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

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Postby danimal » Sat Dec 29, 2001 11:20 am

I just brewed my first batch of beer ever two nights ago. Yesterday, the airlock was bubbling all day, but today there seems to be no activity in the air lock. I've read that there should be activity for several days. I wonder if I need to re-yeast the wort. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
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Your fermentation problem

Postby Azorean Brewer » Sun Dec 30, 2001 6:40 am

Hi, I can relate to your delema it happened to me and I paniced too. Don't worry, and don't panic. Chances are that if you had activity there is still something going on in your fermenter. I suspect that you have a very minor air leak in the cover of your ale pail, the high pressure was enough to perk the air lock now it has subsided slightly and it may be leaking out from around the pail lip. I had that problem on my first batch also. I talked to my supplier and they told me the same thing. For $1.99 I bought a new cover and that took care of it, I also made sure I had a "snap" shut tight. When we first start to brew we worry about everything. You are not the first person to have this problem. Don't open it up for 7 days leave the little yeasties to do their work and everything should be OK. I recommend secondary fermenting in a carboy. But be very careful here too. I am very careful about this racking step. I recommend gargling with listerine just before you start your siphon, there are millions of nasty bacteria waiting to attack your beer listerine will help to kill them off just before you start the rack flow. Good luck this is supposed to be fun LOL ... happy brewing.

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Starting the siphon

Postby dartedplus » Sun Dec 30, 2001 8:31 am

I used to start my siphon like that, but have found a better way. Go to the sink and fill you hose with water. Bring a glass with you and go to your fermenter. keeping your thumb on the end of the siphon, stick one end into the beer and then lower the other end to start the siphon. let the water go into the glass and when you see the beer coming insert the hose into your secondary. This way there is no more "sucking" on the hose and no need for the listerine, unless you need the fresher breath!!
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Yet another idea

Postby hophead » Tue Jan 01, 2002 5:16 am

To start siphon I use a 60 cc plastic syringe ( vet supply mail order) just insert end of syringe into tubing and draw back on the plunger. when the beer flows, simply remove tube and put into secondary. I also use the syringe with a short piece of tubing for taking gravity samples.It can be cleaned and should last forever.
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Postby andytv » Tue Jan 01, 2002 7:18 am

You are probably OK. What you observed yesterday was the peak of fermentation, or Krausen (pronounced "kroysen"). ermentation activity slows significantly after this period and may not be visible by wglancing at the airlock, however there still should be a little positive pressure in your pail to keep the nasties out. Check your lid for a tight fit, check the temperature and make sure it is not too low/high for the yeast type you are using.

Some ales ferment very quickly, in all probability, you are ready to rack into a secondary.
If you want to be absolutely sure, carefully remove some of the beer and take a hydrometer reading. Then take one tommorrow, once the reading normalizes, you are finished with the primary fermentation.
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For a REALLY good time...

Postby Push Eject » Fri Jan 11, 2002 7:01 am

Try primary fermentation in a 6 gal. carboy -- there's nothing like actually watching those little critters work.
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Dog pile on the siphon

Postby Freon12 » Mon Jan 14, 2002 3:58 am

I use a store bought gadget that has a tube with a plunger on the end that goes inside alarger tube that has a spacer on the bottom to keep from getting trub in the flow. Outstanding.Morebeer.com I think.
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