Author Topic: I have not seen any bubbles in the airlock is this normal?  (Read 7637 times)

Offline ktizzle7714

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I have not seen any bubbles in the airlock is this normal?
« on: November 29, 2010, 06:23:47 PM »
This is an update from my earlier post, I now have my notes in front of me. I am brewing my second batch of beer and it is a pale ale. The recipe used 1lb crystal malt, 6lb pale malt extract, 2oz of cascade hops and 2 packages of muntons yeast. It calls for the yeast to be rehydrated using about 1 pint of "lukewarm" water. The water temperature I used was roughly room temp maybe slightly warmer. I did the brewing on 11/26 in the late afternoon. The wort temperature at pitch was a little below 80 degrees F and I took an OG of 1.17 (which I think I may have misread the hydrometer and it may have been 1.070). I have my fermenting bucket in a tub of water cooled with frozen water bottles.

I have not seen any signs of bubbling in the airlock and I was beginning to wonder if fermentation was taking place. I took a sample this evening of my beer and got a SG of 1.023 at a temperature of 72 degrees F. It seems to me from the hydrometer reading that the beer is fermenting but the lack of bubbles has me concerned. I did not open my bucket but it looked like there was a thin layer of foam at the top when I looked from the side of the bucket. Is it normal for there not to be any bubbles? Is it possible that I killed the yeast when rehydrating it?
Thanks,
K
« Last Edit: November 30, 2010, 04:13:44 AM by ktizzle7714 »
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Offline denny

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Re: I think I have a stuck fermentation...help!!
« Reply #1 on: November 29, 2010, 06:52:56 PM »
Do you see any foam on top of the beer?
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Offline bonjour

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Re: I think I have a stuck fermentation...help!!
« Reply #2 on: November 29, 2010, 06:53:15 PM »
when in the process did you pitch the yeast and what was the wort temp.
Did you make a slurry
What was the recipe,  

Have you taken a gravity reading?  What is it?

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Offline ktizzle7714

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Re: I think I have a stuck fermentation...help!!
« Reply #3 on: November 29, 2010, 07:02:40 PM »
I have not opened the top for fear of contamination. I pitched the yeast after cooling the wort to 80 degrees per the recipe. I mixed the yeast in 1 pint of lukewarm water before pitching. The OG was 1.170 before I pitched the yeast. 80 degrees seemed high to me but the recipe said it should be fine. Not sure if I killed the yeast somewhere in the process or if it is just working extremely slow....
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Offline tubercle

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Re: I think I have a stuck fermentation...help!!
« Reply #4 on: November 29, 2010, 07:05:02 PM »
Define "lukewarm".

 Did you take the temp of the water?
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Offline ktizzle7714

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Re: I think I have a stuck fermentation...help!!
« Reply #5 on: November 29, 2010, 07:14:17 PM »
did not take the temp of the slurry water but it was warm to the touch. I preboiled the water used for the slurry before I started boiling my wort and it had been sitting at room temperature for about 75 mins before I used it
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Offline tschmidlin

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Re: I think I have a stuck fermentation...help!!
« Reply #6 on: November 29, 2010, 07:18:41 PM »
An OG of 1.170 is really high, how did you aerate the wort?  Two packs might not be enough with that much sugar.
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Re: I think I have a stuck fermentation...help!!
« Reply #7 on: November 29, 2010, 07:40:07 PM »
What is the estimated OG...

Did you make this from a kit?

Take your hydrometer and check the calibration with some distilled water...use tap water if you don't have any distilled.
It should read 1.000 in distilled water. If it does, then measure a sample of your wort by sanitizing the hydrometer and floating it in the wort.

Check back with your findings.
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Offline ktizzle7714

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Re: I have not seen any bubbles in the airlock is this normal?
« Reply #8 on: November 30, 2010, 04:19:15 AM »
This is an update from my earlier post, I now have my notes in front of me. I am brewing my second batch of beer and it is a pale ale. The recipe used 1lb crystal malt, 6lb pale malt extract, 2oz of cascade hops and 2 packages of muntons yeast. It calls for the yeast to be rehydrated using about 1 pint of "lukewarm" water. The water temperature I used was roughly room temp maybe slightly warmer. I did the brewing on 11/26 in the late afternoon. The wort temperature at pitch was a little below 80 degrees F and I took an OG of 1.17 (which I think I may have misread the hydrometer and it may have been 1.070). I have my fermenting bucket in a tub of water cooled with frozen water bottles.

