Did weather kill my ferment?

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McLovin82

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2 weeks ago I brewed my first batch of homebrew (Light Ale from morebeer.com). I noticed that the original gravity was way below where they said it would be (1.025 instead of 1.043), but thought oh well. Anyway, within 12 hours I had a nice thick layer of krausen so I was on my way.

After 3 days of fermenting we had a weather drop of around 40 degrees outside and the ferment stopped. I checked the gravity and it was 1.012 (1.70% ABV), I tried warming the carboy, rocking the carboy, and even adding more yeast, nothing re-started the ferment.

Well, if you forget my OG measurement and use what they said it would be, the IG I measure works out to exactly the right number (4.05% ABV). I double checked the OG, and I would swear, swear that I measured it correctly.

So, did the weather kill my ferment? Or do I just need to learn how to better hear a hydrometer?
 

llazy_llama

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So, did the weather kill my ferment? Or do I just need to learn how to better hear a hydrometer?
Interestingly enough, the answer is neither.

I'm assuming this was an extract batch. The most common mistake new extract brewers make is not stirring the wort enough to properly mix the wort with the top off water. Not a big deal, because fermentation will mix things out. I did the exact same thing my first time, so there's nothing to be ashamed of here.

If this was a recipe kit, it's pretty hard to botch the OG unless you just left out a few lbs of malt extract. That being the case, let's assume your OG was at 1.043 or at least pretty darn close. If your fermentation started quickly, three days isn't an unreasonable amount of time for fermentation to finish, or at least come close to finishing. Let it sit for at least a week if you're going to rack to secondary, then rack to secondary. Alternatively, you can leave it in the primary for a month, then bottle from there.

tl;dr, Your beer is fine. You probably know how to use your hydrometer, and the weather had nothing to do with it. All is well. :mug:
 
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