time
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