I added the yeast 2 days ago and nothing is happening

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My wort is currently in the primary (plastic) Fermenter, going on
it's second day.  I see no activity at all.  No bubbles, nothing,  I
tried to do some trouble-shooting on the Web and found what might be
the issue.  Following the instructions I had it imply says to add the
Yeast, and stir to aerate.  And that is exactly what I did, but I
simply just opened the yeast package and dumped it in and stirred.  Not
realizing I needed to mix it with warm water first to "wake it up".
Was that my mistake?  Is my batch ruined?  Do I need to start from
scratch?  Is there any thing I can do to save the batch?  I feel like I
did everything else exactly to spec.

I haven't opened the fermenting bucket to look in yet, I am tempted
but nervous I will let in unwanted air.  Only reason I know it is not
active is because I do not see any bubbles in the airlock.  I should,
correct?

ps, this is my first batch!


Re: I added the yeast 2 days ago and nothing is happening
swremick@yahoo.com wrote:
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It's entirely possible that your bucket lid isn't sealed tightly and you
beer is fermenting away happily.  If the lid isn't thight, the CO2
escapes around the rim, instead of through the airlock.  You won't hurt
anything by opening to the bucket to take a peek.  Do that and get back
to us.

    --------->Denny
--
Life begins at 60 - 1.060, that is.

Reply to denny_at_projectoneaudio_dot_com

Re: I added the yeast 2 days ago and nothing is happening
On 3 Jan 2005 15:12:02 -0800, swremick@yahoo.com wrote:

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Relax.  Chances are good that everything will turn out well.  Lack of
bubbling in the air lock isn't nessesarily an indication of a lack of
fermentation.  The seal on your fermentor may not be complete and the
gas is escaping through that route.  Also check the seal at the bung
of the airlock.  That could be leaking.  Or your airlock could be
plugged.  Any of these things can prevent you from seeing bubble in
the airlock.

 Now assuming those things are ok... what temperature was the wort
when you pitched and what temperature is it now?

Welcome to the hobby!

Steve


Re: I added the yeast 2 days ago and nothing is happening
Okay, I opened her up. The wort is quite bubbly!!  Looks a bit like
soap suds, which makes me nervous, but everything does at this time. So
the seal around the cap looks fine, but the airlock looked a bit loose,
and it still sort of does after I tried to get a good fit. What does
"your airlock could be plugged" mean?

When I pitched the yeast in the wort, it was below what I would have
liked (i cooled my wort a deep sink full of water and ice), probably at
65 - 70 F.  I also think the room where I was storing the wort was a
bit cool, so I put in a space heater, to ensure that the stays at 70F.

If I sanitize a thermometer, is it okay to take the temp of the wort?
My instructions call to siphon over the wort into my glass carboy in 3
or 4 days, or until the bubbles subside.  Then keep in that for another
7 days.

Ahh, so green I am.  Excited to get into this rewarding hobby!  Thanks
for all of your help.  Any other comments/suggestion are welcome!
ps. should i try a hydrometer reading?


Re: I added the yeast 2 days ago and nothing is happening
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Sounds like you might have had a little leakage at your airlock connection
if it seemed to be loose.  It doesn't seem like it would have gotten
plugged.

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If the temperature in the room is 65 to 70 F, do yourself a big favor and
turn off that space heater.  In general, your beer will taste better (i.e.,
have less fruity off-flavors, etc.) if you keep the temperature on the
cooler side, less than 70 F.

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You can take the temperature if you want, but I don't know what good it
would do you.  Your beer will probably be a couple of degrees above room
temperature.  Fermentation produces a little bit of heat, but I can't see
much reason to take the temperature.

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Primary fermentation may take longer than 3 or 4 days.  Wait until the
bubbles die down to a near halt before transfering.

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You can hold off on the hydrometer reading until at least the primary
fermentation is complete.  It really comes into play at the very end, when
you're trying to determine whether you've reached your goal for specific
gravity.  Also you can calculate your alcohol percent by subtracting your
final gravity from original gravity and multiplying by 130.

Good luck on your first batch!

--
Dave
"Just a drink, a little drink, and I'll be feeling GOOooOOooOOooD!" --  
Genesis, 1973-ish



Re: I added the yeast 2 days ago and nothing is happening
wrote:

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With a vigorous ferment, solids in the wort could fill and plug the
airlock tube.  This would prevent CO2 from bubbling through.  I don't
think this is your problem, but I included it as a list of
possibilities as to why you might not see bubbling in the airlock yet
still have active fermentation.  I'd suspect a loose bung first.  

Um.. just a thought... I'm assuming you have water/vodka/sterile water
in the airlock, right?  Without said fluid, you'd not see any
bubbling.  Sorry if this sounds a little condecending - I don't mean
it to be - but I'm just trying to cover the bases. :-)
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Yes.. it would be ok but I don't think its necessary. (There's always
a risk of intoducing something you don't want in there, so you should
only do so when you need to.)   Very cool temperatures would slow down
the ferment, however given the temps you mentioned above, temperature
isn't your issue.  In fact, as another poster noted, you don't need
the space heater.  Fermentation won't be as fast as it would be at a
higher temperature, but you'll get better beer. :-)

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The key here is not so much the schedule on the calendar as the
schedule of what the beer needs.  If bubbling stops (or is very slow -
like one bubble a minute), then would be the time time to rack to
secondary.  No rush though... my current beer was in the primary for
15 days before I racked into the secondary.  It's been in the
secondary for two weeks and I'll probably leave it for another 2
weeks.
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I primarily use the hydrometer to confirm that fermentation is
complete.  A couple of days with the same reading confirms that no
suger is being consumed and it's time for the secondary.

The hardest part about the first batch is the waiting.  Been there,
done that, drank the immature beer (but learned about aging in the
process!)

Enjoy the hobby!


Steve


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