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Old 07-11-2013, 05:13 PM   #1
Mar 2013
Posts: 5

I brewed a saison on Sunday and I'm having a difficult time telling if the yeast is doing anything.

Quick background - I do all grain BIAB brewing in 2.5-3gal sizes and this is my fourth beer. The first two were identical IPAs using a dry yeast. My last one was a stout, and my first attempt at liquid yeast. The first two were fine and I saw activity in the airlock within 1-2 days. The stout just never took. I think it was a combination of low efficiency from insufficiently crushed grains and using yeast that was maybe older than it should have been. I never saw activity in the airlock either.

Anyway, I brewed this saison and it went perfectly. Expected OG was 1.053 and I hit it spot on. I was left with my target 3 gallons to go into the fermenter. I used Wyeast 3711, smacked the bag about 4-5 hrs before using and it inflated perfected. It was maybe 2 weeks old. I pitched the full packet without a starter, since it wasn't a high grav beer and I only do ~1/2 size batches. The wort was right around 68F. As of last night, just over 3 full days, I've seen no activity in the airlock. I don't know why it wouldn't be working, but I'm a bit worried and not sure if I should be. I've left this sitting at room temp, which is probably anywhere from 66F-75F depending on the time of day and if the AC is on or not.

Here's a picture of inside the fermenter (I'd mixed it up a couple hours earlier):

Any thoughts or suggestions? Thanks!

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Old 07-11-2013, 05:25 PM   #2
Apr 2012
St. Paul, Minnesota
Posts: 178
Liked 10 Times on 9 Posts

It looks like there is fermentation because of the bubbles in the beer but hard to tell via pics. One thing to remember is don't rely on airlock activity for whether or not fermentation is taking place. Get your hydrometer and test the gravity if you are worried. Chances are that if you pitched the yeast they are doing well.

It could be something as simple as not having a full seal on the lid that will cause the lack of airlock activity.

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Old 07-11-2013, 07:13 PM   #3
Mar 2013
Posts: 5

Thanks. I wasn't sure if I should expect airlock activity or not, especially since I have all that excess air at the top of my bucket. I just worried since the first two batches were clearly visible by the airlock.

I'll take a gravity reading tomorrow and see what it says.

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Old 07-11-2013, 10:50 PM   #4
Jul 2011
Glenview, IL
Posts: 6,368
Liked 508 Times on 470 Posts

Honestly, it looks to me like its done or pretty close to it. Take a reading
Nothing Left to do but smile and drink beer.....

The Commune Brewing Company-Perfecting the "art" of beer since 2010

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Old 07-12-2013, 09:09 PM   #5
daksin's Avatar
Aug 2011
San Diego, CA
Posts: 4,619
Liked 355 Times on 309 Posts

Looks like you've got some leftover krausen on the sides, which means you missed the most active part of fermentation. Those bubbles indicate CO2 is still being evolved pretty quickly so stuff is probably still going on. After 3 days of 3711, I'd expect most of the fermentation is complete. The only way to know for sure though, is to take a sample and check it with your hydrometer.
I can't be arsed to keep up this list of what's in the fermenters, but hey, check out the cool brewery I own! .. ..

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Old 07-12-2013, 10:33 PM   #6
BigFloyd's Avatar
Dec 2012
Tyler, Texas
Posts: 5,268
Liked 759 Times on 652 Posts

Originally Posted by daksin View Post
The only way to know for sure though, is to take a sample and check it with your hydrometer.
This will tell you exactly what you (and we) need to know.
Good Temp Control -----> Happy Yeast ------> Tasty Brew

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