WineXpert question about starting fermentation

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Nov 21, 2016
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I've started fermenting an icewine kit. My bubbler isn't moving at all. I can use my finger and depress the lid slightly and watch as the bubbler moves but other than this no activity.

When I take the lid off I see a lot of very small bubbles coming to the surface of the juice. To me this indicates fermentation is taking place but why am I not seeing any activity even though my test seems to show the bucket is sealed enough for it to work.

This is the winexpert reisling icewine style kit. Everything checked out to spec regarding SG during initial testing.
Insofar as you are using what sounds to be a bucket as your primary there is no problem if the seal is not truly sealing the lid and or the airlock. And if the seal is not really tight then the CO2 will escape anyway it can and not through the airlock. Your description strongly suggests that despite whatever test you have applied* the CO2 treats your seal as wide open.

* if your test was simply to significantly reduce the volume of the bucket by applying pressure to the lid then a) that additional pressure may have been enough to prevent air from escaping through the edges of the lid but of course when you remove the pressure the lack of a sufficiently close fit between bucket and lid becomes evident again and b) the amount of air that your pressure was displacing may have been too much for it to have simply escaped through the poor fitting lid (and /or poor fitting gasket and airlock) and some may have been forced to use the airlock as its route out. But remember the CO2 being produced by the yeast is not exerting any pressure on the outside of the lid. It is exerting pressure from the inside - so again, the apparent test you describe is not really a convincingly good test... But take what I say with a couple of pinches of salt. I am a social scientist and not a natural scientist::

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