This is my first homebrew, so I'm totally in the dark as to what to expect. However, I was told by my LHS that I should see a lot of fermentation activity after around 4-12 hours. The brew itself is an Irish stout using Wyeast Irish Ale strain, I made sure to let the bag swell before pitching so I'm fairly sure that the yeast was viable. The temp is around 68-70 F. Currently (hour 14) there is a very small (1/4 inch) layer of krausen, but no bubbling from the airlock. Wondering if it will ever get going or if I should just chuck it and start again. Thanks!

2 Answers 2


You actually have observed the most important sign of active fermentation, which is the kraeusen. Guarantee you've got a leak somewhere in your fermenter causing the airlock not to push. It's rarely worth judging the state of fermentation based on airlock activity anyway, as it's often very likely to lead you wrong.

In conclusion: you're fine, do not chuck it. Just let it do its thing.


In addition to Franklin's answer, I would also say that if you are seein an active kraeusen with no airlock activity this early in fermentation it is fairly likely you may have a leak in your fermenter. Not knowing what you are using, I can tell you this has happened to me with plastic buckets. You should check your seal and make sure you have a good tight fit. This should not be a large risk while active fermentation is producing a good deal of CO2, but once fermentation slows you run the risk of introducing a bug through your lid. Push on the lid and make sure it is seated, you can also spray the seal area with some starsan and see if you get any bubbles. At this phase of fermentation I would expect if you had a leak you would hear or see evidence of a leak.

  • 1
    Good advice about spraying and watching for bubbles. It's the best way to find a leak in my experience. Feb 25, 2015 at 19:31

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