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Am I completely Screwed?

Brand new brewer here (only one batch in, so forgive the nub verbage)


I brewed a batch of the Deadringer Ale 4 days ago and was concerned after 2 days of seeing no bubbles come out the airlock. Well…yesterday, I noticed that it lost it’s amber color and clear consistency and now looks like 5 gallons of chocolate milk. Before, it had the perfect dark red color and smell of centennial hops.

I had a few too many while I was making this batch, so it’s tough to think back, but I think I may have forgotten to add the yeast. Please save the ridicule; the loss of $50 and potential beer is enough for me. I’ll chalk this one up to a learning moment, but I do have 2 questions though:

  1. As I can’t thoroughly remember, does this outcome match my best guess at what the problem might be?

  2. Am I completely Screwed?

Thanks for the help in advance.

bubbles aren’t usually a good sign of active fermentation. The buckets don’t always seal all the way and CO2 could be escaping out the cracks of the bucket seal.

if you did add the yeast you would see a slight “crust” stuck to the insides of the fermenter just above the level of the liquid. I assume you don’t have a hydrometer to check the gravity to see what it currently is? I suggest getting one if you plan on brewing again. its the only way to really know when a beer is done fermenting.

Right now I would sanitize a turkey baster or just a small container and scoop some out. take a sip. If it’s really sweet, you probably forgot to add the yeast. If you didn’t pitch the yeast (and cant find the yeast you were supposed to pitch) you could buy more yeast and pitch it but the longer it is without yeast, the greater the chance another organism (like bacteria or a wild yeast) decides to move in and make a home of your beer.

I agree with Matt. If its been four days since you brewed and you did NOT pitch that would not be good unless you were REALLY good sanitizing everything.

I’m not going to ridicule you but hard lesson to learn. Been there and when you are drinking too much while brewing simple things are easily overlooked.


I am 99% sure I added the yeast as I can’t find it anywhere including the area it should definitely be in if I didn’t grab it.

I’ll upload a picture tomorrow but I just think something is wrong. Is it possible the DeadRinger could be this color and nothing be wrong? Again, I’m new and learning, so could very easily be wrong.

Thanks again for the help

Beer gets milky looking when it’s fermenting. That’s because there is so much yeast in it that you can see it. Two days seems like a reasonable amount of time for the fermentation to get going. Is the surface covered by a layer of foam? If yes, you are on track to having beer. Don’t pay attention to the airlock; there are many reasons why it could fail to bubble even if fermentation is proceeding properly.

The beer will begin to clear after all the sugars are consumed, and the yeast will slowly drop to the bottom. By the time it is ready to bottle, it will look clear again.

OK, you guys convinced me. I’ll keep giving it a shot and check back in a few more days.

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