What's wrong with my fermentation?

What went wrong? Was this supposed to happen? Should I throw it out? What do I do now?

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Light Lager
Light Lager
Posts: 15
Joined: Wed May 18, 2005 2:11 pm

What's wrong with my fermentation?

Post by lootcorp » Sun May 22, 2005 4:57 pm

So I brewed my first batch of beer last night - followed all instructions as closely as possibly - it was a summer ale. The kit contained:

1 can wheat malt
2.2 lbs dry malt extract
1 oz fuggle hops for bittering
1oz williamette hops for aroms
10 g lemon zest
yeast nutrient

the yeast was a dry yeast (don't have the brand name unfortunately) - I proofed it as per the instructions on howtobrew.com and got a reaction. Pitched the yeast and within a few hours had airlock activity. This was around 8 or 9 pm. I went out and got home @ 3am - airlock was very active, streams of bubbles every couple of seconds.

Today, the airlock is much quieter - I suspect it got too cold for the yeast overnight - it is an overcast day and ambient temp in the apt is about 66 degrees. Got a "beer belt" warmer to put around the primary - airlock bubbles every now and then - sometimes 10 sec between bubbles, sometimes 2 min or more. Should I be concerned? Don't want to open the fermenter to stir or take a hydrometer reading unless absolutely necessary, but I was expecting vigorous fermentation for a couple of days...

Any advice? Should I take a hydro reading or try and stir up the wort, or just leave it be and check the gravity in a week?

When you have a slow ferment, when is it a good idea to pitch new yeast and when is it a good idea to stir to re-oxygenate?

Thanks for the help!

Light Lager
Light Lager
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Joined: Sun Aug 01, 2004 8:07 am
Location: maryland, NY


Post by Phobos » Sun May 22, 2005 7:46 pm

Evaluate the fermentation after a week. If need be, (high specific gravity, say above 1.020) add more yeast. Sometimes yeast is mostly done in a day! Don'y worry have a beer! :D Let me know how it comes out. Hope this helps, good luck Fred

Azorean Brewer
Strong Ale
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Type of fermenter

Post by Azorean Brewer » Mon May 23, 2005 12:22 pm


What I found out too, is that when using a plastic (food grade) primary fermenter, the lid may let some off gasing out if it is not very tight, and this would cause a lack of air lock activety but still be fermenting. My first bucket lid didn't fit tight at all I didn't get any air lock activety at all ... but my beer fermented complete (back in 1991). Not knowing any better, it wasn't until I saw my buddy's air lock going crazy, that I knew something was wrong with mine ...

My suggestion is rely on hydrometer readings and not air lock activity. I brewed last weekend and racked to secondary Saturday and my reading was 1.014, and my carboy airlock was going crazy this morning ... meaning I am not done yet ... I expect it to get down around 1.012 or lower ...

Regards Paul
"I drink therefore I am"

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