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BeerNerd12 12-11-2012 06:24 PM

First post, Help Please!
Hello everyone, I started homebrewing about two months ago and I just began fermentation on my latest beer, a Belgian blonde ale from American Brewmasters(extract kit).

This brew has been in the fermenter since Sunday evening and after checking the airlock activity today I noticed it has slowed considerably, was very active yesterday. Upon doing a little investigation and checking the American Brewmasters website I just realized that they left out an entire bag(>1lb.) of light malt extract in my kit. I know it is my fault for not catching this sooner especially when the OG was so off but I did not even think about the possibility of ingredients being left out, I just assumed all the sugars were at the bottom of the bucket after having topped it off with water.

Is there anything I can do to fix this batch or is it pretty much 50 dollars down the drain?


unionrdr 12-11-2012 06:32 PM

Your sugars/extracts shouldn't be at the bottom of the bucket. They should be very well stirred to mix them with the boiled water & top off water if you're doing it that way. If the missing extract is DME,mix it with some boiled water & rack it in. Some have even dissolve DME in cool water to keep it from clumping in the BK. So you could dump it in the Fv & stir it without making any foam or bubbles.

conneryis007 12-11-2012 06:45 PM

As it stands now you will just have a lighter than expected beer. No need to dump the batch!

Or you could add the bag of LME as suggested above! No issues here if hydrated correctly.

Read up on a common use for adding sugars during the later stages of fermentation here:

DrunkleJon 12-11-2012 06:56 PM

You can mix the DME in. I do suggest dissolving it in a little boiling water as it doesnt hurt to make sure it is sanatized. If you dont put it in it will be thinner bodied and lower alcohol then it calls for but will still be beer.

As for airlock activity. Firstly lets start off with the fact that it is no indication of fermentation. Now that that is out of the way, the majority of fermentation happens all at once. Then the yeast clean up residual sugars and start breaking down and eating some of the slightly longer chain sugars while cleaning up some of the other compounds created during fermentation. This is why even though the gravity drops drasticly, we recommend not bottling or transferring before you get a consistent gravity reading 3 days in a row.

Horray, soon you will have beer.

unionrdr 12-11-2012 07:05 PM

It can't metabolize any of the long chain sugars. It slows down once initial fermentation is done. Then finishes the rest of the remaining short chain or simple sugars. Then eats the by products of fermentation that cause off flavors,etc. It does this last part after FG is reached (from eating all the simple sugars) & starts settling out clear or slightly misty. Then package. That seems to be your intended meaning drunkle.

corkybstewart 12-11-2012 07:12 PM


Originally Posted by DrunkleJon (Post 4672442)
Now that that is out of the way, the majority of fermentation happens all at once.

All at once? Like instantaneously? I know that's not true. I control the temp on my fermentations and normal time from OG-FG is 8-15 days, depending on the beer. I leave it in primary longer so the yeast and gravity can do some clean up, but I know fermentation is a process, not an instant occurrence.

unionrdr 12-11-2012 07:14 PM

I'm sure what he's referring to is what I termed initial fermentation. That first few days of vigorous fermenting activity.

twbalding 12-11-2012 07:22 PM

My first extract kit kicked off hot and basically died after 30 hrs but I learned that that's normal and you just need to sit tight.
What was your OG...? I agree that you'll just have a lighter beer. Not the end of the world.

DrunkleJon 12-11-2012 07:40 PM

Correct Union. Thank you for clarifying for me.

Yep. Instantaneous fermentation. Thats why your lids blow off. Kidding. Yes primary fermentation days. Maybe I should stop posting now as my brain wants to go home and drink a beer.

unionrdr 12-11-2012 07:43 PM

Initial fermentation in primary...but close enough for now. Gotta pick my son up from work & run him home. His newer car quit & my starts for a change. Hate to go out in this cold & breezy shizz. Need smokes anyway.

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