Accidentally Cold Crashed a Brown Ale During Peak of Fermentation

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Kurt Cograin

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First off, long time/first time as they say in radio. I'm not sure where to post this so I figured here might be a good place to start. I've been poking around a lot trying to see if anyone's had similar problems but apparently the comedy (tragedy) of errors that brought me here are unique.

I had a 1 gallon batch of"Northern English Brown" from Palmer's "Brewing Classic Styles" going in my fermenter. I had my glass carboy in a mini fridge with an inkbird controller to regulate temperature. I would say a majority of the time the inkbird keeps the fridge off. I don't actually have a heating mat hooked up to it tho. I've never had problems heating my Fermenter, the house temp is usually pretty consistent, only ever keeping it cool. We left the house for 3 days and apparently the house's heater never kicked in while we were gone. Before we left it there was a lot of bubbling in the airlock. When I got home and checked on the Fermenter the inkbird was reading 40°F.

Can an English ale yeast "rest" for that long, at that temperature without ruining the brew? Will I be able to reactivate the current yeast or will I need to repirch with fresh yeast? Needless to say I've got a hydrometer kit and heating mat coming in the mail, is there anything else I can do?
 

odie

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I did the same thing with a Dopplebock several months ago. I just let the keg warm back up and it finally finished up.
 

D.B.Moody

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We left the house for 3 days and apparently the house's heater never kicked in while we were gone.
Your gallon of beer should be fine, but have you figured out why your heat never kicked on? It could be a long, cold winter.
 

SouthForkBrew

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For sure warm it back up to ale temps. The beer is fine and the yeast will do what yeast do. However, depending on the strain of yeast it might just be done. If there is no activity after warming/rousing the yeast make sure to take a reading. You said you used English Ale yeast which makes me think of US-04 which has a tendency to be a BEAST in certain situations. I've had it ferment a clean tasting bitter, 1.048 down to 1.010 in less than 48 hours. Just something to keep in mind.
 
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