Disappointing ABV

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bluespook

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I pitched a Nut Brown Ale a week ago with a White Labs liquid yeast (British Ale 005). My target OG was 1.054, but I was short with 1.044. Didn't know what to do at that point...cooled and in primary. Anyway, I figured the ABV would be a bit lower, but no big deal.

I didn't make a starter...just poured the yeast in the fermenter. BTW, the yeast was from Austin Brewing, came with a cool pack and was in the fridge from the day it arrived. Date ok, etc. It took over 30 hours for the fermentation to get going and only seemed to work hard for 16 or so hours. It's now pretty well done bubbling. I was about to put into secondary, but was concerned, so I took a reading today and it was 1.018--FG target was 1.012. Now I think this is an actual of about 3.5% ABV with a target of 5.5% or so.

What, if anything, can I do at this point to move up the alcohol content. I have a packet of Safale -04 Ale yeast...can I make a starter and pitch that on top of the wort?

Any ideas??
 

Tenchiro

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Nothing you can really do about it now, It is fermenting and will continue to do so. How long has it been fermenting? If it has only been 2-3 days give it more time and it should drop some more.

Maybe pour in a pint of vodka. ;)
 

Yooper

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It should have dropped a few more points before you racked it. At this point, I'd just leave it alone and it it finish up. In a week or two, it might be a few points lower.
 

Malticulous

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If it was a extract kit it may be that you did not stir it vigorously enough. That not only helps to get a more accurate OG measurement but aerates the wort for better yeast propagation that will in turn yield a lower FG.
 

MgMt_Home_Brew

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I've never done it but like Coastarine said you could add some honey. The guy in my LHBS said something about putting in a specific type of sugar (I can't remember which) and more yeast to help boost the ABV. But like I said I have never done it....
 

PseudoChef

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If this was an extract kit with a partial boil, your O.G. was probably still around 1.054 - it's hard to come up short when you're using extract.

The low attenutation could be from a number of factors including the cell count, oxygenation of the wort, and temperature.
 

tdavisii

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Put a couple cups of dextrose (corn sugar) in that bad boy. That will boost the alcohol up a little with small flavor changes.
 
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