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Signs of fermentation?

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1Signs of fermentation? Empty Signs of fermentation? on Mon Jul 26, 2010 10:13 pm

I just brewed my first beer 48 hours ago (an IPA) and am wondering how visible the signs of fermentation are from looking at the airlock. There are small bubbles inside the airlock and some condensation evident. Is that what I should be seeing?

Can't say I've spent too much time watching the airlock, but I was curious how active the initial bubbling should be.


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2Signs of fermentation? Empty Re: Signs of fermentation? on Mon Jul 26, 2010 11:59 pm

It's usually pretty quiet for the first 12-24 hours, but with an ale yeast things should really pick up in hours 13-72. With an OG around 1.060, I've seen near constant bubbling for most of days 2 and 3, slowing for day 4, and really calming back down by day 5.

Primary fermentation of a well pitched batch of ale can finish in as little as 4 days (or less), depending on your batch size/OG/pitch rate, and should almost always be done within 7. Lagers strains tend to work much more slowly.

A long lag time between pitching the yeast and vigorous fermentation could mean that your yeast weren't quite warmed up when they went in, or that your pitch rate was a little low. I think this is more common with dry yeast, as it can sometimes take a little longer to "wake up" especially if you sprinkle it straight into the wort without proofing it.

A slow start could also mean that your fermentation temperature is outside optimal range for the strain. If you are seeing bubbles in the air lock, though, have faith. That means there are yeast in there working. Try to control the temp, and just give it time.

For a visual, you can do a quick search on YouTube for "primary fermentation" and you'll get a bunch of results.

Last edited by AstoriaBrewer on Tue Jul 27, 2010 12:05 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : adding)

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