No, you didn't START fermentation, fermentation was more than likely going on already...all you did when you put your fermenter in HOT WATER was to cause GAS TO EXPAND (CO2) and that is venting out your airlock. When you warm something up they expand.....
Your airlock wasn't bubbling more than likely because it didn't NEED TO.
It didn't have any excess to need to vent out, OR it was getting out somewhere else...But it doesn't matter.
I know I've said to you before....quit thinking airlock activity is a gauge of fermention!!!!
airlock bubbling, lack of airlock bubbling, stopped airlock bubbling, fast airlock bubbling, slow airlock 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.
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 dilligently 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....
All you did was try to "fix" something that more than likely wasn't even broken...and without even testing it first.