how long will my airlock bubble? - Home Brew Forums

Register Now!
Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > how long will my airlock bubble?

Thread Tools
Old 10-09-2009, 11:38 PM   #1
Sep 2009
Posts: 12

I have a Porter Extract kit in primary. I brewed last Sunday, bubbling started late Monday. Has been steady since then. How long will this bubble. Is it bad to bubble too long? FYI.... Pitched dry yeast at 67 degrees. Fermenting at 72. Thoughts???

Reply With Quote
Old 10-09-2009, 11:40 PM   #2
Beer Dude in the Sunset
mrk305's Avatar
May 2007
Posts: 1,708
Liked 13 Times on 13 Posts

Three days to a week usually. The yeast are still working after the bubbling stops. I like to leave mine for three weeks total.
Carport Brewery, Lilburn GA

Any advise offered after 10:00p.m. should be regarded as questionable
I can't brew until something is empty

Reply With Quote
Old 10-09-2009, 11:42 PM   #3
ThreeTaps's Avatar
Aug 2009
Pacific Beach, CA
Posts: 520
Liked 6 Times on 6 Posts

RDWHAHB (Relax, Don't Worry, Have a Home Brew).

Your yeasties are having a ball in there, fermenting their hearts out. Nothing to be alarmed about. You'll most likely see some sort of airlock activity for at least a week, and 72 is a good fermenting temp for your beer. What you're seeing is completely normal.
Justin H.
Brew Blog: Three Taps Brewing
Primary: Centennial Blonde Ale, Deception Cream Stout Secondary: Empty.
Bottle Conditioning / Drinking: Pumpkin Spice Ale, Cherry Wheat Ale, Bee Cave IPA, EdWort's Apfelwein.
R.I.P.: Bee Cave Haus Pale Ale, Oatmeal Stout, Pecan Scottish Ale, Nut Brown Ale, Blonde Ale.

Brewing Since August 17, 2009
Have a BlackBerry? Download the HBT launcher here.
Originally Posted by shortyjacobs
You definitely win my award for "Most Enthusiastic New Brewer".

Reply With Quote
Old 10-10-2009, 12:56 AM   #4
Flocculation Nation
scrambledegg81's Avatar
Sep 2009
Los Osos, CA
Posts: 1,816
Liked 40 Times on 36 Posts

Aye. Just let the yeasties do their thing. They're in control from this point on.

The odd war-whoop or cheer for your yeast doesn't hurt either. Good karma, and all that.
Primary: nada
Secondary: emptyness
Bottled/Fridge: Sierra Nevada Celebration
Bombers/Growlers/Aging: The Abyss, Firestone 19th Anniversary Ale
Kegerator: sanitizer!
Coming Up: something spiffy, most likely

Reply With Quote
Old 10-10-2009, 01:02 AM   #5
Senior Member
ajf's Avatar
Oct 2005
Long Island
Posts: 4,646
Liked 105 Times on 99 Posts

Most brews finish producing CO2 within about 7 days or so, but some can go on for several weeks (especially higher gravity brews). I have one at the moment that has been fermenting slowly for 4 weeks now, but it spent the first couple weeks fermenting at below optimum temperature because I forgot to adjust the thermostat before going on a trip.

There are only 10 types of people in this world. Those that understand binary, and those that don't.

Reply With Quote
Old 10-10-2009, 01:12 AM   #6
Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc
Revvy's Avatar
Dec 2007
"Detroitish" Michigan
Posts: 40,921
Liked 3192 Times on 1885 Posts

It really doesn't matter. That's NOT the best gauge of knowing what your beer is doing.

airlock bubbling, lack of airlock bubbling, stopped airlock bubbling, fast airlock bubbling, slow airlcok bubbling, heavy metal airlcok bubbling, or disco airlock bubbling really is not an indicator of what is happening to your beer, really isn't important, and it is NOT an accurate gauge of fermentation.

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.

Your airlock will more than likely slow down anytime now, but that doesn't mean that fermentation is done.

