Very low activity on the airlock after 2 days of fermentation

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danielbeckera

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Hi guys,

This is my first brew, i made an IPA and put it on fermentantion 2 days ago, after 8 hours it started bubbling like 1 bubble a second, now its bubbling 1 bubble each 11 seconds, is this normal? After only 2 days of fermentation?
I checked the wort density and its dropping (from 1048 OG to 1020 now), but I wasnt expecting the airlock to have such a low bubbling.
 

camonick

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Airlock activity is not a reliable indicator of fermentation progress. Depending on the vessel they’re attached to, they may or may not show much activity if there’s a leak in a lid or bung somewhere else. Until you get a better feel for the fermentation process, leave the beer alone for 2-3 weeks before checking the gravity to reduce the risk of infection and unnecessary exposure to oxygen.
 
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danielbeckera

danielbeckera

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Airlock activity is not a reliable indicator of fermentation progress. Depending on the vessel they’re attached to, they may or may not show much activity if there’s a leak in a lid or bung somewhere else. Until you get a better feel for the fermentation process, leave the beer alone for 2-3 weeks before checking the gravity to reduce the risk of infection and unnecessary exposure to oxygen.
I have a conic fermenter that has a very very small leak at the bottom (dropped two drops of wort in 48 hours) maybe it is it? i have to fix it for the next fermentation, theres a huge chance of my beer being contaminated?
 

DuncB

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Good for using the hydrometer, sometimes you can hear the activity in a fermenter if you can't see in. Don't open to peek or sample.
At 1020 it's got a bit to go yet and when ferment finishes you need a few more days for it all to clean up a bit anyway.
Just be patient I doubt it's gone. Plenty of beer is brewed completely open and is fine.
On the other side my kveik NEIPA has dropped from 1036 to 1006 in 36 hours very little activity to see now.
 

camonick

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I have a conic fermenter that has a very very small leak at the bottom (dropped two drops of wort in 48 hours) maybe it is it? i have to fix it for the next fermentation, theres a huge chance of my beer being contaminated?

I’m not familiar with that style of fermenter, but I wouldn’t think 2 drops would be a concern. Let it ride for another couple weeks and check before packaging. Unless you really failed proper sanitation procedures in the beginning, it’s pretty hard for any nasties to get a foothold during active fermentation.
Also just a little correction on terminology, what you have now in your fermenter is beer. Wort becomes beer the moment the yeast is pitched into it.
 
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danielbeckera

danielbeckera

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I’m not familiar with that style of fermenter, but I wouldn’t think 2 drops would be a concern. Let it ride for another couple weeks and check before packaging. Unless you really failed proper sanitation procedures in the beginning, it’s pretty hard for any nasties to get a foothold during active fermentation.
Also just a little correction on terminology, what you have now in your fermenter is beer. Wort becomes beer the moment the yeast is pitched into it.
Thank you for your correction, really appreciate it.
 

Kickass

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If all other sanitation was good, there’s very little chance a small leak in the fermenter will introduce an infection. You’re good.
 

kenmcchord

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A couple of things come to mind.

1. Whenever I take the time to do a yeast starter before I pitch I find I have a longer more vigorous fermentation. Did you just direct pitch your yeast? Dry or was it liquid? These questions relate to the yeast being potentially stressed and maybe not living up to your expectations.

2. Whenever I oxygenate my wort properly I find I have a better sustained fermentation. Did you oxygenate your wort? I'm guessing giving this is your first brew probably not, which is fine. Again a mild or sluggish fermentation sounds about right here.

I can tell you from very recent experience, the airlock means nothing when it comes to fermentation. I have a lager I just kegged that showed ZERO signs of fermentation yet it worked it's way from 1.056 down to 1.015. Not. A. Single. Bubble.

Sounds like your yeast is doing its job. The real test is in the gravity and as you've reported your wort seems to be heading in the right direction. Patience is your friend here.

Regarding that leak, no way that's giving you an infection. There is the chance that some pressure is being relieved via a leak, but I'm doubting that given your report of two drops in 48 hours. That's nothing.

RDWHAHB, and congrats on making beer!
 

hotbeer

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My last two or three batches would peter out in the fermenter on day three to almost nothing. Slowly every day after that activity slowly increased with fine champaign like bubbles throughout. It'd reach it's next activity peak with bubbling at two weeks. So far, none has been ready to bottle in less than three weeks.

I don't use airlock activity to judge anything. I currently ferment in glass jugs and look into the beer itself to judge bubbling.

I know a hydrometer will tell the best, but that brings it's own issues getting multiple samples days apart. Especially for a 1 gallon batch. So I'll be happy waiting for the bubbles in the beer, not the airlock, to stop.
 

fragged

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Just to add that the leak and the airlock activity are entirely not connected.

The wort is a liquid, and thus not compressible. So, if the pressure is to be lost through that leak instead of out the airlock, then liquid would leak, a fair amount of it too.

28 points over two days is cruising along just fine, RDWHAHB
 
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danielbeckera

danielbeckera

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n tell you from very recent experience, the airlock means nothing when it comes to fermentation. I have a lager I just kegged that showed ZERO signs of fermentation yet it worked it's way from 1.056 down to 1.015. Not. A. Single. Bubble.
Hey, thank you very much for your response.
1) I boiled water and waited it to cool to 25C and hydrated the yeast before pouring it onto the fermenter.
2) I used the splash method to oxygen the wort.
 
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