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FWIW, its highly possible that the oily surface you observed is not at all related to your head and carbonation problems. I've seen that oily 'shimmer' on the top of several beers in primary, and like you, I was worried that some soap or something had gotten in there. However, I never noticed a correlation between the oily/rainbow sheen and any head ...


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The picture shows that your beer is actively fermenting. The brown foam is called "Krausen" and is composed of yeast and other solids that have been pushed to the top of the fermenter by the force of escaping CO2 The most likely explanation for the lack of airlock activity is that either the bucket's lid was not properly sealed, or the airlock was not ...


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Let the bubbling stop. Then put it in the fridge. Then after a couple of days of clearing put it in the fridge to let the yeast settle out. Once this is done, carefully puur your fermented liquor off the lees(left over yeast), and drink. Do not expect this to be good, it will be liquid and contain alcohol, but it will likely taste awful. I have made ginger ...


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You can always open the lid and carefully take a quick look to see how it's going. Usually the sings of infection are bad smell and white mold spots on the surface. If you don't notice any of that you're good, you can also take a gravity test to see how the yeast is doing and compare it to the other batches...


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It got warm, so the pressure inside the fermentor increased, forcing gas out through the airlock, which you notice as bubbles.


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As you have learned, seeing or not seeing bubbles in the airlock does not necessarily relate to fermentation activity. Judging by the pic you posted, you have a fine fermentation. That's the visual clue you should be looking for, not bubbles. Again, just becasue the airlock has stopped bubbling doesn't necessarily mean the beer isn't fermenting. Keeping ...


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