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

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.....

So after it's been about 10 days take a hydrometer reading and see whare the beer's at. And just becasue the yeast if finished fermenting doesn't mean it's job is done, the yeast, if given time likes to clean up after itself, getting rid of all the byproducts of fermentation that leads to off flavors.

That's why you wil find many of us leave our beers in primary for a month.

Even John Palmer in How to brew says;

Leaving an ale beer in the primary fermentor for a total of 2-3 weeks (instead of just the one week most canned kits recommend), will provide time for the conditioning reactions and improve the beer. This extra time will also let more sediment settle out before bottling, resulting in a clearer beer and easier pouring. And, three weeks in the primary fermentor is usually not enough time for off-flavors to occur.
I tell new brewers to forget what their airlock does or doesn't do, it's really a flawed tool, and not a "gauge of fermentation."

Like my snazzy new avatar? Get Sons of Zymurgy swag, here, and brew with the best.

Revvy's one of the cool reverends. He has a Harley and a t-shirt that says on the back "If you can read this, the bitch was Raptured. - Madman

I gotta tell ya, just between us girls, that Revvy is HOT. Very tall, gorgeous grey hair and a terrific smile. He's very good looking in person, with a charismatic personality... he drives like a ****ing maniac! - YooperBrew

People Like This 
Reply With Quote
Old 10-10-2009, 03:02 AM   #7
Runyanka's Avatar
Dec 2008
Providence Village, Texas
Posts: 1,536
Liked 20 Times on 19 Posts

Revvy, I can't tell you how many times I have read this post by you, and it never gets old! Patience makes great beer, listen to the man. Airlocks are not a guage of fermentation, this being true of my last APA. I checked on it the morning after pitching yeast, didnt see any activity, opened up the lid, and seem that stomach soothing layer of foam. Moral of the story is, my airlock never moved, but by checking it with my hydrometer I knew fermentation was happening and when it ended.
Diverse Haus Brewery

Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2010, 09:47 PM   #8
Oct 2010
Posts: 77

i can see why people love glass carboys lol one day i will have to get one myself hehe

Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2010, 09:54 PM   #9
Apoxbrew's Avatar
Oct 2010
Medford, Oregon
Posts: 539
Liked 2 Times on 2 Posts

not to thread-jack here... but is this were primary vs. secondary fermenters come in? sounds like it can be helpful after week 2 to pull lid on primary bucket, take a hygro reading, and transfer to secondary fermenter for another week or so. no?

Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2010, 10:04 PM   #10
Ale's What Cures You!
Yooper's Avatar
Jun 2006
UP of Michigan, Winter Texan
Posts: 69,535
Liked 7913 Times on 5540 Posts

Originally Posted by byproxy View Post
not to thread-jack here... but is this were primary vs. secondary fermenters come in? sounds like it can be helpful after week 2 to pull lid on primary bucket, take a hygro reading, and transfer to secondary fermenter for another week or so. no?
If you want to, sure that's ok to do.

I don't usually bother, and my beer is clear with just using one fermenter. I do rack and use a clearing vessel (bright tank for breweries) if I'm dryhopping or adding oak chips or something like that. The term "secondary" is really not the appropriate term here- a clearing tank or bright tank is actually the correct term. I use secondaries often for wine, in which a genuine secondary fermenter is used. That's when the wine is racked off of the fruit and airlocked to prevent oxidation. It's not really done the same way for beer.
Broken Leg Brewery
Giving beer a leg to stand on since 2006

Reply With Quote
Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
No bubble in airlock BigBeachMuscles Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 3 10-28-2009 02:16 PM
Airlock Doesn't Bubble captianoats Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 3 06-24-2009 10:09 PM
Bubble Airlock Lid? Omahawk Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 7 06-13-2009 06:24 PM
S-bubble airlock type PaleAleMale Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 12 11-23-2006 04:59 AM
Airlock bubble rate rhinostylee Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 5 10-03-2005 06:10 PM

Forum Jump