Brand new to brewing, 2.5 days ago I brewed my first extract kit (Brewer's Best Amber Ale) and racked it into my fermenter. By tomorrow morning I'll be at the 3 day (72 hours) milestone, which is what I've heard is the end of the "everything is OK" range; and still no bubbling activity in the airlock. And I don't expect there to be when I wake up tomorrow...I've checked and rechecked the seal w/ the plastic fermenter, and it appears to be solid.
If I wake up tomorrow and still don't see any bubbling, I would like to open up the lid and take a peek to see what's happening on the inside of the fermenter, but would like to know a few things before I go and expose my wort/beer/whatever-the-heck-it-is-at-this-point to the air:
- If the wort is bad, how can I tell? Are there obvious signs of bacterial contamination or wild yeast?
- If the wort is still good/salvageable, what can I do to kickstart/resurrect it? I'm out of yeast and the yeast I used was from the kit.
Some things to help put this into context:
- All equipment was sanitized via Easy Clean
- Wort was ~70°F when I pitched the yeast
- I let the yeast sit on the surface, untouched, for ~20 mins to rehydrate them
- Then I stirred them into the wort vigorously, so as to distribute them and to help aerate the wort (did I kill them?)
- The fermenter has been sitting in my dark, dry, cool (~65°F) basement ever since I racked this past weekend
Anyways, I'm just wondering what I can look for when I open up the lid, what signs might tip me off to where I went awry, and what I might be able to do so that my first batch of homebrew (ever) isn't a total failure. After spending ~$150 on all the equipment and ingredients, my wife would appreciate that last part :-).
Update: At the 72 hour mark here's what the wort looks like:
Here's the most messed up part: I went to take the SG. I sanitized the hydrometer and gently set it in the top of the wort (I don't currently have a test jar) and... and the darn thing sunk all the way to the bottom!!! Kerplunk! Gone!
What the heck does that mean?!? OG was 1.045 3 days ago...
Also, how do I safely (i.e. sanitarily) get my hydrometer out of the wort? It's completely submerged...