Originally Posted by yearlylesson
I didn't check it, my hydrometer broke so I don't know what the original gravity was. I ordered a new one that should arrive at my house today or tomorrow. What is the best way to get a sample of the wort out of the carboy and into the tube that the hydrometer goes in without introducing potentially bad stuff to the wort?
Then all you really know is that your airlock isn't venting excess co2, NOT whether or not you have a stuck fermentation!
There's a big difference between those two conditions.
Just because your airlock isn't bubbling doesn't mean that fermentation is finished, or stuck, or anything.
Your airlock is not a fermentation gauge, it is a VALVE to release excess co2.
More than likely the peak of fermentation has already wound down, so there's simply no need to vent off any excess co2.
"Bubbling action" is not a good way to tell if anything is happening, plenty of beers ferment without a single bubble from the airlock.
Fermentation is not always "dynamic," just because you don't SEE anything happening, doesn't mean that any-thing's wrong,, and also doesn't mean that the yeast are still not working diligently away, doing what they've been doing for over 4,000 years..
The bubbling just means that it is venting excess CO2, nothing more. If it's not bubbling, that only means that it is not producing enough co2 to need to vent.
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.
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....
Thinking about "doing anything" without taking a hydrometer reading is tantamount to the doctor deciding to cut you open without running any diagnostic tests....Taking one look at you and saying, "Yeah I'm going in." You would really want the doctor to use all means to properly diagnose what's going on. It's exactly the same thing when you try to go by airlock....
I would suggest you get a replacement hydromter. And also that you get out of the habit od declaring a situation like stuckness by your airlock bubbles or lack of them.