Author Topic: HELP! NO BUBBLING IN FERMENTATION  (Read 18858 times)

Offline adrian clewlow

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HELP! NO BUBBLING IN FERMENTATION
« on: January 05, 2012, 06:32:33 AM »
Hello all,
I need help with a hopefully recoverable situation asap! I brewed an all extract IPA, adding the yeast in the primary fermenter. I brew in the basement, which usually keeps a solid temperature. I went away for two days, and we recently had temperatures that caused the basement to hit around 56 degrees. There is no bubbling in the airlock, and it hasn't shown activity in the two days I was gone (someone was checking it for me). Is this ok for the beer? I was thinking about a variety of options:
1. Switch the brew to a secondary fermenter and pitch more yeast.
2. Reboil the wort and add yeast.
3. Move the brew to a warmer spot.
4. Trash the whole batch.

The IPA should be fermented around 65 degrees, but will the colder temperature ruin the beer and the fermentation? I was planning on switching to a secondary fermenter afetr 4 days and dry hop for 2 weeks, but if there has been little to no activity, is the batch still viable?
PLease help! This is a brew for the birth of my second child. Will the colder temperature have killed the yeast/ made it inactive, and would a switch to a warmer room reactivate the yeast?
HELP HELP HELP!

Cheers

Offline jomebrew

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Re: HELP! NO BUBBLING IN FERMENTATION
« Reply #1 on: January 05, 2012, 08:34:42 AM »
Raise the temp back up to the desired range and let it ferment.  The yeast will come back to life but it takes a while.  Look for activity in 48 hours.  If not, pitch a new batch of yeast.  Make sure it reached terminal gravity before mucking with it.  Give it a week to ferment.  don't rush it out of the primary.  Better yet.  leave it in the primary and dry hop in there.

Offline lordluen

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Re: HELP! NO BUBBLING IN FERMENTATION
« Reply #2 on: January 11, 2012, 11:22:43 AM »
Your beer should be fine. Yeast just goes dormant in the cold. Think about how you keep yeast refridgerated until brewing time, yet it works just fine when pitched (usually).
Also, you might want to check that your lid is airtight. My second brew didn't have any bubbling in the airlock and I thought no fermenting was happening. Turns out the lid was bent out of shape slightly, so it was not airtight. Therefore all the offgas of the yeast was leaking out the lid rather than the airlock. To check for this, you can just lift the lid of your fermenter and see if fermentation has started (or finished). If it is currently fermenting, there will be a lot of activity in the fermenter. If primary finished, you will see a lot of yeast on the sides of the fermenter above the beer, left  over from fermentation. If the beer still looks like it did when you put it in the fermenter, then just raise the temp.

Hope that helps.

-Lordluen

PS: Apparantly it is okay if the lid is not airtight. The reason for an airtight lid is to keep the beer from oxidizing, but as long as it is reasonably sealed, that probably won't happen. This is why you can get away with lifting the lid to check on the beer.

PPS: The reason for a lid at all is to prevent oxidation and stuff from getting into the beer. At least this is what I have read.

Offline Maine Homebrewer

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Re: HELP! NO BUBBLING IN FERMENTATION
« Reply #3 on: January 11, 2012, 05:03:04 PM »
What jomebrew said.
"To alcohol! The cause of - and solution to - all of life's problems!" -Homer Simpson

Offline glienhard

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Re: HELP! NO BUBBLING IN FERMENTATION
« Reply #4 on: January 12, 2012, 09:21:43 AM »
Definitely no need to trash the batch and you would never want to reboil.  The good thing here is that the beer went down in temp and got cooler.  Like lordluen stated, yeast will just slow way down or go dormant in cooler temps.  You would only have issues with weird or off flavors if the fermentation got too warm.  I'm willing to bet money that you bring the temp back up into the optimal range for the yeast you used and it will start fermenting again.  This may take 2-4 days to happen, so don't worry.  Worst case, you would need to pitch another pack of yeast.

Cheers & congrats on the new baby!!

Offline adrian clewlow

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Re: HELP! NO BUBBLING IN FERMENTATION
« Reply #5 on: February 04, 2012, 03:04:22 AM »
Thanks for all of your help! Moved the primary to a warmer spot and bingo, 2 days later, the wort was fermenting nicely. Smells very hoppy and delicious...racked to secondary after 1 week and dry hopped for 10 days. Bottled. Should be ready to go beginning of March.

Thanks again all of you!

Cheers.

Offline ArtCox

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Re: HELP! NO BUBBLING IN FERMENTATION
« Reply #6 on: February 04, 2012, 06:22:00 AM »
jomebrew, what your describing is called open fermentation. this is common practice in large breweries. We as Home Brewers normally do closed fermentation = tight seal and a airlock.