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Fermentation stopped after just two days

Made my first batch of irish red ale (kit from NB) and I thought I followed the directions exactly, but I went to check on the fermenter tonight and nothing is happening. The first two days it was foaming and bubbling the air lock like crazy, now nothing.

What now?! Is the batch ruined? Can it be jump started again? What do I do?

It’s done with the active stage of fermentation. Now you have to let it sit for another week so the yeast can clean up after itself.

Thats good news! :cheers:

+1. Also what was the beer temp, or if you don’t know whet was the room temp?

I am experiencing the very same issue with the same kit. The original gravity was 1.040 instead of the suggested 1.044. With that said, is only a few days of active fermentation ok? My plan is to let it sit for about another week and transfer it to the secondary. Any thoughts or suggestions are appreciated.

THanks!

Hydrometer readings are the only way to tell if fermentation is complete. Take your first reading two weeks after initial fermentation began. Take another two days later. If they are the same fermentation is complete. A few more days for the yeast to clean up natural off flavors, the sediment to compact in the cake and you will be ready to bottle.
There is no reason to rack to a secondary even though it is in the instructions. Given three weeks in the primary your beer will be just as clear as if racked to a secondary vessel. Secondary vessels are typically used for additions.
Extremely active initial fermentation can indicate the wort was to warm and the yeast fermented outside the optimal range.
Higher or lower OG with extract can just mean the top off water and boiled wort were not completely mixed. With a kit you can usually use the estimated recipe OG if the volume in the fermentor is correct for the recipe.

+1. Also what was the beer temp, or if you don’t know whet was the room temp?[/quote]

The room the beer sits in is a constant 70*.

A 70 degree temp will speed up fermentation temp and could leave some off flavors in your beer. If you are brewing 5 gallon batches the temp is rising even higher as the yeast get working. You still made beer, if it is not to your liking, research fermentation temperature control for your next batch. :cheers:

Saisons or other Belgians are fine at 70’s after the first few days (start them lower and let them rise), but most beers will be better served by cooler fermentation temperatures.

If you’re using Nottingham, the default yeast for the NB Irish Red, then the behavior you describe is typical based on my experience. I use a lot of Notty and it is very active for the first 2 - 3 days. By the end of day 3, the activity slows down significantly. The room where I ferment this time of year is a bit cooler though (around 64 F). I don’t bother racking to a secondary … I just leave it in the primary for three weeks. Several days prior to bottling I move it to the unheated part of my basement.

Just let it sit, I’m sure you’ll be just fine.

BTW: If you do move it to a cooler area just prior to bottling, you might want to put vodka or similar in your airlock. I’ve seen the volume decrease enough (due to cooling) to suck in a bit of the liquid from the airlock. No sense risking a possible infection.

Thanks for all the responses. I think I will move the carboy its fermenting in into the basement, it should drop the temp by a few degrees.

No, not now. If you cool it now you are risking a stall and then the yeast won’t finish the clean up they need to.

You don’t want to decrease temperature during the fermentation (unless it gets crazy high, like high 70s or above). For most ales, you’ll get the best combination of flavor and attenuation by cooling the wort to below fermentation temperature by a few degrees, letting it warm slowly after the yeast is pitched, then VERY slowly letting it warm by a few degrees more after the most active fermentation gets done. The only time you want to drop the temperature is for clarifying, and you don’t want to do that until after the yeast has had time to completely ferment the sugars and clean up the by-products, which will take at least a week or two.

Well I left it sit and today i just happened to walk past just as the airlock bubbled, so it’s still going.

I think I know what I did to cause my issue. I estimated my beginning h20 so I wouldn’t have to top off after my boil. I chilled my wort to 70 degrees following the boil. I didn’t add any top off h2o which means that I pitched my yeast at 70. From what I’ve read, it seems that 70 is too warm for fermentation. Thoughts?

My experience is my beers taste much better When I cool to 62, start fermenting at that temp, then work it up to 67 or 68 after the first 4-5 days on most ales. Even Belgians I start low then work them up to low 70’s after 4-5 days to finish. That seems to work best for me. Don’t panic because you started high, it’s not ruined.

[quote=“Old Guy”]My experience is my beers taste much better When I cool to 62, start fermenting at that temp, then work it up to 67 or 68 after the first 4-5 days on most ales. Even Belgians I start low then work them up to low 70’s after 4-5 days to finish. That seems to work best for me. Don’t panic because you started high, it’s not ruined.[/quote]Thats the way I roll too.

Even if sitting on the basement concrete floor I don’t know if I could get that low.

Even if sitting on the basement concrete floor I don’t know if I could get that low.[/quote]
Bet you can. http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=O7674V3P19g

Update:

Took a measurement today after two weeks. If I’m reading it correctly, I’m not happy. Using a digital refractometer (calibrated) I got 5.5 which I converted to potential alcohol to only 2.8%. That’s pretty weak. Is there a way to kick it up again?

Edit: converter I used. http://www.brewersfriend.com/brix-converter

[quote=“brubakes”]Update:

Took a measurement today after two weeks. If I’m reading it correctly, I’m not happy. Using a digital refractometer (calibrated) I got 5.5 which I converted to potential alcohol to only 2.8%. That’s pretty weak. Is there a way to kick it up again?

Edit: converter I used. http://www.brewersfriend.com/brix-converter[/quote]
Double check this with a hydrometer.

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