I recently purchased a home brew starter kit that comes with the block party amber ale. On brew day I decided to add an extra ingredient to the wort to increase the alcohol. OG came out to 1.084. Within 5 days, all fermentation had stopped. I measured the gravity at 1.028. I can tell up to where the foam cap went up (between 1 and 1.5 inches). The foam went back into the beer as it should after fermentation. Room temperature was 70 degrees F. Even though it was only 5 days and not 7 to 14, should I be thinking about bottling? It smells and tastes like beer. This is my first time brewing. Thanks.
Couple things for you here. When you say you added an extra ingredient, what did you add? If the room temperature was 70 degrees, your beer was likely fermenting 5-10 degrees warmer than room temp. This will tend to speed up the process but may also lead to some off flavors produced by the yeast fermenting so warm. What yeast did you use? 1.028 will result in almost a 7.5% beer. The recipe according to NB should produce about a 4.5% beer so this will likely be boozy tasting.
That being said, I would definitely let it sit for at least another week before attempting to bottle. Even if it looks like fermentation has completed, the yeast are still working to clean up after themselves. Typically you would want to leave it for at least two weeks. The easiest way to test if it’s done is to take a gravity reading 3 days apart. If the numbers don’t change, it’s done.
Take a look at Some of these posts regarding swamp coolers to help you keep temperature down during primary fermentation. I’d also recommend one of those temperature strips to stick on the side of your fermenter to give you a better idea of what temp the wort is fermenting at.
Go ahead and ask any other questions you may have, we’ll be happy to try to help out.
After visible fermentation, yeast is still doing good stuff. That “cleaning up after itself” sounded like hogwash to me as a beginner, but it is for real… yeast reabsorb and metabolize compounds that were created during active fermentation.
Also, 1.028 seems a little high… I’d expect a few more points to come down. It’s great that you’re measuring gravity… give it a few days and measure again to see if it’s still falling. If you have stable gravity over a few days, then you’re closer to bottling.
Long story short, you might have reached final gravity in 5 days. Bottling too early is risky, giving it a little time is not going to hurt anything, and will likely improve things. Even if it’s just giving the beer time to drop clear.
I wouldn’t consider bottling this one yet. More time in the fermentor will allow the beer to clear and for the yeast to do any clean up of off taste fermentation by products.
1.028 is a very high finishing gravity. Too high for the beer to be considered done fermenting unless this SG was taken with a refractometer. When alcohol is present refractometer readings need to be corrected.
Which yeast did you use?
Refractometer correction tool link.
The extra ingredient was maple syrup. I used the yeast that came with the kit.
Thank you all for the recommendations. I will wait the full 2 weeks and see where it stands.
I would now do what you can to cool it down whilst you wait… say 65-ish… Quiet, dark corner some where… Sneezles61
I’m going to be disagreeable. I apologize. I would keep the beer at the 70°F ambient now. If the yeast is going to do any more it will do better at room temperature. The yeast will slowly finish the maple syrup without a great temperature increase to the beer.
Was this pure maple syrup or store bought with preservatives?
No need to apologize… Its all good! Sneezles61
Maple syrup is all simple sugar- glucose, fructose and sucrose, so it was like adding table sugar to your brew. All fermentable to CO2 and alcohol. So the yeast munched on all that easy stuff first and is now slowly working on the more complicated sugars from the malt (gross simplification).I agree with everyone else- 1.028 is not finished. Give her another week at your room temp., then chill for another 2 weeks before bottling. And be prepared for her to have a good kick.
Pure maple syrup. No preservatives at all
Im ready for it to have a kick. That’s the reason why I decided to add the maple syrup. Is there a reason why I should chill the beer before bottling it? What temperature should I be looking at?
One other possibility would be an underpitch.
If we assume the online kit instructions
are correct, then the yeast would have been
It appears that Morton’s Ale Yeast is a 6 gram package
It may be that the right amount of yeast was pitched (although the right amount appears to be more than what came with the kit). And there may be other reasons why the measured SG is higher than expected.
I prefer clear beer, so after 2-3 weeks of fermentation, I always chill it down to as close to 32 as I can get it, hit it with gelatin, and let it sit for at least a couple days before bottling. But that’s just me, others don’t bother with the cold conditioning phase.