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Homebrew Q&A: Why Your Bubbler Isn't Bubbling

Question:  Just brewed a new batch of IPA 3 days ago and the bubbler is not showing any bubbling activity. Just wondering if I need to add more yeast? Just trying to knock out some ideas.

Answer:  Bubbling is not always going to be a dependable sign of fermentation. There are ways that gas can escape out the bucket lid (I’m assuming it’s in a bucket) or the airlock can kind of get stuck in a spot that lets gas escape. I recommend pulling the lid off and looking for foam on the top of the beer (or signs that there was foam). If you see foam, fermentation is happening. If there’s no foam, take a gravity sample. If the gravity is unchanged from when you pitched your yeast, then you need to repitch. Assuming you added healthy yeast at roughly the proper temperature, it’s very unlikely that nothing happened or is happening. -Bell's General Store Manager and residential homebrew expert. 

- David Curtis, Bell's General Store Manager and resident homebrew expert

This post is a part of an occasional homebrew Q&A series. Bell’s founder and president Larry Bell began brewing his own beer in the late 1970s after working at Sarkozy Bakery in Kalamazoo where he learned about yeast and fermentation. Larry opened his homebrew supply store, Kalamazoo Brewing Co., in 1983, which later became Bell’s Brewery. Homebrewing is still a big part of who we are. This series is an homage to our homebrew origins - one of the ways we give back to the community that helped us get to where we are today.  Homebrew equipment and supplies can be purchased online or in person at our General Store.

Have a question of your own or need some homebrew advice?

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Dark Night 2019

Join us the week of Dec. 16 for our annual celebration of the longest nights of the year, the Winter Solstice, with great beer. 

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