Fermentation help, day 3 and still no bubbling through airlock - Home Brew Forums

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Old 01-24-2013, 12:33 AM   #1
Jan 2013
Posts: 7

Hello everyone,

I am new to brewing and have just made my first batch of beer, I hope.

I got a True Brew Black Lager kit and it has been in the vessel for 3 days now with NO sign of bubbling through the airlock.
I started it in my garage where the temp was 42 degrees but with the cold front that just moved in and dropped temps to below freezing I moved the bucket to the mini fridge with the temp on low.

It has now been 3 days and no activity, I checked and the bucket is sealed.

Any advice? I'm starting to panic!!!!!

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Old 01-24-2013, 12:36 AM   #2
Sep 2012
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Posts: 2,543
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What is the temperature of the wort and what is the suggested temperature?

There is a decent chance the wort is offgassing CO2 and it is leaking out somewhere besides the airlock.

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Old 01-24-2013, 12:37 AM   #3
JLem's Avatar
Jan 2009
Attleboro, MA
Posts: 3,636
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First off...what yeast? And how much did you pitch...lager yeasts will work a bit more slowly, but those temps are pretty cold for even a lager strain.

Second, take a gravity reading to confirm lack of fermentation. Airlocks are not a reliable indicator..
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Old 01-24-2013, 12:37 AM   #4
NWAleDad's Avatar
Feb 2011
Seattle, Wa
Posts: 321
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Airlock activity is not a good indicator of fermentation. Gravity readings are the only way to know for sure. What is the type of beer and what yeast did you use? 42 seems low for an Ale Yeast.

EDIT: Just saw that this was a lager...What JLem said

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Old 01-24-2013, 12:46 AM   #5
Jan 2013
Posts: 7

The yeast was in a packet and it is: fermentis S-23 lager yeast and I pitched the whole packet as directed

I haven't opened up the bucket yet to take a temperature or hydrometer reading, should I? Will that harm anything?

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Old 01-24-2013, 12:58 AM   #6
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Yooper's Avatar
Jun 2006
UP of Michigan, Winter Texan
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I've found that the manufacturer's website is the best resource on yeast and the optimum fermentation temperatures.
As I'm sure you know, "below freezing" is too cold! With the minifridge on low, what is the temperature? I'm assuming it is still way too cold! My minifridge, even on "high" doesnt' get above 42 degrees!

Here's the info on S23: http://www.fermentis.com/wp-content/...02/SFG_S23.pdf

Since the fermentation temperature starts at 53.6, up to 59 degrees, I'd say that you're WAY too cold for fermentation to begin, and then to continue. It must be brought to at least 54 degrees or so.
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Old 01-24-2013, 09:55 AM   #7
Jan 2013
Posts: 120
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You can get a thermostat on your fridge. People use them for keezers. Just set the temp and put the probe in the fridge. It will keep the fridge running only at the temperature you designate. Once the yeast is in the right temps, give the tub a shake and it should wake up the yeast and get things moving!

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Old 01-24-2013, 05:21 PM   #8
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Dec 2011
Oak Harbor (Whidbey Island), WA
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You don't want the colder temps to lager a beer until after fermentation. Even lagers need it above 50 degrees to get started like Yoop pointed out.


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Old 01-26-2013, 08:41 AM   #9
Jan 2013
Posts: 7

Ok and update, but advice still needed.

It has been 5 days now since brew day and there was still no activity in the airlock. I couple of days ago I pulled the bucket inside and it regulated its temp to about 58ish and has been there for about 48 hours.

I opened the bucket to observe what's going on and take a hydrometer reading.

On top it was big foam and froth and greenish grass clipping looking thing and pretty much looked like where swamp thing would live (sorry I don't know the technical terms), so clearly something is happening.

I tried to take a hydrometer reading but I couldn't tell where the froth ended and the liquid began so I was unsuccessful.

So I gave it a stir and put the top back on.

This Sunday will have been a week since brew day, any advice on next steps?


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Old 01-26-2013, 09:52 AM   #10
Jan 2013
Posts: 20

I have the same problem now brewing coopers lager beer kit and light mail extract in airlock fermenter , brewing in ac room 20 degrees C. After 3 days fermentation becoming too slow nearly stop. I am also panic. Anyone does any help how to do now

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