Had Krausen, but no airlock activity

I am brewed my first batch ever on Saturday (caribou slobber), I followed the instructions meticulously. I thought i was doing ok, because shortly afterword i had several inches of thick krausen.

However as of today the Krausen is gone, and i have still yet to notice any airlock activity. The seal seems tight, the room does not smell of beer, the temperature is around 68 degrees.

Should i be worried about my fermentation ?
I have been reading around, some forums suggest that more yeast might be needed ?

any advice would be appreciated, thanks.

It does seem odd that you have not noticed any activity in the airlock. And you are sure your seal is tight? It’s not uncommon for the Krausen to form quickly and then drop, but airlock activity is still evident even after that (at least in my experience).

There are far more experienced brewers on this forum that will hopefully chime in on your situation, but my thought is to let it go. As long as you keep the lid closed, you should be fine. Give it another week, and then take a gravity reading. Only then will you know if fermentation is complete. If you take two readings over a two day period and the gravity has not changed, then you either are finished fermenting, or it’s stuck. In which case, a stuck fermentation might require a change in temperature or adding more yeast.

Just let it sit for a while and see what happens in a week. My two cents.

Thanks for the reply. I did check the seal, and its tight, i don’t think that’s the issue. I will give it some time (maybe a week ?) then check the gravity.

I’m guessing your using a carboy if you could see the krausen? Air lock activity is a poor judgement of fermentation. Using a hydrometer to check gravity is the proper way. However 3 days at 68 degrees fermentation is probably more or less complete. But that doesn’t mean the yeast is done. I would let it go. Relax don’t worry and have a homebrew!

what kind of fermenter are you using? Big Mouth bubblers have been known to not seal completely, and if you have a bucket…the lid is more than likely not sealed. (gently press down all the way around the edge to check). FWIW, the CS kit usually ferments fast, so you may not see any activity at this point anyway. But the krausen ring means active ferm has taken place, so I’d say you are fine.
Great Kit BTW.

My first batch (am wheat) did the same thing…had not got the lid to seal all the way on my bucket. With the yeast producing CO2, there should be enough pressure in the vessel to disallow any nasties into your beer.

Also, give this one some time in the bottle. It’s VERY good fresh, but AMAZING after a few months!!!

Welcome to homebrewing! This forum is an excellent tool…great people with great info :cheers:

I agree, the problem is probably with the seal. The Caribou Slobber extract kit with the Danstar Windsor yeast is pretty dependable. Are you using the glass carboy/bung airlock arrangement that comes with the starter kit from NB? That setup seals well. I had problems initially with the Big Mouth Bubbler plastic carboy but use keglube now on the seals, airlock and blowoff tubes with no further problems now.

I am using the Big Mouth Bubbler and airlock that came with the kit, both are plastic. I will stop at the store this week to pick up a hydrometer, should i be picking up a glass airlock as well ?

I appreciate all the support.

There’s no need for a glass airlock. The airlock isn’t the problem here. Cairbou Slobber from what I’ve seen and read tends to ferment out pretty quickly. My CS did pretty much the same thing, it went nuts for about a day and a half then it seemed it pretty much stopped.

As mentioned above, airlock activity is not a good indicator of fermentation anyway. You really just need to check the gravity. There could be a problem with your seal and that’s why you don’t see any bubbles, but that’s really not that big of a deal. You need to determine if fermentation actually took place or not, and the best way to do that is a gravity reading. Unfortunately you won’t know what your starting gravity was, but if you followed the directions it should be close to the OG on the recipe.

I recommend getting a beer thief, a test jar, and the hydrometer itself. Take a sample and test the gravity. Record your findings and come back in a few days and do another test. If the gravity is the same, chances are it’s pretty much done.

For me, I typically wait a couple of weeks depending on beer style, then take a sample. I wait a few more days, then take another sample. I’ll then take one more sample in a day or so. I like to have three tests for some reason. If they are all the same, it’s definitely done. I’m usually not in a rush so even if it’s done I might let it sit for another couple of weeks before I get around to bottling it.

I did a caribou slobber around Christmas. Within 8 hours of pitching I had to use the blow off tubing. It continued bubbling for probably 1-2 days then slowed dramatically to the point I rarely ever saw the airlock bubble if at all. It’s bottle conditioning now so I can’t say it tired out ok, but ur not alone.

[quote=“sattermc”]I am using the Big Mouth Bubbler and airlock that came with the kit, both are plastic. I will stop at the store this week to pick up a hydrometer, should i be picking up a glass airlock as well ?

I appreciate all the support.[/quote]
There you go… leaky seal. Leave it alone as the yeast continues to work. This is why airlock activity is the LAST thing to verify fermentation.
Things that affect how quickly wort ferments:

  1. temp of fermentation (actual v. Ambient)
  2. amount of yeast
  3. yeast viability (health)
  4. OG of wort
  5. yeast strain

What temp were you fermenting? Is is ambient or actual?

If you have the plastic big mouth bubbler, then it is definitely the fermenter. They don’t seem to hold a seal well because there is no gasket built into the lid.

Ambient I guess. I am doing it in the guest room of the house (Wife is THRILLED :smiley: ), the thermostat is set at a steady 68 degrees.

It is the plastic big mouth.

Guess i won’t worry about it then, and assume because of the krausen initially, that it should be ok.

You should be fine. this beer does well with a little age (brings out more of the subtle flavors of the malt…raison, toffee, etc.). It is similar to Moose Drool, only BETTER. Welcome to homebrewing!! You will learn something almost every batch…case in point.

Ambient I guess. I am doing it in the guest room of the house (Wife is THRILLED :smiley: ), the thermostat is set at a steady 68 degrees.[/quote]
This is a good start. Remember that heat is a result of fermentation. So if your room is 68° your beer is fermenting about 5° warmer (so likely 73° - 75°). This is borderline too hot which results in off flavors and fusel alcohols.

Luckily for you a simple swamp cooler will very easily keep those temps in check due to the thermal mass of the cooler water. Check out swamp coolers for ideas. If you want to drop the temps even further drop some ice in the water. Even further? Wrap a T-shirt around it and blow a fan on it.

And really, you don’t need to stress about a tight seal. You’re keeping any airborne nasties out with the lid. I have a couple of buckets that don’t seal tight and the only infection I’ve had I know was due to poor sanitation when taking gravity samples.

Anchor ferments Steam in big open fermenters. They were cleaning the day I visited, so I didn’t get to see them in action. :frowning:

I am pretty much in the exact same boat. I brewed the exact same day and have had the same relative results based on OP’s original description. I pulled gravity on this past saturday and again today (wednesday) and my FG is sitting at 1019 or 1018. It was that on both days. I am curious where Slobber finishes? I haven’t found a really consistent number I should look for. I thought 1020 or so was done but someone said it should come to about 1012 or so. Just curious about that FG number to look for. Thanks.