Beginner fermenting question

HomeBrewTalk.com - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Community.

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

Kronos

New Member
Joined
Jul 27, 2010
Messages
2
Reaction score
0
Location
NH
I am 5 days into fermenting my first 5 gallon batch of IPA. As I went to dry hop it today, I noticed there are plenty of bubbles in the airlock, but it isn't bubbling vigorously. The guy at the brew shop told me it should bubble pretty rapidly. Is it too soon to be expecting this, or should I attempt to seal the rim better and if so how? Thanks!!
 

tenchu_11

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 30, 2010
Messages
259
Reaction score
4
Location
Nome,AK
did you make a starter..might of had a long lag time. Might want to wait a few days, just heard of sometimes yeast having a long lag time up to 32hours before fermentation really takes off
 

Tinga

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 11, 2010
Messages
1,120
Reaction score
41
Location
MN
i would wait a week before dry hopping but also bubbles really have no place in measuring where your beer is as far as fermenting goes. so learn to use your hydrometer and not judge by buddles. i've had a batch bubbling for a month now.
 

tenchu_11

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 30, 2010
Messages
259
Reaction score
4
Location
Nome,AK
yeah use a hydrometer if you get the same reading after 2 to 3 days it should be done fermenting. If your fermenting it cold..it might just be a long slow fermentation. Learn to trust a hydrometer
 
OP
K

Kronos

New Member
Joined
Jul 27, 2010
Messages
2
Reaction score
0
Location
NH
Thanks for the quick response! The cat at the store said not to bother with the hydrometer on my first batch. I thought that sounded a little strange. So, as I understand, the airlock is an airlock and nothing more. I shouldn't look to it for gauging my fermentation. If for whatever reason I find I am leaking air out the sides, could I put a little duct tape around it or something?
 

tenchu_11

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 30, 2010
Messages
259
Reaction score
4
Location
Nome,AK
Thats what i did on my first batch put duct tape around my first batch did help with the air bubble action. But by the third batch i was tired of taking and putting back on my duct tape to take readings after about a week or so. So I just decided not to use duct tape. I just take the bong off (the thing that holds the air lock) and take a peek inside about 2 days after pitching my yeast and if theres a krausen or alot of activiety going ontop and foaming. Its a sure tell sign of fermentation. The more you brew the more you will learn to trust yeast as long as you do your part. Such as sanitation and pitch temps even using starters always helps.
 

Tinga

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 11, 2010
Messages
1,120
Reaction score
41
Location
MN
So, as I understand, the airlock is an airlock and nothing more. I shouldn't look to it for gauging my fermentation.
that is correct.

If for whatever reason I find I am leaking air out the sides, could I put a little duct tape around it or something?
if you have air leaking OUT of the fermenter it's not a big deal as long as air is not leaking IN. so tape is not necessary unless you want more bubbles.
 

stevo155

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 19, 2008
Messages
987
Reaction score
51
Location
Derry
A little concerned about the local shop owner who told you this. I only hope it's not the shop I go to.

Of course you should worry about a hydrometer reading, even on your first. If you bottle too soon and there are still fermentables in there, you'll get to see what a bottle bomb is.

A quick note on the dry hopping. I like to dry hop right in the primary when fermentation is about 90% complete. If you have the ability, you can up the temp a bit at this time as well. Since the majority of fermentation is complete, you won't produce any esters or off flavors and it helps the yeast clean up the by products.
 

bull8042

I like 'em shaved
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Jul 16, 2008
Messages
10,259
Reaction score
457
Location
Fort Mill
You should wait until fermentation is complete before dry hopping to get the most out of the hops. If you still have yeast activity, some of the hop "goodness" can be carried out of the beer by the escaping CO2.
I bet the LHBS guru didn't want you to become discouraged on your first batch by over-complicating things. However, the hydro is a very important tool that should not be overlooked if you are serious about making good beer.
 

TheWeeb

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 24, 2010
Messages
1,122
Reaction score
135
Location
Denver
just to echo the need for a hydrometer, and patience. I just bottled a Hefe that was actively fermenting for 15 days; my first brew, a Bock, took only three. There are many variables that determine how long primary fermentation will take, regardless of what the instructions state or even what your LHBS is telling you. Take readings and don't rely on bubbles . . . .
 
Top