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3 peice airlock/activity question

New brewer on first batch here… Brewed my first batch of pale ale Sunday AM. Woke up this morning to find my airlock bubbling away but it’s like it puts three or four bubbles out, then 3 or 4 seconds, then more bubbles etc.

Since I’ve never been in this position before I just wonder if that’s normal activity? When I got home from work it’s doing the same thing. Bubbles with seconds in between? Seems to be doing alright but again, it’s my first time so I wanted to make sure.

It’s Thames Valley 2 btw.

Thanks in advance.

You’ll see everything from no bubbles to a constant Metallica double-bass drumbeat - all perfectly normal. Higher-temp, higher-gravity ferments will go crazy and if you have a leaking lid or bung you might not see any bubbles at all.

That rate sounds completely normal for an average-gravity beer that is at a good fermentation temperature. It may speed up a little over the next day or two, then gradually taper off as most of the sugar is used up by the yeast.

Thanks for the replies. It’s definitely not a ‘high’ gravity beer. Just didn’t know what to expect. It’s weird, I pitched my yeast, closed the bucket and thought to myself, “should I mix the yeast into the beer with a spoon or what?” ha… I guess you dump it in, close it up and let those guys go to work. I assume the yeast propagates and spreads throughout the bucket eating all the sugar till it’s gone.

Keep it on the cool side and let it ferment out fully. Give it around 3 weeks before checking the gravity and the yeast will clean up after themselves, removing certain compounds that produce off flavors. Welcome to the hobby!


3 Weeks? I was planning on dry hopping in a 5 gal carboy with an ounce of cascade. I figured 2 weeks tops in the bucket fermenting, then another week in the carboy for dryhop. Will that work or should I leave it on the yeast longer than two weeks, assuming final gravity is hit and fermenting has ceased.

you can just dryhop in the primary. no need to transfer.

:smiley: My legs cramp up any time I watch One.

Unless you plan on harvesting yeast, then you don’t want extra hop particles to deal with, so secondary is acceptable if you plan to harvest yeast.

I’m a fairly novice brewer with 4 batches under my belt and I’ll second the waiting 3 weeks advice. If you don’t wait you’ll probably get a good beer but the extra time can really help the yeast clean up and make a great beer.

3 out 4 batches the krausen didn’t fall begin to fall out until 2.5 weeks plus. the last 2 batches I’ve let go 3 weeks in primary and then 3-4 weeks in secondary and the difference in taste and clarity was very noticeable.

It’s hard to wait and even more so on your first couple of batches but patience will pay off.

Sounds like I’m in for a wait then.

Doesn’t racking it to the secondary help clear the beer as well? With all the advice pointing towards dry hopping in the primary I’m just wondering if putting it in a carboy to dryhop is worth it or not now.

eta: The beer is fermenting at 64 degrees right now. It started out 60 to 62 for the first two days. I did turn the heat up a bit last night which could explain the temp rise to 64, but it could also just be the fermentation raising the temps.

You guys think 64 is alright for Thames Valley which requires 62 - 72? Or should I turn the heat back down and get the temp back nearer to 60?

64 is fine, the higher the temp, the more fruity flavors and sometimes fusel alcohols you will get, depending on the yeast. an increase of a couple of degrees is not unusual, and won’t hurt anything. It usually takes temps in the 70’s or higher to get off flavors though, and some yeasts, especially Belgian ones, like higher temps, but those styles tend to have more fruity, spicy yeast flavors that you don’t want in english or american ales. I have used that yeast around 70 with good results.

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