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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > Primary to Carboy.. Airlock no bubbles?
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Old 03-01-2011, 12:15 AM   #1
mitch101
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Default Primary to Carboy.. Airlock no bubbles?

hey guys, i got a kit that had the wert allready boiled and all i had to do was add the wert add water, add PH, and pitch yeast. unfortunatly i didnt get a gravity reading before i pitched the yeast... however after 4 days in the primary fermenter the head rose and dropped like it was supposed to so i transferred to the carboy WITH the airlock now on (the primary didnt have airlock just a lid). Its been over 2 days since i started the carboy with the airlock and i havent seen any bubbles...? Am i screwed? Thanks for your time

_mitch

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Old 03-01-2011, 12:46 AM   #2
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Why didn't you have an airlock on the primary? It's the primary that really needs the airlock to let the gasses escape. Also 4 days could be long enough for the yeast to consume all the sugars (the bubbles would stop). Never use the bubbles on an airlock as your ONLY way to know if fermentation is taking place. The only way to know for sure if it's fermenting is to take a readings a couple days in a row. But really I wouldn't expect to see bubbles in the airlock 6 days later.

DWRHAHB!

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Old 03-01-2011, 12:55 AM   #3
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Don't sweat it... you're fine. It sounds like you had fermentation already, it will usually slow after a few days.

Next time, however, put an airlock on the primary, if for no other reason than so you can watch the bubbles and hear the "blub, blub" sound.

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Old 03-01-2011, 01:11 AM   #4
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Ok - a few things...

1. You should have used the airlock on the primary - the goal of the airlock is not just to facilitate the release of CO2, but it is also to ensure that no contaminants get into your wort. Although since you seemed to have normal fermentation, and the process of fermenting would have kept you well protected with what is called a CO2 blanket (the space above the wort and below the lid which is full of CO2 during fermentation - despite the gases escaping through the hole in the lid), you are likely to be ok on this occasion.

2. The other issue is that you moved to a secondary way too early, and for no immediate reason. We generally recommend staying in the primary fermenter for at least two weeks (and preferably for at least three) to ensure that fermentation is complete, and that the yeast have cleaned up all of the byproducts they've created.

3. Do NOT use the airlock as a judge of fermentation.

4. So that brings us to where we are now - and my advice to you is that you should not touch it again. Leave it alone now for the rest of the week, and then take a hydrometer reading at the start of next week to see if you hit your expected final gravity numbers. The hope is that there is still enough yeast in suspension to eat all of the sugars that may still be in the wort/beer since you took it off the yeast cake to early when you moved to a secondary. If you hit your final gravity at the start of next week (and it's consistent for several days), then you can consider bottling. If you aren't at your final gravity, leave it for another week and then test again. If you still aren't at your final gravity, then it's possible you don't have enough yeast to complete the job and there may be a need to add more yeast to get you to where you need to be.

The lesson learned here should be to avoid the duration instructions printed with your kit, and let the yeast take the time necessary to do the job they need to do. In Revvy's words - "yeast do not read", let them be, and they'll reward you in the end for not disturbing them.

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Old 03-01-2011, 03:09 AM   #5
mitch101
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awesome, thanks alot guys. i didnt put an airlock on my primary plastic one because the lid didnt have a airlock hole, the manual said leave in primary with just a lid on for 3-5 days till the head rises and drops and then move to secondary for 10-15 days then bottle. i didnt get a gravity reading as i didnt have one and didnt know what they were my first day of brewing but i have one now

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