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August 19, 2021 2 min read

What to do if your airlock isn’t bubbling? 

So you have added the yeast 2 days ago and the airlock still isn’t bubbling. Check the common problems and solutions below to this issue.

Note: The only true way to confirm if your brew is fermenting is to take a sample and use the hydrometer. This will show if there’s activity as the reading will drop each day.


1: Leaks

If your airlock isn’t bubbling it may be due to a poor seal between the lid and bucket or around the rubber grommet in the lid. The brew may be fermenting but the CO2 is escaping elsewhere and not coming through the airlock.

Ensure the lid is sealed tightly all the way around and the rubber grommet is fitting snug with the airlock pushed well into it.

2: Airlock has too much water

If you add too much water to the airlock, the resistance caused by the excess water will force the CO2 to escape elsewhere such as around the rubber grommet.

Remove the airlock and reduce the amount of water in it. 3-4mm past the U bend on each side is more than enough.

3: Too cold

If the brew gets too cold, fermentation may slow down or stop altogether. Most beers ferment between 20-24°C but make sure to double-check your specific brew. Below 20°C fermentation will be reduced and below 15°C fermentation will stop altogether.

Move the brew to a warmer location and wrap the fermenter with blankets to help insulate. You can also use heat pads or heat belts which will help keep the temperature up. Read more about keeping your beer warm during fermentation here.

4: Poor sanitization

Using a harsh sanitiser that leaves a residue (e.g. Bleach) or not rinsing properly after cleaning can cause damage to the yeast and possibly kill it.

Make sure you thoroughly rinse off any residue or sanitiser after cleaning your equipment before you start brewing.