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Air lock action

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BornHausBier

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I pitched yeast and capped fermenter on a Red Ale last night (Fri. at 9:00pm). Currently, there is no sign of action in the air-lock (Sat. 2:30pm). When can I expect to see a bubbling air-lock. Fermenter is at 69-70 deg. Thanks in advance for insight!

I would rather have a bottle in front of me, than a frontal lobotomy.
 

Scubadude

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Do you have a carboy or a fermenting pail?

If a carboy, I have no advice, because I don't have one yet.

If a fermenting pail, I've had some problems. I had my grommet to the lid not be in properly, check for that. Also, make sure your lid is on tight. If it is on tight, try spinning it on the groove. If it spins, then you don't have a good seal, and your fermenting pail/lid combo is no good.

I have yet to have a problem with yeast, but I'm pretty new yet. But some yeast must be activated before you pitch. Did you check for that?

Sorry about all the questions, but it may give you some answers.
 
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BornHausBier

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Thanks Scubadude,
I was with friends and my wife called to say air lock was bubbling at 5:00pm. I guess patience is a virture. Now 10:30pm and bubbling like a champ! I have cranked the Lynaryd Skyarnd as my Northern Shine seems to be doing what it suppose to be doing. As much as I love drinking beer, I am more fascinated with the science of brewing my own beer. I appreciate the advice and encouragement on this site. Making dreams come true, 5 gallons at a time!!
 
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Scubadude said:
But some yeast must be activated before you pitch.
Yeast will 'activate' in the wort in which you place it. Liquid, dry, smack packs... doesn't matter, if the yeast is good it will activate on its own. Starters are nothing more than giving your yeast a head start by making a mini batch of beer. The smack packs do have an 'activator' in them but this is nothing more than yeast nutrients which are introduced by breaking the inner pack. Even a smack pack which is not 'activated' in this method will still get to work in your wort.
Glad it got kicking for you Born. Scubadude does have a legitimate concern though if this happens to you in the future. A bad seal on a pail can give the indications that your wort has not started fermenting. All of the gasses produced will escape via paths other than the air lock and make you wonder...

BornHausBier said:
Making dreams come true, 5 gallons at a time!!
Thats good, I like that!
 

freddykreuger666

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ive put my first batch in saturday 7pm and its now 5 oclock sunday and i aint seeing any air lock action. how long shud i w8 until i get suspicious. also i got a screw on lid fermenting bin which may not be airtight. is there anyway of finding out and is this important?
 
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It is not advisable to open up your fermenter due to sanitation concerns but... it is important to know whether your yeast is active and fermenting your wort. Just my opinion on how much time to wait... I would at least give it another night. If you do end up opening it then after not seeing any sign of fermentation from the air lock, look for a foam forming on top of the beer. This would be your indication that your yeast is working. If the fermentation has already happened and you missed it, look for the remnants of the foam in the form of a sludge ring on the sides of the container just above the wort.
 

homebrewer_99

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freddykreuger666 said:
ive put my first batch in saturday 7pm and its now 5 oclock sunday and i aint seeing any air lock action. how long shud i w8 until i get suspicious. also i got a screw on lid fermenting bin which may not be airtight. is there anyway of finding out and is this important?
TIP: ALWAYS make a starter a day or two ahead of brew day. You will know your yeast is alive before you start brewing. This actually saves your time and reduces your stress (as your question indicates).
 

andre the giant

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Here's a little story about yeast and a smackpack.

I ordered brewing supplies and one of the smack packs of yeast was a little bit blown up. I was concerned that it had been "smacked" in shipping and had been activated. So I put it in the fridge and there it sat until I was almost ready to brew. I warmed up some sterile starter wort I made months ago and tore open the smack pack of yeast. I poured it into the starter, popped on the airlock and let it sit. I looked in the smackpack and the nutrient packet hadn't been broken, the yeast must have just got a little frisky in there or something to cause the packet to bulge. Anyhow, in 24 hours the starter was kickin' and a little while later I pitched it into my chocolate porter. It went crazy.

Making a starter is always a good idea. Just brew up a mini batch of wort, pour it into sterilized bottles, cap, and store in the fridge. When you need to start some yeast, let a bottle warm up to room temp, pop the top, pour in the yeast and put a bubbler on it. It's that simple.
 
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