Author Topic: Primary Fermentation - Where are the bubbles?  (Read 13193 times)

Offline dlcbrewer

  • BeerSmith Apprentice Brewer
  • **
  • Posts: 6
Primary Fermentation - Where are the bubbles?
« on: July 14, 2011, 07:32:09 AM »
Last night, I made my first attempt at brewing. I think most things went right, but there were a few rough patches (siphoning from the brew pot to the primary fermentation bucket was odd - not sure I did it right - and I might have added a lot of air during the process, plus cooling took a lot longer than I expected even with a ice bath). But, I had a good time and I got the wort moved over the primary fermentation bucket. When I checked on the valve this morning I didn't see any bubbles coming up - I see this as a problem. Should I be patient or have I messed this one up and should have another go?

Thanks for the help.

- DLC

Offline MaltLicker

  • Global Moderator
  • BeerSmith Grandmaster Brewer
  • *****
  • Posts: 2004
    • Blue Ribbon Brews
Re: Primary Fermentation - Where are the bubbles?
« Reply #1 on: July 14, 2011, 08:01:32 AM »
Patience........the start of active ferm activity is highly variable, depending on oxygen content, yeast cell count, wort size and gravity, temps, etc. 

Offline dlcbrewer

  • BeerSmith Apprentice Brewer
  • **
  • Posts: 6
Re: Primary Fermentation - Where are the bubbles?
« Reply #2 on: July 14, 2011, 08:24:59 AM »
Thanks!

maddspoiler

  • Guest
Re: Primary Fermentation - Where are the bubbles?
« Reply #3 on: July 14, 2011, 07:49:21 PM »
IMHO As long as the wort wasnt hot when you had bubbles no worries. In fact you WANT to aerate the wort before pitching your yeast(after the wort is cooled). RHAHB. It doesnt sound like you have anything to worry about.

Getting the wort cool as quick as possible can be hard without an immersion chiller. If you end up deciding to stick with homebrewing (and Im sure you will) buy one or make one asap. Your beer will turn out better by cooling it faster. Good luck!

Offline DaveinPa

  • BeerSmith Grandmaster Brewer
  • *****
  • Posts: 148
Re: Primary Fermentation - Where are the bubbles?
« Reply #4 on: July 17, 2011, 08:06:13 AM »
I think whoever said "patience is a virtue" was a brewer   ::)

It counts double during secondary and triple after bottling or kegging.  Give that beer time to age; a little time will do wonders and will definitely be worth your while.  If you brew beers on a rotation it helps avoid the temptation to drink them too early  ;).

Offline BobBrews

  • Bob Brews Beer
  • BeerSmith Grandmaster Brewer
  • *****
  • Posts: 260
  • I Brew, I Drink, N'uff said.
    • Stempski.com BIAB
Re: Primary Fermentation - Where are the bubbles?
« Reply #5 on: July 17, 2011, 08:33:11 AM »
Remember to check that the cover is on tight. Air leaks means no bubbles in the airlock. No bubbles in the primary may just be a slow starter. If the temperature of the wort is to hot or to cold the yeast may be shocked! Always keep a packet of dry yeast on hand to act as a safety in case you have to re-yeast your wort.
Bob Brews
Brew in a Bag Brewer BIAB
http://www.biabrewer.info

Offline econolinevan

  • BeerSmith Master Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 55
Re: Primary Fermentation - Where are the bubbles?
« Reply #6 on: July 17, 2011, 09:05:16 AM »
What type yeast did you use?  Liquid, dry? 

Offline dlcbrewer

  • BeerSmith Apprentice Brewer
  • **
  • Posts: 6
Re: Primary Fermentation - Where are the bubbles?
« Reply #7 on: July 18, 2011, 12:48:06 PM »
Thanks for the all the responses and tips. To answer the question above - I used a dry yeast. I re-hydrated it while I was preparing the wort.

I'll definitely continue to brew. I saw a good tip on either this forum or the beeradvocate.com forum about building your own cooling system with parts from home depot - I'm going to look into that for the next batch.

Thanks again.

- DLC

Offline Maine Homebrewer

  • BeerSmith Grandmaster Brewer
  • *****
  • Posts: 1371
Re: Primary Fermentation - Where are the bubbles?
« Reply #8 on: July 18, 2011, 06:27:09 PM »
The addition of air was a good thing. You want to aerated the wort as much as you can. Some people even bubble oxygen with a stone, similar to what you see in a fish tank.

Personally I pour from my brewpot into a bucket, and from the bucket through a funnel into a glass carboy.

Ice baths won't do it for long. Do yourself a favor and purchase (or build as I did) an immersion cooler.

Do you know what the temp was when you pitched the yeast? Did you check it with a thermometer? Temps over 120 will for certain kill yeast, and temps over 105 will not do it any favors.  If you don't know for sure then there is a chance the wort was too hot and you killed your yeast.

If it doesn't perk up soon I'd open a new yeast packet and sprinkle it over the top of the brew.  But I don't think you will need to do so.

RDWHAHB
"To alcohol! The cause of - and solution to - all of life's problems!" -Homer Simpson

Offline dlcbrewer

  • BeerSmith Apprentice Brewer
  • **
  • Posts: 6
Re: Primary Fermentation - Where are the bubbles?
« Reply #9 on: July 19, 2011, 07:36:05 AM »
The temp was right at 80 F. I was trying to wait for it to cool to about 78 F (as per instructions), but I started the process later in the evening than I wanted to and by the time I was cooling the wort it was very late. Would a 2 degree difference affect the fermentation process?

Thanks.

DLC

Offline Maine Homebrewer

  • BeerSmith Grandmaster Brewer
  • *****
  • Posts: 1371
Re: Primary Fermentation - Where are the bubbles?
« Reply #10 on: July 19, 2011, 06:23:22 PM »
Two degrees wouldn't matter.

Most of a week has passed. What is it doing now? If it isn't doing much I would seriously pitch some new yeast before any wild things take residence.
"To alcohol! The cause of - and solution to - all of life's problems!" -Homer Simpson

Offline dlcbrewer

  • BeerSmith Apprentice Brewer
  • **
  • Posts: 6
Re: Primary Fermentation - Where are the bubbles?
« Reply #11 on: July 23, 2011, 01:41:32 PM »
I just took a reading with the hydrometer, and it's right where it should be according to the recipe - 1.012. What should the beer taste like after primary fermentation? I want to check to see whether it is worth it to bottle this brew or whether I should move on to a second batch. 

Thanks!

DLC

maddspoiler

  • Guest
Re: Primary Fermentation - Where are the bubbles?
« Reply #12 on: July 23, 2011, 02:06:04 PM »
It will taste kinda yeasty, cloying and very unbalanced at this point and it wont taste like beer yet. I would just bottle it and age it a month or 2 then drink it and learn from your mistakes. If your at 1.012 that means you did complete fermentation or are close to it. But if you didnt see bubbles during fermentation then you didnt have a tight seal. This could be a problem and may have increased the risk of an infection. Hope it turns out tasty.


I think whoever said "patience is a virtue" was a brewer   ::)

It counts double during secondary and triple after bottling or kegging.  Give that beer time to age; a little time will do wonders and will definitely be worth your while.  If you brew beers on a rotation it helps avoid the temptation to drink them too early  ;).