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White film around airlock during fermentation

I just started home brewing and began fermenting my first batch about 3 days ago. I am making the Block Party Amber Ale from the Northern Brewer Kit. About 12 hours after sealing the fermentation bucket and inserting the air lock, I noticed a white film developing around the bung for the air lock on the top of the fermentor lid (photo attached). I haven’t opened the lid to check on the wort, but I don’t know what the film is? Is my batch ruined?
The air lock is actively bubbling and I have the carboy in a dark room around 65 degrees.

I think you’re fine. 12 hours would be way too soon for some type of overwhelming infection to propagate. Probably just some dried cleaner or wort/condensation. As far as an exhuberant fementation, maybe a little too soon for that and you would have krauesen filling your air lock and blowing it out.

TL;DR version, you’re fine.

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I’m with @voodoo_donut; the stuff in the airlock stem is just condensation; the stuff on the lid looks like dried PBW to me. What did you use for cleaning and for sanitizer?

Also, It’s hard to tell in the picture, but is there airlock fluid* in that airlock? If not get some, just enough to keep the trap filled.

*Star San is preferred, but any (cheap) booze, will do. I.e kills bacteria, but OK for humans.

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what @jmck said…looks like airlock is dry to me as well!

I also forgot to add: Welcome to the forum, and to the hobby!

The big piece of advice: If you haven’t already done so, go buy another recipe kit. Nobody makes great beer their first time out. For some reason first time brewers get disheartened by mediocre homebrew worse than first time bakers making a sh***y pie. Plan on practicing; your product will improve. Every other hobby depletes your beer supply; but this one increases it!

Also, all the kits basically omit talking about temperature control during fermentation, and it’s actually important. Each yeast lists a temperature range. Try to keep your brew somewhere 5-10 deg below the max until the kreusin falls. I don’t want to information overload, so I’ll just leave it at that for now. Once you get a couple batches done, you’ll see there is tons of info on why’s and how’s of temp control from free on up.


Thanks for all of the help! For the sanitizer I just used the oxygen wash powder that northern brewer sent with the kit. I used that wash to fill the air lock too!

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Sounds like what you used is the PBW that came with kit. That’s used for cleaning and is not a sanitizer, pick up some Star San for that. Add a hydrometer to your next order if you don’t have one already. Takes the guesswork out of knowing if your brew is done fermenting.

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I still don’t understand why NB doesnt put starsan in their starter kits.

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