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Old 11-26-2008, 06:04 AM   #1
Aug 2006
Madison, Wisconsin
Posts: 343
Liked 4 Times on 3 Posts

My dad brewed a California common two days ago and we have yet to see airlock activity.

Possible reasons why include:
1. We're impatient and just need to RDWAHAHB. This could be the case because if I tap on the airlock enough a bubble will appear.
2. There is too much headspace in the carboy. There's about 5 gallons in a 6.5 gallon carboy. Maybe a little less than five, but close. With so much air volume, there isn't enough pressure to cause the airlock to bubble.
3. It's too cold. It's currently about 65°F in the house and Wyeast recommends holding at 70-75° until fermentation begins.
4. It's too warm. Wyeast recommends fermenting 2112 at 58-68°F, so 65°F is on the high end of the range.
5. My dad didn't aerate enough.
6. Bad yeast (seems unlikely).

I've always used White Labs+starter so I don't have any experience using Wyeast 2112. If you were us, what would you suggest we do (if anything)?

I think I'll try to find a warmer spot in the house and see if that helps while I wait for your input.

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Old 11-26-2008, 06:36 AM   #2
Jul 2008
Saint Charles, IL
Posts: 111

I don't have any experience with this strain or Wyeast in general, but would imagine that RDWHAHB is the best option. Looks like your temperatures are warm enough, but if the carboy is resting on a concrete/tile floor in the basement it could be colder than ambient conditions. If this is a smakpack did it swell when activated? I would let it go and know that just by posting your thread chances are the yeast will take off by the time someone answers.

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Old 11-26-2008, 07:57 AM   #3
Jun 2008
Posts: 167
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Headspace isn't an issue, neither are your temps. either 1) you pitched to hot wort and killed the yeast (I think you would know this though) or 2) didn't activate the smack pack.. or 3) least likely: your yeast was D.O.A.

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Old 11-26-2008, 11:00 AM   #4
Evan's Avatar
Jan 2007
Posts: 384

i've used that yeast before, for me, it wasn't very active strain i dont think. though, last (only time) i used it, i didnt make a starter, that could be one reason. take a gravity reading and see if its dropped at all.

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Old 11-26-2008, 11:23 AM   #5
Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc
Revvy's Avatar
Dec 2007
"Detroitish" Michigan
Posts: 40,947
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And the answer is 1

AND you also equate the airlock with some sort of sophisticate gauge....It's Not

You don't really know that the beer is fermenting or not.

Remember You should never use a cheap chinese plastic airlock as a "fermentation Gauge," it's not...It's an airlock, nothing more, a VALVE to release excess CO2, to keep from blowing the lid off the fermentor...If it's not bubbling that just means that there's not enough CO2 to climb out of the airlock, or the CO2 is just forming a nice cushion on top of the beer like it's supposed to, or the airlock is askew, or it is leaking out the cheap rubber grommet, or you have a leak in the bucket seal...all those are fine...if CO2 is getting out then nothing's getting in....

Over half of my beers have had no airlock activity...

The only gauge of fermentaion is your hydrometer. And it's too soon to worry about it. Wait til 10 days after pitching....

Secondly...the title of this sticky should give you a clue why you shouldn't worry either....


GENERALLY speaking the 72 hour rule of thumb serves several purposes...it takes into account LAG TIME that some yeast DO Need before they start.

It takes into consideration the fact that NO TWO FERMENTATIONS ARE EVER THE SAME....Since we're dealing with living micro-organisms it's important to note this fact....and because that one must learn to realize this, and trust that in most normal circumstances the yeasts ARE FINE, they've been doing it for several thousands of years, and THEY are the experts...

A normal healthy yeast, in a sanitary environment, brewing a normal gravity beer between 60 and 70 degrees (for ale, less for lager) WILL 99% of the time FERMENT....it's not like the old days when yeast came in one strain, in an ugly dried out cake....A lot of the mentions in books and things about stuck fermentations were from back in the bad old days....and someone reads something about it, and usually uses airlock activity as an indication and panics and thinks their fermentation is stuck...and the meme virus continues.

