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Mark blower

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HELP!!

I put a brew on last tuesday (19/4) I haven't seen the airlock bubble at all. It is a new fermenter so I'm worried air might be getting in somehow (I have checked the lid and everything looks OK).

I didn't take an initial reading but on the Fri (22/04) it was 1018. I took one last night (26/4) and it was 1016.

I was wondering if anyone has any suggestions with what to do? maybe sprinkling more yeast over it or should I just continue to leave it and see what happens.

For more info it was a coopers lager, bodybrew, Light malt, 24g Tettnanger.


Thanks in advance
Blower
 

warrenlw63

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Hi Mark,

Sounds like it's fine. You've probably just got a leak under your fermenter lid somewhere and it's letting CO2 out. Don't get too worried about airlock activity. Look for scum or white foam around the liquid level of the fermenter.

1.016 sounds like it's about three-quarters of the way there. When you get the same SG reading 3 days in a row your beer should be ready to bottle.

I wouldn't bother opening it up to add more yeast. Job is almost done. Make sure it's fermenting at an adequate temp.

Warren -
 

Sean

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It's worth remembering that for any decent ale yeast it doesn't matter one iota if air does get it - the yeast head and CO2 blanket will protect the beer. Most older (and quite a few newer) decent English breweries have completely open fermenters. The fermenting room at the Eldridge Pope brewery in Dorchester was a sight to behold - a row of big rectangular open fermenters made from maple and lined with copper down each side of the room, mostly full of fermenting beer but a few sparkling with freshly cleaned copper. Shame the bastards closed it.

Providing nothing is going to drop in into your fermenter and the room is reasonably clean, you don't actually need a lid and airlock unless you are using a bottom fermenting yeast, its just a safety precaution. It may even inhibit some English yeasts.
 

Samwise Gamgee

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Do you have a pail or carboy?

I use pails and have never had any air leakage probs and have got mates who use carboy's and don't achieve good seals (not that everyone's carboys do this as I've heard a lot of ppl that love them over pail's)

I also put blue tack around the base of the airlock where it meets the lid of fermenter to help seal it in a little better.


But overall as Warren said, just follow your hydrometer readings.
 

Bon

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I had the same thing happen with a couple of my batches, just went by the gravity readings like others have said.
 

Mark blower

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Thanks Guys, I'll sit and wait then...

Bon, Did you have any issues with infection?
 

Wreck

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Mark,

I've got a fermenter that has hardly ever bubbled, and not had a problem yet.
 

Mark blower

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Help again,

The Brew seems to have stalled. I have been doing regular tests but it hasn't moved from 1016 in 8 days.

Has anyone got any suggestions? Last thing I want to do is produce a midstrength beer..
 

Wreck

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Sounds 1016 is the end of it. It does sound like it might be a bit high, but it's hard to say without knowing your OG.

Have you racked to secondary? Might help rouse the yeast and get you a few more points. You don't want to leave it in the primary for too long.

I'd rack it (good thing to do anyway), if not bottle.
 

pint of lager

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You never gave the quantities of your original ingredients, especially the quantity of dried malt. If it was just a kilo of bodybrew and the kit, it will probably finish around 1.012, if there is a stack of DME in there, it will definitely finish higher.

The original gravity, volume of wort, ingredients and quantities used need to be written down in your brewing records. Plus yeast used, fermentation temperature and any other details need to be recorded. Then, a good way of numbering or marking your bottles. This way, when you make a great beer, you know exactly what went in it.

The final gravity is dependant on the ingredients, quantities, yeast used and beer volume.

Looks like it is finished. A week after it reached the final sg, it will be ready to bottle or keg.
 

Mark blower

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G'day Pint,

I have definatly learnt from this experience and will be recording info a lot more. I've created myself a spreadsheet now to monitor all my brews.

For interest sakes it was 1Kg of Body Brew and 500g of Malt, Yeast was the Kit yeast that came with the coopers, fermenter was always 18-22 degrees when I looked. When to the usual 23L mark.
 

warrenlw63

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Mark,

Probably wouldn't hurt at this point to check your hydrometer as well. Sit it in some water with a temp of roughly 20c. Should be distilled water but it doesn't really matter.

Hydrometer should read zero.

Another good thing to do is when you take your sample spin the hydrometer in the sample a couple of times to dislodge any Co2 bubbles that may be trapped. This can give higher than normal readings.

Warren -
 

pint of lager

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I have definatly learnt from this experience and will be recording info a lot more. I've created myself a spreadsheet now to monitor all my brews.
That's great. Within a few brews you will be confidentaly predicting what your expected final gravity is. Record keeping is very important. You did well with your ferment temperature too. So often people get caught out with the suggested range on the tin.

Warren's suggestion about checking your hydrometer is a good one too. He did make a slight blunder, he meant to say, when floating in water at 20 deg C, the reading is 1.000, not zero.
 

warrenlw63

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Whoops.

That would make for a totally submerged hydrometer. :wacko:

Submarine hydrometer anybody.

Warren -
 

Mark blower

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Thanks Again guys,
Having a forum like this is extremly helpful. Learnt so much already (and sure I still have a lot to go)
 

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