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What to expect

After much reading, what I cannot seem to pin down are the expectations. What should I expect to see within the first 24 hours of pitching the yeast and storing the fermenter? 48 hours? One Week?

And the timeframes of warning signs. Like, if so-and-so hasn’t happened within a day, two days, a week, then something is wrong?

I have the Go Pro Small Batch kit.After brew day, about 24-48 later, I some flotsam on top (no more than one finger thick at most) but no action in the airlock. Now, at five days past brew day, nothing. No bubbles or anything floating on top and no action in the airlock. It looks flat, like just a batch of tea. I would expect that there would be a lot of action at this point.

I am meticulous at following directions, so I am cannot figure it out.


Wow, nothing on the sides of the fermenter? You have any spare yeast, and a hydrometer? Do have both at yer ready, sanitize the heck out of all that will touch yer brew, take a sample and see what the reading is. It should be considerably lower than the Starting reading. If not, hydrate yer yeast, if its a dry yeast, and pitch it. you are close to the end of saving it. Don’t be too crazy just yet. Patients may save yer brew. Sneezles61

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A couple more details would be helpful. Fermentation temp? Amount of yeast pitched and was it dry or liquid? Here is a NB video link for a time lapse of fermentation. NB Riddle of fermentation. Airlock is a poor judge of fermentation. It is possible that you didn’t get a good seal on the little big mouth bubbler lid.

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That’s a no to both. The kit didn’t come with a hydrometer and, per the instruction, I used half of the yeast packet and chucked the rest.

Hydrating the yeast is yet another thing that the instructions never mentioned.

The wort was at about 70F when I pitched the dry yeast in. The instructions never mentioned anything about hydrating it first. I don’t recall how much yeast there was, but it is the 1-gallon Caribou Slobber. Per instructions I used half of the packet.

The lid of the bubbler felt like it screwed one smoothly. I’ll double check that it threaded correctly, though.

Oh, and thanks for the video. I had forgotten what it feels like to be stoned. LOL

I’m sure you’re fine. That finger of foam was likely your fermentation. Usually, I expect to see activity start between 10-30 hours after pitching yeast. If I don’t see anything after 36, I worry. Usually, things are done visibly four or five days after seeing activity start. Sometimes quicker.

Caveats: if your temp is warm, things can happen faster. If you’re doing a big beer, things can take longer. Even if the visible part is done, your yeast is still doing important things, so let it be after the foamy bubbling stops.

If you sanitize something to take a small sample, taste it. It should be pretty obvious… fermented beer will taste like warm, flat beer. Unfermented wort will taste like sickly sweet syrup. Again, I think you probably are fine. Lids are famous for not sealing. Even if the lid isn’t cross threaded, air can escape easily. No big deal, just makes brewers nervous.


I checked. The lid is on tight. The airlock and stopper are tight, also.

Right now:

  • There is just the thinnest island of flotsam across the surface, covers about one-third of the surface.
  • There is residue that goes about a full inch up the side of the glass, so something happened at some point.
  • And there is a layer of light colored sediment on the bottom.

RDWHAHB. I’m sure everything is fine. As mentioned at 70° things can happen quickly especially in a small batch. If it started around 70° active fermentation increased the temp 5-10° higher.

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Your description matches what i would have hoped to see!

I brew a lot of one gallon batches with the little bubbler and my typical timeline matches what you described.

I’ll update this post with more info when i get to a real keyboard.
update: I missed @uberculture’s post the 1st time I read this thread. What he describes is what I typically see for my one gallon batches when I use 1/2 packet of yeast - no need for me to repeat that here.

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Awesome! Thanks, folks. I guess because I had no idea what timeframe things happen in, I just thought that active fermentation happened for a much longer period. I mean, if it takes two weeks between brew day and bottling, I would have thought that I would be seeing action for at least half of that time. I didn’t know that the show was over within the the first 2 days.

Phew! Thanks for talking me down off the ledge.

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Patience is the key word. And make sure everything is super clean. You might want to buy a hydrometer. Most the time instructions are on the bottom of the box. Like i find out later. Other wise check. Nb beer instructions you find the recipy there. Any way good luck

What does this mean?

Relax Don’t Worry Have A Home Brew! One of the fore fathers of brew books, Charlie Papazian’s quote! Since you are doing one gallon batches, taking a sample out to check gravity is detrimental to yer quantity, I’ve read that some small batch brewers put the hydrometer right into brew to check. Always sanitize what ever is going to come in contact with it first. Its a fun hobby and the rewards for making great brews is holy grail we reach for! Sneezles61


Good advice. I toss the hydrometer I’m my 5 gallon bucket to check terminal gravity. Don’t need to clean the thief or text jar. You know how I hate to clean more than I have to

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I still find it hard to believe that the brewing starter kits don’t include a hydrometer.

@foscojo, for your next batch, you’ll want to try to ferment at around 65* F, rather than 70*. There have been a number of forum posts that offer ideas on how to do this with gallon batches and carboys or the little big mouth bubbler that comes with the Go Pro Small Batch kit.

If you can’t find the posts or have more questions, there are lots if great people here that are willing to share their experience and passion.

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