Stuck fermentations do happen (I'm dealing with one now), but they are not as common as the threads here indicate. They are the result of things like high grav worts, temp fluctuations , or less than healthy yeasts or under pitching.)

What we recommend is that if you are nervous, to wait 72 hours and take a hydro reading....99.9% of the people who start these threads and do that, come back and say... "Oh yeah I panicked for nothing, the beer is fermenting, hehehe."

Like this from today.....
Originally Posted by Name Witheld
Wanted to let you know that everything is o.k. Checked on the primary this morn. There is still no bubbler activity, but when putting my nose to the bucket, there is that distinct aroma. I opened the lid and saw A LOT OF KRAUSEN. So much that I had to resist the temptation to make a beard and mustache out of it. hahahahaha. I'm going to give it 10 days until I check S.G. again.

WHile you are stepping away from the beer, read this blog...

Like my snazzy new avatar? Get Sons of Zymurgy swag, here, and brew with the best.

Revvy's one of the cool reverends. He has a Harley and a t-shirt that says on the back "If you can read this, the bitch was Raptured. - Madman

I gotta tell ya, just between us girls, that Revvy is HOT. Very tall, gorgeous grey hair and a terrific smile. He's very good looking in person, with a charismatic personality... he drives like a ****ing maniac! - YooperBrew

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Old 11-26-2008, 11:36 AM   #6
boo boo
Jun 2005
Hearts's Delight, Newfoundland
Posts: 4,165
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My bet is that you didn't make a starter and it will take a bit longer to start. You say using WL you use a starter, but you didn't say if you used one with WY.
How do you BBQ an elephant....first you get your elephant....

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Old 11-26-2008, 11:50 AM   #7
Loweface's Avatar
Sep 2007
Limerick, Ireland
Posts: 1,037
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Nice write up Revvy! I'm always amazed how varied the answers found here can be from just RDWHAHB to a full-blown patiently typed up answer to a repeat question.

Nice work... Pat yourself on the back...

now get back to work slacker
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...homebrew contains more satisfactrons per serving, so you don't have to drink as much as you would a commercial beer to get to your satisfactron saturation.

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Old 11-26-2008, 03:43 PM   #8
Apr 2008
Schaumburg, IL
Posts: 447
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Revvy you just need to copy that post and paste as necessary. I swear you have had that similar post over 497 times of your 7485 total.
Mad Scientist Brewing Co.

:Fermentation Cabinet:

Primary: Bee Cave Bavarian Hefe
Secondary: Nothing
Bottled: Nothing
On Deck: Gumball Head Clone (Jekster)

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Old 11-26-2008, 03:56 PM   #9
Registered User
Dec 2007
Posts: 9,043
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Originally Posted by Choguy03 View Post
Revvy you just need to copy that post and paste as necessary. I swear you have had that similar post over 497 times of your 7485 total.
So your sayin Revvy is a post whore?

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Old 11-26-2008, 03:58 PM   #10
Be good to your yeast...
Saccharomyces's Avatar
Jun 2008
Pflugerville, Texas
Posts: 5,447
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Wyeast has fewer viable cells than WhiteLabs so if you did not use a starter you will have a long lag time, especially if the yeast is close to its "use by" date. I always always always use a starter for liquid yeast, and for a lager or lager-like ale strain I always use a 2L starter.

Lager and lager-like ale yeasts tend to have a longer lag time than normal ale yeasts. And, a lager won't have much krausen, so it won't appear to be doing much when it is actively fermenting, especially during the first few days of fermentation.
[How to Calculate Mash Efficiency | Do I Need a Yeast Starter? | My Ghetto Fermentation Chamber | Twitter | 6 Gal. HDPE Fermenters | Slanting Yeast | No Sparge Brewing]

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