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Old 11-21-2012, 01:13 AM   #1
OpieD
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Default Needadvice, Hurricane Sandy f---ed my fermentation

I brewed an extract and specialty grains IPA and started fermentation with S-04 yeast at 68 degrees. The process started out great the first 8 days, I almost blew the stopper out of the top of the carboy the batch was fermenting so violently. Then the hurricane hit and I lost power and heat in my house for two weeks. The beer was stored in my now 55 degree house for 14 days. The furnace was replaced and my house is back up to proper fermenting temperature for the last 5 days. I took a FG reading that read at 1.02 (OG 1.072) which should put me around 7 percent ABV.

The question becomes, is there a way to check if the yeast is still going to be active when I add the priming sugar and bottle? Do I bottle and hope for the best in two weeks or add more yeast and see if the FG level dips some more?

Thanks

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Old 11-21-2012, 01:16 AM   #2
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when you transfer to the bottling bucket im sure that will rouse enough of the yeast to make your beer carb as normal in a bottle.

55 degrees isn't enough to kill the yeast, just make them sleepy until they warm back up

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Old 11-21-2012, 01:21 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OpieD View Post

The question becomes, is there a way to check if the yeast is still going to be active when I add the priming sugar and bottle? Do I bottle and hope for the best in two weeks or add more yeast and see if the FG level dips some more?

Thanks
Assuming your ferment is finished, and a 1.020 sounds about typical, although I might expect a 1.018...

Anyhow to do this, you could 'proof the yeast' Easy in theory, tough in practice. Basically take some of beer and mix with a bit of sugar. Wait a bit to see if you get any carbonation signs. When testing yeast from the store for things like bread (or rehydration for brewing, etc) generally you see some activity in about 1/2 hours or less. You also use like 1/2 cup or so of water, not much more. You can warm your beer to about body temp to speed things along for the test.

The 'hard part' of proofing yeast, it is can still be good, but you might never see signs of it being active - ie no bubbles, no foam, etc. Again, easy to set up, but also easy to miss what you are looking for.

ArcticBear is correct though, 55, heck as long as you didn't freeze, some yeast should have survived, even frozen, some might have survived.
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Old 11-21-2012, 03:42 PM   #4
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Warm that sucker up and get it fermenting again. 1.020 is entirely too sweet for an IPA. A Maibock, no. But an IPA should be much drier.

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Old 11-21-2012, 03:57 PM   #5
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Hmm interesting. You are lucky temps went down not up. Probably helped our your beer, I bet it will be delicious. Yes the one poster is right about 1.020 being to high for an IPA to style, but when I brewed extract my recipes tended to end higher than my target FG. I would try and rouse the yeast by swirling the carboy around to stir up the yeast and give it another week, take a gravity reading and if it is still at 1.020 bottle up and let it age. Keep in mind at 7% it might take it longer than the normal 2 weeks to carb up.

What yeast did you use, how much?

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