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how much should my airlocks be bubbling?

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kirknotes

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I have been in secondary fermenting now for about 2 weeks....none of my 1 gallon carboys are bubbling at the airlocks...is that normal?
 

balatonwine

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If you are still in secondary fermentation, bubbling my be happening, but just very slowly so you will not notice it unless you grab a cup of coffee and watch the airlock for a while. Wait time will depend on the air space you have.

Else, you may be done with fermentation. So you see no action in the airlock.

Or you have an air leak (usually true if the water level in the airlock is equal/level on the wine side and the air side).
 
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Smok1

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Check your sg, if youve been fermenting in the secondary for two weeks chances are its done. Your gonna want to rack off the lees and stabilize soon.
 

Scooter68

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Most likely Smok1 is correct - But you can also take some sanitizer and wet down your cap/cork and the airlock stem. The level of activity may be so low that the gases are leaking out through the normal gaps in those areas. (That's why folks often don't see any bubbling in their airlocks when they snap down a plastic lid on their primary fermentation buckets. LOTs of gaps in those seals.)
 

kirknotes

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Most likely Smok1 is correct - But you can also take some sanitizer and wet down your cap/cork and the airlock stem. The level of activity may be so low that the gases are leaking out through the normal gaps in those areas. (That's why folks often don't see any bubbling in their airlocks when they snap down a plastic lid on their primary fermentation buckets. LOTs of gaps in those seals.)
what about melting hot wax around those airlocks? Has anyone ever done that to ensure a really good seal or is that beyond necessary?
 

balatonwine

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Smok1

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Sounds like a mess trying to scrape wax off your carboy and bung. I spray my bung with k-meta before putting it on my carboy, it seems to make a perfect seal, a little slippery at first but after a few hours it drys and seals
 

Scooter68

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Beyond overkill, IMHO.
Very much agree - My suggestion was just a quick way, without doing an SG test, to check for fermentation continuing.

The whole point of the airlock is to permit gassing off. Except during aging, a minor airleak isn't a problem. I find I have to change out the airlock liquid about every 6 weeks at least and during that I usually wash the screw cap and refit it as well. Wetting down the cap and airlock hole is just an easy way to temporarily get a solid air seal to check for very low levels of gassing off that may be slipping past the airlock itself due to low low pressure.
 
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