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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > ok, so whats actually happening when my 'airlock isn't bubbling'
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Old 11-13-2012, 12:39 PM   #1
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Default ok, so whats actually happening when my 'airlock isn't bubbling'

As usual, I did 2 brews Sunday.. as usual, needed to add a blow off, for one. Strangely, my Festa brew red hasn't bubbled..at all.

Now of course I was in a hurry and didn't take a reading for either but I've also been doing this long enough to know to just wait.

Here's my actual question. If there is so little c02 being produced that its not visually discernable, how exactly is the alcohol being produced? Perhaps the c02 is already being absorbed like during carbonation?

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Old 11-13-2012, 01:20 PM   #2
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More than likely the seal isn't perfect and the CO2 is finding another way out then though the airlock.

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Old 11-13-2012, 01:35 PM   #3
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I did check the seal by pressing on the lid and the water level in my airlock did change. also, my basement is at about 19c.

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Old 11-13-2012, 01:49 PM   #4
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I'd take a gravity reading then and see where you are at, then take on a day later and see if it has changed. If it's not changing, then maybe repitch yeast.

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Old 11-13-2012, 02:03 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DonMagee
I'd take a gravity reading then and see where you are at, then take on a day later and see if it has changed. If it's not changing, then maybe repitch yeast.
This. There is a chance that you could have had a fast fermentation maybe with an air leak that would keep the airlock from bubbling. Are there signs of krausen in the fermenter? On top of yge wort or a ring on the side of the fermenter? Those would indicate fermentation.

If you haven't fermented any repitch.
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Old 11-13-2012, 02:28 PM   #6
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Did you oxygenate well? How much yeast did you pitch and what type of yeast did you use? It might just be slow to start. Having a gravity reading would be useful.

Initially, the yeast undergo the lag and growth phases, followed by the fermentation phase. Keep in mind that not all yeast cells are at the same phase in the lifecycle. More info: http://www.beer-brewing.com/beer-bre...life_cycle.htm.

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Old 11-13-2012, 02:40 PM   #7
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I'll take a reading tonite and I guess tomorrow night. If I do have to repitch, which yeast should I use?
This was a Fest Brew kit so I just used the yeast that came with it, which I obviously have no more of.
I oxygenated by pouring the entire wort into the pail, it created a big thick head, a good 2inches deep of bubbles. I assumed that would be sufficient.
I'll have to open the lid tonite to see if there's a krausen ring.

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Old 11-13-2012, 03:03 PM   #8
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Personally, I oxygenate more than this. I not only pour the beer to create a lot of bubbles, but then I shake everything around.

The yeast you use in a beer is really important. Personally, I wouldn't use just any old yeast that might come in these kits. You'll get a better beer using one of the liquid yeast company yeasts, or a good dry yeast like Fermentis, IMHO. I'm guessing this is some kind of red ale? You can use Fermentis US-05 if that's the case. It gives a clean neutral taste. Although, I would check the fermenter first. Buckets have a few places that might let the CO2 escape other than the airlock and you might be surprised.

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Old 11-13-2012, 03:13 PM   #9
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Hmm, i'm starting to wonder about my bucket, i bought it used and this is the first time I use it. When I move it into my cold room, there was a ring of wort on the floor...ok, assuming it's leaking c02...that's actually not a big deal then because technically that becomes the airlock..however, when fermentation is done, it could let oxygen in?

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Old 11-13-2012, 03:19 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timcadieux View Post
Hmm, i'm starting to wonder about my bucket, i bought it used and this is the first time I use it. When I move it into my cold room, there was a ring of wort on the floor...ok, assuming it's leaking c02...that's actually not a big deal then because technically that becomes the airlock..however, when fermentation is done, it could let oxygen in?
I've never had a bucket leak before, but if it's leaking that's where the CO2 is going. As long as you don't disturb the bucket (move it a lot), the CO2 should stay on top of the beer (CO2 is heavier than normal air and should make a 'blanket') so you should be ok.
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