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HB2112

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So brewing my first batch and have a problem, fermentation started off slow and stopped. I know one mistake I made for sure I forgot to get starting SG reading before adding yeast and air lock. As it stands right now after 3 days in the fermenter the SG is at 1.020. After 24 hours I was expecting a fierce bubbling fermentation, as my friend put it, but there were no fireworks. So I cracked the lid on the bucket and you could hear some yeast bubbling. However after 48 hours and now 72 hours absolutely nothing. Here's a rundown of what I did (5 gallon recipe for porter from Rogue Valley Brewing Supply) ) 1. brought water up to 155F removed from heat added grains in bag for 30 minutes lifted bag and let the grains drain off into brew pot. Brought that to almost a boil then added malt extract returned to heat brought to a boil added 1 oz of Mt Hood hops continued boiling for 45 minutes added 2nd oz of hops. At 60 minutes removed hops (in a brew bag) added 1 tsp of yeast nutrient. Cooled off to 85F and added another 2 plus gallons of cold filtered water to bring up to 5 gallons and stirred. Wort temp was at 75F at this point and I pitched the yeast (Imperial yeast ale house A01). I later read in the yeast specs that this yeast has a temperature range of 60-72F. Only thing I can think of is maybe the wort at 75F was too much and I killed them off. Could I add yeast energizer? Should I make a yeast starter with another bag of yeast and pitch that? The problem with yeast is the brew store is closed until Tuesday. I could use a different brand of ale yeast, but the local store that carries yeast has a different brand. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you. Oh I did stir gently this morning after taking SG reading everything smells OK and tasted what was in the SG cylinder and it tastes fine too.
 

palmtrees

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It sounds like everything is normal, actually. We know fermentation is happening because you saw some signs of active fermentation, and getting down to 1.020 shows the yeast is doing something. That's not an unusual gravity for three days in.

What was the recipe's OG? Since you're doing extract, the recipe should be pretty accurate to your actual OG unless you forgot some extract or added too much water at the end.

As a general rule, you can't rely on airlock activity as a measure of fermentation, particularly when using plastic buckets. The lids can easily leak CO2, meaning you could never see a bubble in the airlock yet still have a vigorous fermentation. And the strength of fermentation depends on a thousand factors (temperature, yeast type, how much oxygen is in your wort, gravity, etc). Even the same yeast can react very differently from batch to batch. A less violent fermentation doesn't tell you anything about the final product.

The best thing to do is let it sit for at least another few days, preferably a week, undisturbed. If you want, take another gravity reading then to confirm whether your gravity is still dropping.

As you get more practice, try to let it sit for ten to fourteen days without checking it. The more you open the lid, the more oxygen will get to your beer, and oxygen is your enemy after fermentation begins. Try not to stir it either, that just makes for more oxygen exposure.
 

RM-MN

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Your yeast are alive and doing exactly what they are supposed to do. It takes temps near 140F to kill yeast and they positively love 100F. Put the lid back on and leave the beer alone for another 2 weeks before you open it again. In the meanwhile, read this as it explains what the yeast do and when they do it.

 

RM-MN

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By the way, you don't need to add nutrient to the beer for the yeast. Fruit juices for wine do need it but work contains everything the yeast need.
 

D.B.Moody

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Welcome to brewing.

You didn't specify your yeast, but 75F doesn't kill yeast. It's not even close. Do you know what the expected final gravity was?
 
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HB2112

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Thanks everyone I'll leave it alone and check SG again in a week or so. DB the yeast is Imperial yeast ale house A01 or AOI
 

jrgtr42

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Extract brews often will stall out about 1.020. especially as a beginner, there's more advanced yeast handling techniques that can bring it down, as well as extract reshness issues that sometimes happen with kits.
presuming you had the right volume starting, the SG (OG) will have been roughly where the instructions say.
IN other words, you have beer.
 
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HB2112

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OK spoke with the guy at the brew shop yesterday, and he said that SG is right about where it should be at. He said that the beginning SG should have been right around 1.055 and when I checked a few days ago it was at 1.020. So I have not opened it again and won't for at least another week.
 
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HB2112

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Okay finished at 1.012 about a week later. Bottled 10 days ago and chilled a single bottle today to try it. Turned out good still not enough carbonation. I'll give it another 5 days. Oh I also upgraded from a brewing bucket to a Fermonster. Thanks everyone for your help.
 
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