So I just brewed my first batch (a pilsner) yesterday, and have not yet seen bubbles come emerge from my airlock (its been about 30 since I started fermentation).
Possibly useful information:
I used 1 package of Muntons dry yeast that came with the ingredients kit. Before adding it to the beer I re-hydrated it into 1 cup of boiled (but not boiling) water, and proofed it with 1 tsp. sugar in about 1 cup of water...30 minutes following the insertion of the sugar solution in the yeast solution, the majority of my yeast had settled to the bottom (I didn't see a reaction, as I was told should happen)....perhaps my yeast was bad, but I just chalked it up to having too dilute of a sugar solution. When I stirred the solution, I did see fizzing, so my gut instinct was that the yeast was taking the solution.
I'm not sure how good of a seal my fermenting barrel has: The airlock is inserted in a hole on the lid of the barrel, but it is definitely not airtight...the co2 could be escaping via a leak, not the airlock, which could be the reason why I dont see any bubbles.
Would anyone have any suggestions as to another way I could check my beer is fermenting? If its not, I was just going to throw in another packet or two of yeast, and see if that does the trick.
thanks much, all who were patient enough to read this overly-analyzed log of a first attempt to brew...