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Old 02-13-2012, 04:04 PM   #1
Spacepuppy
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Default Stuck fermentation=bad bucket seal

Hey for anyone out there looking at all the stuck fermentation threads like I have been. I put together my first AG 4 days ago a Dry Stout and I was getting a lot of air lock activity within 24 hrs (man it was going nuts) but waking up this morning (day 4) there was ZERO activity. I then started researching stuck fermentation threads and after reading many many posts on many threads I decided to take a sg reading. My starting gravity was 1.050 and I am expecting a FG around 1.010, the hydrometer read 1.020! its only been in the primary for 84 hrs!! so my fermentation is not only probably not stuck but probably almost completed. I put the top back on the plastic pail fermenter and gave the whole thing a good shake just in case (probably shouldnt have done that) and replaced the air lock, the pressure from me shaking up the beer caused some beer and foam to be forced out of the seal around the entire top of the fermenter. I am betting what I thought was stuck fermentation is actually a leaky pail seal so dont freak out (as I did) RDWHAHB.

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Old 02-13-2012, 04:06 PM   #2
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I ferment strictly in my better bottle now because I like seeing the airlock activity and have the same problem with my pail seals. Every Ale I've done has dropped the krausen before the 7th day.

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Old 02-13-2012, 04:24 PM   #3
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Quote:
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I ferment strictly in my better bottle now because I like seeing the airlock activity and have the same problem with my pail seals. Every Ale I've done has dropped the krausen before the 7th day.
Man its nice to see whats going on in there, if I could I would have all glass carboys but I already have enough invested in beer making for my first year. I just cant bring myself to let anything sit around unused or I would just stick to the glass.
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Old 02-13-2012, 05:21 PM   #4
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Stated and restated, but bubbles do not equal fermentation. If you don't get bubbles, it can absolutely be due to a bad seal. The only way to know if fermentation is going on is to compare gravity readings on different days.

Also note that fermentation usually slows down after that first initial rush; it can take a while to finish out.

If you are measuring fermentation progress in days, you are probably in too much of a hurry. Relax, let the yeast do their thing. You'll be much happier with your better beer.

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Old 02-13-2012, 05:30 PM   #5
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Revvy will be here shortly im sure...

Wait. I repeat. Wait! Let it ride for a few more days (weeks may even be appropriate here). 84 hours in primary is not that long for fermentation time. You have a long way to go!

As mentioned, bubbles do not indicate fermentation. Only a hydrometer will tell you whether fermentation has occurred. Bubbles are fun to watch, but are not reliable in terms of measurable fermentation activity.

Let that sucker sit in primary for at least 2-3 weeks before taking gravity readings (saves potentially wasted beer!). This allows your beer to ferment and condition. Then bottle and carb for at least another 3 weeks.

Patience is the key to great homebrews!

RDWHAHB and enjoy the hobby! Give us an update in a few weeks, let us know how its coming along!

Ryan M.

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Old 02-13-2012, 05:32 PM   #6
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Shaking was not the best of ideas...but I've seen worse.

My general rule of thumb is to forget about it for a couple of weeks and let the yeast do its thing.

fermentation doesn't care about the bucket being sealed or not.

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Old 02-13-2012, 05:33 PM   #7
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definatly not in a hurry Brewdad, I now have 8 brews for a total of 40 gallons brewed (some over a month in the secondary) and this was the first time in this bucket and the first time fermentation appeared to stop, dont get me wrong I was definatly worried but I did some digging on the forums here and took a gravity reading just like I should and it confirmed that nothing was wrong. I decided to give the pail a shake based on the forums as well...its just that I found some pro shake info before I found anti-shake info but in retrospect I think i will just let the yeast do its thing next time.

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Old 02-13-2012, 06:20 PM   #8
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you should never shake it once fermentation has started (unless its a huge beer). you can gently swirl the fermenter to rouse the yeast, but don't shake.

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Old 02-13-2012, 07:57 PM   #9
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Quote:
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you should never shake it once fermentation has started (unless its a huge beer). you can gently swirl the fermenter to rouse the yeast, but don't shake.
While not shaking seems to be the majority opinion and I agree shaking was both probably not necessary and may be harmful it is definatly not everyones opinion and for us NOOBS searching forums for answers to our questions it is easy to find completly different answers to the same question. It would appear that a good percentage of info found online are just opinions therefore we are left to read and formulate our own opinion as to what to do.
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Old 02-13-2012, 08:03 PM   #10
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I only ferment in buckets because its easier for me to harvest yeast and none of my lids seal good. With that said ive never had a bad fermentation, never seen 1 bubble in my airlock, just peek in the day after I pitch to make sure its going and leave it alone.

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