3

does the fermenting process always produce enough gas to bubble the airlock? this batch has not bubbled (over 24 hrs)and the last batch I brewed did not bubble much at all but turned out alright.

9

Yes, fermentation will produce orders of magnitude more CO₂ than it takes to bubble the airlock.

But usually when people are not seeing bubbles, it's because there is some other, easier, way for the CO₂ to escape. Either an improperly-sealed bucket lid or an improperly-set bung in a carboy neck.

Don't worry about seeing airlock activity, except as it might mean you don't have a good fermenter seal. For evaluating fermentation, focus on the change in gravity.

2
  • I might add that even if there's a leak in the bucket lid, you still don't have to worry about oxidation because CO2 is heavier than O2, so you're provided with a nice blanket keeping Oxygen out of the beer. This, of course, is assuming that you're not sloshing things around. – CharlieHorse Apr 13 '15 at 16:28
  • 2
    Actually, the carbon dioxide 'blanket' is largely mythical. The real protection would come from the positive pressure of the fermentation. After that, oxygen could freely diffuse in through unsealed spaces, albeit slowly, mix with the CO2 and eventually find its way into the beer. – Franklin P Combs Apr 14 '15 at 1:21

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.