1st batch rookie question

Homebrew Talk - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Forum

Help Support Homebrew Talk - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Forum:

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.


Well-Known Member
Dec 18, 2007
Reaction score
Merritt Island
I brewed my first batch ever on 12/31. I used a true brew porter kit that uses ale yeast. After putting it in the carboy I put it in my basement and it started bubbling really well for two days before slowing down. I didn't know temperature affected fermentation until I read about it on these boards. I think my temp. in the basement was around 50-55 degrees. I checked the specific gravity on Saturday and it was about 1.210. I brought the carboy upstairs and bought a stick on thermometer. It's now at 65-68 degrees. I checked the gravity again Monday and it was still at 1.210. It's supposed to get down to around 1.1. I barely see any bubbling if at all. I want to rack it to another carboy, should I wait until the gravity gets to what the instructions say or can it stop where it's at and never get to 1.1?
What was your starting gravity? Did you make a full batch (probably 5 gallons) - if you used less water but the full amount of ingredients you would have a higher than expected SG and your FG might be higher as well. Also, are you sure that 1.10 is the expected FG? I've never made a porter but that's a pretty hearty beer, I would think it would have a fairly high FG, a 1.10 is pretty light.

Since the gravity has been steady, it's either done or it's stuck. I'd go ahead and rack to secondary.
My starting gravity was around 1.4 (I don't have any of the numbers with me) and the ending gravity is supposed to be 1.14 to 1.18. I looked a little closer this afternoon and it is still bubbling lightly. I asked a local brewer about it and he told me the cold could have killed the yeast. He suggested warming it up to see what would happen.
Don't forget your zero's. So your starting gravity was 1.040. When you took a reading it had dropped to 1.021 you should be able to get lower then that.

Give the fermenter a gentle swirl to get the yeast back into suspension and keep it up in the 65-70 range.
If it didn't freeze, you didn't kill your yeast. They are just sleeping! Like the others said, keep it around 70 degrees and gently swirl the fermenter to rouse that yeast. I can't image it'll go down to 1.010, but I'd expect 1.014- 1.016-ish.

Don't rack it (since the yeast probably fell out, you want to rouse it, not take it off of the yeast) until the sg is lower. What kind of yeast did you use?
Go ahead and give it a gentle stir with a long spoon that has been properly sanitized. Don't splash the beer because you don't want to introduce oxygen to it at this point. You just want to get the yeast that have settled out back into suspension. If you don't have a long enough spoon then use a racking cane or auto siphon. Also, wooden spoons should not be used for this either.
I decided to put the carboy in the sink with warm water. AS soon as the temperature hit 70 degrees the yeast starting floating to the top and the fermentation started going again. I left it it there over night with the temp. staying around 74-76. This morning it looked like the fermentation slowed way down. I can't wait to see what it's doing tonight.
That is about as high of a temp as you would want to go. Try to keep it at 68-70 for best results and to ensure you don't get any off flavors.
My specific gravity has been stuck at 1.021 now for over 5days. Should I rack it into a secodary carboy now or just keep waiting to see if it ever drops to 1.014?
What do you do if you don't hit the target number?