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Old 05-30-2007, 10:56 AM   #1
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Saturday evening I brewed my first batch. It is Palmer's Cincinnati Pale Ale. Things went well. I have checked the airlock consistently and have not seen bubbling. It's been more than three days now and I am a bit concerned.

But, the level of the vodka in the chamber has risen. As a matter of fact, yesterday, some vodka ended up on the lid of the fermenter. I suspect it had been forced out through the top of the airlock. Yet, I have not seen any bubbles.

I rehydrated the yeast before pitching. I did not have a thermometer, but believe it was not too hot. I baked bread and make pizza dough and have a pretty good handle on water temperature for yeast.

The wort was cool to the touch before it was added to the fermenter. The only thing I can think of is that when I topped off, I did not mix it in as well as I may have.

Anyhow, despite the lack of seeing bubbling, is it possible there is actually fermentation taking place? I am willing to pitch another yeast pack, but that requires me to get some from the not-soLHBS.

I know everyone preaches patience. Now more than three days in I am trying to have some but want to make certain I am not ruining my beer too.

Thanks for the help.

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Old 05-30-2007, 11:09 AM   #2
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What type of vessel are you fermenting in? If it's a carboy or bucket you should be able to see a krausen on top of the beer (if it is fermenting). Sometimes the lid on the bucket isn't sealed properly and your Co2 escapes there rather than your airlock--not a bad thing, you just don't get the cool airlock action.

Since you said this is your first batch, the krausen is a thick band of foam that sits on the wort during fermentation and then falls back into your beer. If you can imagine a "head" on your wort then you'll have a good idea.

Hope it works out for ya.

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Old 05-30-2007, 11:32 AM   #3
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I am using a fermenting bucket stored in my basement. It has been cool down there. The lid is on very securely. Is it okay to remove the lid to view the krausen?

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Old 05-30-2007, 11:44 AM   #4
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I've done it, just be careful.

Do you have a thermometer strip on the fermentor? If not I would highly recommend getting one (they're only a couple dollars). Maintaining tempurature is one of the most important aspects of fermentation, I keep a thermometer next to the fermentor to better gauge ambient temps. and help make "corrections" to bring my carboy temps in line (corrections include adjusting my home HVAC).

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Old 05-30-2007, 11:48 AM   #5
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No thermometer. My "gut" feeling is that everything is okay, but I never saw bubbles. At worse, I suppose it's a bad batch.

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Old 05-30-2007, 11:53 AM   #6
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If you have any type of device to measure the temps. in your basement, place it by your carboy. This will give you a good indication of what you're dealing with. The cooler temps. are not as bad as the higher ones, and this could be responsible for your slow start.

Don't give up hope just yet.

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Old 05-30-2007, 12:12 PM   #7
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I have had a very similar experience in the past where I could have swore that my lid was on tight but no bubbling in the air lock. I even checked it and double checked it to make sure I wasn't going nuts but it was on good but it must not have sealed....the beer fermented fine even with my worrying.

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Old 05-30-2007, 12:18 PM   #8
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Do you have a hydrometer? If not, you should get one, necessity in my opinion.

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Old 05-30-2007, 12:51 PM   #9
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I do have a hydrometer, but no thermometer. Does everyone think it's okay to pop the lid and take a reading? If so, I will do that tonight when I get home. I have been hesitant to open the bucket's lid and I can see nothing in the grommeted hole when I pulled the airlock.

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Old 05-30-2007, 01:01 PM   #10
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Sure, if it's sanitized it'll be ok, You can use a sanitized turkey baster to pull out your sample.

You may see a ring of crud just above the beer. If you do- sucess! That would be the remnants of the krausen. Temperature is very important- if your basement is say, 60 degrees, it might be too cool to enable fermentation to really start especially if it's on a cement floor. I'd suggest buying a cheap room thermometer at the hardware store to check the temperature of the room. (Too high temperatures are worse, though!)

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