Brewed a 10 gallon batch of a saison wort at a super-dry mash temp (142-145 F). It's currently split between two conical fermenters, one of which has around 150 oz of a tart cherry puree. Rehydrated around 30 grams of yeast with 100 F water + wine yeast nutrient. It foamed during rehydration, so it appeared to be alive. Pitched half into each fermenter. The fermenter with cherries bubbled a bit the next day and then stopped. The fermenter without cherries has yet to bubble at all and it has been 3 days (by bubbling, I mean the blow-out tube doesn't appear to contain any significant positive pressure).

We've never lost a batch due to infection, but this is our first time attempting with a wine yeast. How long until we should give up and toss in a French Saison Wyeast? Thanks for any insight!

Update: Thanks Philippe and barking.pete, you both were right on the nose! The OG was measured at around 1.045. Now (3-4 days later) it is down to 1.012 in the fermenter without cherries. I've never seen a completely silent fermentation before, but now I know to rely on SG more than apparent activity! Now, let's just hope it squeezes out several more points...

  • Have you taken SG readings to confirm that fermentation is stuck? Bubbles in airlock isn't accurate enough to confirm that.
    – Philippe
    Jul 11, 2018 at 18:28
  • no, we haven't done any additional measurements since our OG measurement. That's a good question, I'll try to get back to you later today.
    – nterrell
    Jul 11, 2018 at 19:17

1 Answer 1


"bubbling" in the air lock or "blow out tube" is not really a useful measure of fermentation activity or completion. If it happens vigorously bubbling can be a confidence booster but not a particularly accurate indicator.

The only truly useful measure is Specific Gravity (SG) and then it is better if the original gravity is measured as well as the final gravity. If the specific gravity remains constant for a few days then that is a good indicator that the main fermentation is over.

However if ones patience is really being tested then additional yeast can be added at almost any time. With varying results - some good and some less good!

  • This is true. I have a transparent airlock that shows whether the fermentation vessel still is pressurized. Although vigorous bubbling not necessarily visible it adds a confidence boost as well. I’d have to say I’ve more often had off flavors with vigorous bubbling than otherwise. SG is the way to go.
    – Martin
    Jul 12, 2018 at 18:50

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