I have not seen any signs of bubbling in the airlock and I was beginning to wonder if fermentation was taking place. I took a sample this evening of my beer and got a SG of 1.023 at a temperature of 72 degrees F. It seems to me from the hydrometer reading that the beer is fermenting but the lack of bubbles has me concerned. I did not open my bucket but it looked like there was a thin layer of foam at the top when I looked from the side of the bucket. Is it normal for there not to be any bubbles? Is it possible that I killed the yeast when rehydrating it?

Code: [Select]
Thanks,
K
"Beer, the cause of and solution to all of lifes problems" ~Homer Simpson.

Offline gordonstrong

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Re: I have not seen any bubbles in the airlock is this normal?
« Reply #9 on: November 30, 2010, 05:24:55 AM »
Was this a 5 gallon batch?  From that recipe, I wouldn't expect the gravity to be above 1.060 and that's if the malt extract was dry.  It would be closer to 1.050 if it was liquid extract.

Rehydrate dry yeast at around 104-110F.  Adding some GO-FERM helps.

If you have a gravity of 1.023, then you are/were fermenting.  So you didn't kill the yeast.

How long do you watch the airlock to look for bubbles?  At that gravity and time, I'd expect to see a bubble every few seconds.

The foam on the top is krauesen; it's ale yeast doing their thing.  It's a good thing.  It means you're still fermenting.  When you're done, this foam collapses and sinks to the bottom and the beer becomes bright.

You said you're using a bucket.  Could it be that the lid isn't tight or the airlock isn't firmly seated, so the CO2 is escaping through some path other than out the airlock?  What kind of airlock are you using and how did you fill it? 

Keep watching the krauesen and keep taking daily gravity readings.  When the beer is bright and the gravity is stable, you're done.
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Offline tschmidlin

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Re: I have not seen any bubbles in the airlock is this normal?
« Reply #10 on: November 30, 2010, 06:18:12 AM »
It sounds like you took your gravity reading from a poorly mixed sample, so your best bet is to estimate OG from the recipe.  If you don't mix the extract into the water well then you end up with areas that are higher gravity than others.  No worries, the beer should be fine.

And as Gordon said, it sounds like the gas was escaping some other way.  Check for leaks and make sure everything is properly seated.
Tom Schmidlin

Offline ipaguy

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Re: I have not seen any bubbles in the airlock is this normal?
« Reply #11 on: November 30, 2010, 04:21:36 PM »
...
You said you're using a bucket.  Could it be that the lid isn't tight or the airlock isn't firmly seated, so the CO2 is escaping through some path other than out the airlock?  What kind of airlock are you using and how did you fill it? 
...
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Re: I have not seen any bubbles in the airlock is this normal?
« Reply #12 on: November 30, 2010, 09:36:42 PM »
Yeah, pretty common for people not to get bubbles in airlocks when using buckets. 2 packets of yeast would have been enough for a 1.075 beer. As long as you do it quickly there is no risk of infection from popping the lid for a quick glance. Beer doesn;t get infected that easily - if it did, none of us would be making good beer very often.

I highly recommend picking up a good homebrewing book, such as www.howtobrew.com. Its really hard to stumble through the brewing process without having a good instruction manual to guide you, and the instructions that come with the kits are highly inadequate.

Offline ktizzle7714

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Re: I have not seen any bubbles in the airlock is this normal?
« Reply #13 on: December 02, 2010, 05:21:45 AM »
Thanks guys for all your input so far. It is very helpful for the learning process. Just wanted to update on the brew.

I have gotten a SG reading of 1.023 for 3 consecutive days now. I also popped the top off and there was no Krauesen on top of the wort. Today completed day 5 of fermentation. Is it possible that the fermentation is complete? It seems recipes I have found similar to this one have a final SG of around 1.017.

Any thoughts?

Thanks again.
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Offline oscarvan

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Re: I have not seen any bubbles in the airlock is this normal?
« Reply #14 on: December 02, 2010, 10:30:24 AM »
Taste it......should taste like beer, minus the fizz. If it tastes like it did right after the mash nothing happened.
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