Did I mess up my first batch by adding sugar?

So I brewed my first batch two weeks ago and it was the “block party Amber Ale” by Northern Brewer. I didn’t get a chance to check my OG but my FG reading was sitting around 1.020… After reading around it seemed like a few others had problems with stuck fermentation around this gravity as well and it was suggested to add a pound of corn sugar to start it back up. So I added a pound of corn sugar and am now worried that I messed up my first batch of beer… Is this going to ruin the flavor or anything?

Its not going to ruin your beer it will be fine. Did it start fermenting again?

I re read your post. What made you think your fermentation stopped in the first place? Two weeks is a minimum.

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Ah I was just being super critical of it since it was my first brew and everything seemed to be finished within the first few days as I had higher temperatures then expected and then a super cold night where everything just stopped from there on out.

After adding the sugar, fermentation is bubbling away as active as it did at the start

The cold may have knocked down the yeast. Try to keep the fermentation temp constant. You could wrap a blanket around it to offset temperature swings a bit

So in a case such as that… What would you have suggested to get it started again? And ill give the blanket wrap a try

Standard advice is to maintain a cool, constant temperature for the first few days, then gently let it warm. If things seem to slow down earlier than usual, let it ride (often times, the last part of fermentation isn’t as visible as the early times). If you really are stuck, rousing the yeast into suspension at a warmer temperature can help. Very last resort would be to make up a yeast starter, and pitch it at its most active (don’t do this unless you’re in a really bad spot).

Yeast does not like temperature swings. As @brew_cat said it can cause the yeast to drop into dormancy. Temperature swings can also stress the yeast, producing off flavors. You might want to start looking at temperature control for your fermentors if you don’t have that perfect spot. The fermentor in a tub of water can mitigate ambient temperature swings. Adding a temperature controlled aquarium heater can prevent temps that are to low. Cooling can be done with plastic water bottles filled with ice or wet t-shirt supplemented with a fan for extra cooling, a swamp cooler. There are all sort of options out there. The most limiting factor is available funds.

NB has several pre-wired plug in and use controllers.

@flars Yeah I’m trying to keep my brew costs down still though… I’ve dropped over $300 into supplies and 4 different extract kits and still need to convince the wife that it was worth it… I’ve got to buy the rest slowly so she doesn’t notice as drastically. So far I’m enjoying my introduction to homebrewing though!

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This is a snapshot of a low cost swamp cooler. At an ambient temperature of 68°F I can get the beer up to 10°F cooler during active fermentation. I’ve used the restaurant bussing tray with an aquarium heater to hold newly filled bottles at 76°F for faster conditioning.

I’m in that same boat, justifying my spending. I usually point out that I’ve spent less than one of her trips to the mall.

Maybe nothing. More than likely it was done, not stuck. Extract batches often have a higher FG due to the composition of the extract. When you “started fermentation” again, what was really fermenting was the extra sugar you added.

Yeah i checked on it this morning and it seems to have stopped again (visibly at least) and seems to be clearing up again.

1.02 for a fg is pretty common when starting out. My first 4 batches were pretty much the same. You will improve that with more batches but I would not consider your fermentation stuck.