No activity through the air lock?

Discussion in 'Beginners Brewing Forum' started by Crumy, Dec 9, 2018.

  1. Crumy

    Crumy New Member

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    Just started my third batch. I’ve been using Muntons kits very simple I don’t know if y’all have had this happen before but, it’s 60 hours into fermentation and nothing through the air lock. The sg was 1.052 it is now 1.03. When I got the sample out it was very carbonated. It’s like the co2 is getting suspended in the beer. Have y’all had this happen before?
     
  2. Mase

    Mase Well-Known Member

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    #2 Mase, Dec 9, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2018
    That’s why you never trust an airlock. If I’m understanding you correctly, your OG was 1.052 and is now at 1.03X, and that indicates fermentation is in progress. The carbonation is normal as CO2 is a by product of the yeast fermenting your brew away, and another good indication that you have a healthy fermentation going on. :)

    RDWHAHB
     
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  3. Craigerrr

    Craigerrr Well-Known Member

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    It is possible that you don't have a perfect seal on your fermenter and C02 is finding an easier way out than through the air lock. Plus 1 on Mase's comment. Be patient, let it go for another week before checking the gravity again, no sense risking infection unnecessarily.
     
  4. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    I'm guessing you're using a bucket and it's likely that your temperature is relatively low. Buckets never seal very well and get less prone to hold pressure as you use them and the cooler the temp, the more CO2 is held in suspension during fermentation.
    And less than half attenuation at 60 hours points to a slow fermentation, so I'm doubling down on my low temp guess. ;) Most ale yeasts in their preferred range will usually push at least somewhat close to FG within 3 days.
     
  5. The Brew Mentor

    The Brew Mentor Well-Known Member

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    As long as you have healthy yeast to start with. He did say he was doing a "can kit" and usually those have a 5 gram packet of old yeast under the lid. (Ouch!)

    To the OP, sounds like a leaky lid. Also, if you continue with the can kits, the best thing you can do is get a fresh pack of yeast with it and toss the old 1.
    Welcome to the obsession!
    Brian
     
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  6. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    I'm thinking we should put up a persistent post in this forum about airlock activity and fermentation. Seems we answer the question every other week or so. I understand the issue as a beginner - we were watching our carboys anxiously, looking for that first burp that told us we hadn't screwed everything up....
     
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  7. Craigerrr

    Craigerrr Well-Known Member

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    I am still a beginner, and it was not that long ago that I was asking questions like this, so I get it too.
    Maybe a sticky in this forum titled "How do I know when Fermentation is Complete"
    Or maybe a beginners FAQ section would be helpful. When questions like this are asked, we could copy and paste the appropriate link.

    To the OP of this thread
    Cheers and best of luck with your fermentation, sounds like the yeast is doing it's thing.
    As previously noted, give it time.
    Please don't be discouraged about posting more questions, everyone here is happy to help!
    One thing you will find with BF is that they are always enhancing and improving the way this site works.
     
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  8. Crumy

    Crumy New Member

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    All good points. This is a new 6.5 gallon bucket. The third time its been used. the lid is so tight I check my finger tips to see is they are still there when I pull the lid off. Good seal on the air lock. I can mash the side of the bucket and can see the air lock move. I have a thermometer on the bucket that is at 71•. The store told me that I should use the pack of yeast that came with the kit. But I would need to use another pack of US05 also. They keep it in the yeast in a fridge at the store. So I’m confident in my yeast. Could l have changed the sugars in the wort but heating it for a period of 15 - 20 minutes on the stove? It didn’t come to a boil but I do think it was upwards of 180•. When I noticed the wort getting thicker.I pulled it off of the heat. Because I think that’s what’s going on. And thanks to you all for any help you can provide.
     
  9. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    And to the OP: Please don't take my rant as a criticism of you. Post questions! We're happy to help. It just seems this specific question comes up about twice a week.
     
  10. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Here's an interesting little tidbit for your setup: No need to dog the lid down. Just put it on top of the bucket, loosely. You won't get any bubbling through the airlock since the gas will escape under the gasket but since bacteria and yeast can't crawl, they won't get in either. Heating the sugars in the wort won't change the sugars (unless you have quite a bit of acid available and a source of amino groups, then you get invert sugar but I digress) but if you pitched too hot, it could have killed the yeast.... Most likely your fermentation went just fine, they tend to do that, and your fermentor leaked gas. The sticky post I would like to see on airlocks is this: Taste your beer. If it's not noticeably sweet, it fermented. Likewise, take a gravity reading. If the gravity has dropped from the OG, your beer has fermented. It's hard to keep yeast from fermenting sugars so most likely, if you added yeast and didn't somehow kill them, your beer fermented.
     
  11. Hawkbox

    Hawkbox Well-Known Member

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    Yeah I like watching my airlock bubble more for entertainment than anything but if it doesn't I don't really pay it any attention.
     
  12. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    You've done everything properly and you're all good to go. The fermentation is working fine but it's just not pushing CO2 through the air lock. A few things can cause that. The bucket may not sealing even if it's hard to get on and off. Unless it's got a silicone gasket, it's just hard plastic against hard plastic and could develop a gap or warp. It's not cause for alarm. We've all experienced that. Don't sweat it.
    It'll be done fermenting in a week or so and you can bottle it up, etc. ;)
     
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  13. Hawkbox

    Hawkbox Well-Known Member

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    Path of least resistance, if there is a gap in the seam somewhere that takes less force than bubbling the air lock, that's where the gas will go.
     

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