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Old 01-18-2008, 02:59 AM   #1
RJRobb2
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Default Signs of fermentation?

My beer is now in its third day in my fermentation bucket. What are some of the signs that the beer is fermenting properly. I have it in a white bottling bucket so I cant see inside. All I can see is the airlock and I have notice that the liquid inside was level on the two sides and now it is higher on one side than the other. Is that a sign of fermentation?


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Old 01-18-2008, 03:01 AM   #2
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if you're really concerned (or curious) you can open the bucket a bit and peak inside. you may see a krausen forming (head on the top)

if your bucket is sealed tightly, however, and you have fermentation, you SHOULD see the airlock bubbling.


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Old 01-18-2008, 03:03 AM   #3
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If it's an S-Type airlock, then the fact the liquid is higher on one side is indicative that something is going on. However, you should be seeing some bubbling.

It's possible that fermentation is not going strong yet (it can take 3-4 days if you used liquid yeast and didn't make a starter)

Or, something that commonly happens with buckets, is that the lid doesn't seal tightly and the CO2 escapes out the lid.

I'd wait another day or so. If nothing changes, open up the lid and look for indications of fermentation. Dried residue on the sides of the bucket. You can take a hydrometer sample then and see if anything changed.
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Old 01-18-2008, 03:10 AM   #4
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You've now learned one of the main benefits of the carboy (besides ease of sanitation, and the lack of oxygen permeability).
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Old 01-18-2008, 05:34 AM   #5
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This link should give you an idea of what your airlock should look like:

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Old 01-18-2008, 01:42 PM   #6
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Yes, it is an S-Type Airlock. I dont see any bubbling.

The bucket is sealed very tightly and taking it off would be disrupting the wort because it I have to pull really hard to take it off.

Should I be concerned? If you read my other thread you will know my issues on brew day and how I thought I had killed my yeast. Could that be the case?
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Old 01-18-2008, 07:44 PM   #7
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Here's a question that follows this line of thinking...since i didnt want to waste a new thread:

How do you know fermentation took place if you weren't there? The advice here is solid for determining fermentation during the process. I ferment my beer at my parents house since my apartment is always hot. I brewed the beer and then left for a week. I want to make sure fermentation happened while i was gone, but if the krausen rose and fell and the airlock activity has finished, how would I know?

short of opening it up and seeing krausen marks on the sides, my buckets are a mother to open and i dont want to shake it up opening it.
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Old 01-18-2008, 09:08 PM   #8
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Well, I have notice that the liquid in the airlock is now almost fully pushed to the exit side of the S. I have notice that it their is condensation on the empty side of the airlock like its humid in there. Does that sound right?
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Old 01-18-2008, 09:18 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OblivionsGate
Here's a question that follows this line of thinking...since i didnt want to waste a new thread:

How do you know fermentation took place if you weren't there? The advice here is solid for determining fermentation during the process. I ferment my beer at my parents house since my apartment is always hot. I brewed the beer and then left for a week. I want to make sure fermentation happened while i was gone, but if the krausen rose and fell and the airlock activity has finished, how would I know?

short of opening it up and seeing krausen marks on the sides, my buckets are a mother to open and i dont want to shake it up opening it.
you have to open it. the only way to tell fermentation happened is by looking inside. the only absolutely sure way is to take an hydrometer reading. and drink it

get a bucket that works or buy a carboy/better bottle. and don't worry to much about it swirling a little bit. you just don't want tons of splashing
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Old 01-18-2008, 09:28 PM   #10
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Here's a good way to help determine if your bucket lid is sealed properly. Try pressing gently on the lid with your hand. If the airlock bubbles, then your seal is fine.

Oh, also release your hand gently too, to avoid sucking the liquid from the lock into your beer.


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