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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Fermentation & Yeast > Airlock is not percolating - and it's been over 4 days
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Old 09-19-2011, 02:21 PM   #1
mkelley18
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Default Airlock is not percolating - and it's been over 4 days

I'm brewing my first batch of a IPA and am getting a little concerned that my airlock is not percolating and it's been over 4 days in the primary fermenter. Is this normal? Should I just be patient? Thanks for any advice.


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Old 09-19-2011, 02:24 PM   #2
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What was your OG and what is the gravity right now?

That's the only way to tell if your beer is fermenting. Airlocks really aren't an indicator of anything not happening.


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Old 09-19-2011, 02:31 PM   #3
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If the sg hasn't changed then i'm guessing the IPA is fairly high gravity so did you do a starter? If not you should probably pitch more yeast. But again, can't go just off airlock activity so we need gravity readings.
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Old 09-19-2011, 02:35 PM   #4
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OK, cool. I haven't taken a reading since it started fermenting - so I'll do that today. Quick question though - it won't negatively affect the batch if I open the lid and take a reading...or should I just pour it in to the test tube through the spigot? Thanks again.
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Old 09-19-2011, 02:36 PM   #5
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start simple first. 1. are you smelling anything coming out of the primary? 2. Is there enough water in the airlock? if no to either of these questions, then probably time to re-pitch.
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Old 09-19-2011, 02:40 PM   #6
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Your airlock bubbling or not bubbling doesn't mean your beer has stalled or not, all it means is that your airlock isn't bubbling.

A beer may ferment perfectly fine without a single blip in the airlock. Or airlocks can start or stop or start and stop again, for a ton of other reasons, like temp changes, getting nudged by the cat or the vacuum cleaner, changes in barometric pressure, but your beer could still be fermenting fine.

Or the co2 is coming out the lid, or the grommet or the stopper. Nothing wrong with that, if co2 is getting out, nothing nasty is getting in.

Airlock activity is irrevelent. Just gravity points on a hydrometer.

The rate or lack of or whether or not it bubbles at all, or if it starts and stops has more relation to the environment the fermenter is in, rather than fermentation itself. All it is is a vent, a valve to let our excess gas, especially co2, nothing else. It's not a fermentation gauge whatsoever.


The most important tool you can use is a hydrometer. It's the only way you will truly know when your beer is ready...airlock bubbles and other things are faulty.

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.

I've never EVER needed to re-pitch, and I've been brewing more than lkely far longer than you have....Take a gravity reading.
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Old 09-19-2011, 02:40 PM   #7
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Best not to put the hydrometer in the fermenter. Use a wine thief, turkey baster, auto siphon to draw some out and take reading. Make sure to adjust for temperature and don't pour the sample back in.
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Old 09-19-2011, 02:41 PM   #8
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Revvy, please tell me you have this reply in a macro or something and you're not retyping it 5 times a day on a daily basis.


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