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1st time brewing. No activity in airlock

Hello all!
I brewed on Sunday 3/4/2018 using a starter kit from Northern Brewer using the Party Block Amber Ale. We finished and put the bucket away around 4-5 pm. Since then there has been no activity in the airlock. I am worried the lid is not secure on the bucket which could explain the absence of bubbling, but today I took a quick peak inside and saw a ring of crud along the inside just above the liquid line. I read in another post that this occurred when the beer was done fermenting, which is worrying since it hasn’t even been a week.

The last temp I took on the wort prior to adding water to get the amount up to 5 gallons was 74F. I sprinkled the yeast on top (there was a lot of bubbles from adding the water, which I figured was a good thing since the yeast needs oxygen) Could it be I cooled it to much when I added the water?

Apart from opening up the bucket, I did close it back up and swirl it around a bit this morning to try and get some of the crud, which I am assuming in the yeast, to get back into the liquid and do it’s thing.

Any input would be appreciated.

P.S. I am already seeing the merits of getting a glass carboy, but want to brew a few more times before investing in one. Also I do not have a hydrometer.

It’s fine. Glass carboys are a PIA. If you want to peak inside you bucket. Just drill a 1" hole in the top and use I think it’s #10 stopper. You also could take samples without removing the lid. Buckets have built in handles are easy to clean and unbreakable. If you’re going to upgrade go stainless. I use glass carboys for wine only which is what they were originally purposed for. They do make a plastic big mouth carboy

The ring of crud is generally a good thing. Give it plenty of time, like 2-3 weeks of primary fermentation to be sure its done. You likely weren’t sold a hydrometer setup, but I would order this for future batches…it takes away the guesswork in these situations. ie, you would be able to confirm that your yeasties are gobbling up the sugars by documenting the specific gravity has fallen significantly(or not).

Thank you!!

Pick up a finishing hydrometer to check the specific gravity. The graduated markings on a finishing hydrometer are spaced farther apart for easier and more accurate reading. These hydrometers read from about 0.980 to 1.020. If you brew kits for a while you don’t need to check the original gravity. The OG will be as the recipe states when all the fermentables of a kit are used and the volume in the fermentor is correct.

An adhesive thermometer strip on the outside of a bucket or carboy is one of the best ways to monitor the temperature of the fermentation. You won’t need to open the fermentor to measure the temperature. Place near the 5 gallon mark. This will keep it out of the water if you may use a swamp cooler/heater in the future for temperature control.

The remnants of the krausen ring can be left above the beer until you rack to the bottling bucket. The hop debris in the dried ring can sometimes be bitter.

I don’t take the first SG reading until around day 10 to 14 after the active fermentation had started. I’m not going to bottle for at least three weeks anyway. It takes about that long for the beer to clear in the primary. I don’t want excess suspended yeast and other sediments in the bottles. I like to pour the entire contents of the bottle if at all possible. The second SG reading is 5 days or a week later just to confirm the fermentation is complete.

When you have emptied the fermentor check the volume markings, if marked, by adding a measured 5 gallons of water. Sometimes factory markings are not correct. (Instead of dumping this water add some PBW for cleaning.)

Welcome to the world of home brewing.

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@flars laid it our very well for you. Grab a hydrometer for future batches and get those fermentation temps down to low 60’s. I used to use glass carboys and I got rid of them before any of the horror stories I read about, happened to me. Only buckets for me now but as @brew_cat mentioned, they make plastic BMB and they are pretty nice. Stainless isn’t always in the budget but that is definitely the way to go

I recently bought the Anvil SS brew bucket for fermenting… a simple mod to it and it is just perfect for my needs, and not too expensive… Theres one more in my future. I have a glass one I’m trying to give away… no takers. :disappointed: Sneezles61

I was looking at the Anvil as well. Seems to be a solid (though a bit light) fermenter.

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I soldiered a 1/2" FPT bung to the top where the rubber stopper goes… 1 street elbow, a male barbed fitting for the air lock, (1/2" tubing down into a growler with water). The next piece is another fitting with the 1/2" flare… Thats where the gas will hook up so I can push brew into keg with CO2… Soon, I will locate a fridge, put some casters under it, a controller, having 2 fermenters in it… Good to go! Sneezles61

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