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First time brewing, too cold during fermentation, did I ruin it?

Hi, New brewer here, I got the Brew, Share, Enjoy kit given to me for christmas, so I started a batch of the beer that came with the kit, the Amber Ale on Christmas day. The brew went well, I think, I put the wort into my carboy, and put it into my basement, which is usually about 60 Degrees F. I live in NH, and we’ve been having a wicked cold spell recently, and the temperature in my basement dropped to about 45 degrees when I came home today. It seemed like it was not bubbling, so I carried the carboy up into my house in hopes of warming it up. Will the fermentation re-start? Did I already ruin my first batch?

Thanks,

Kevin

No, it should be fine. Once it warms up, you might want to give the bucket a gentle swirl by giving it a few twists in each direction to get the yeast back into suspension. Don’t do that with a glass carboy, if that’s what you’re using. Glass vessels are incredibly easy to break and can cause serious injuries.

Do you know if it bubbled at all before the temperature dropped?

Yes, it was bubbling relatively quickly 2 days after brewing.

Worst case is that fermentation has stalled. Warm it up, swirl the fermenter, and see if it gets going again. Always a good idea to take a gravity measurement. If your specific gravity is above 1.020, it’s probably stalled. If it can’t get going again, you may need to add more yeast. But don’t worry about that until it’s warmed up for a few days and see how things go.

OK Great, I guess we’ll see what happens.

Another question… When it comes to bottling, the instructions said to use 12oz bottles, but do you know if I will be Ok to use growlers? (64oz) I have a lot of them kicking around but no bottles. Will it affect the carbonation of the beer?

No, don’t use growlers. They aren’t rated for the pressures during bottle conditioning and can shatter. Some people do use them, so I guess it depends on your theshold for risk. Exploding bottles are a serious danger, though, and they can’t find glass shards with an x-ray. You can use 22-oz bottles that you purchase or saved from commercial beers, which cuts way back on the time it takes to bottle.

You will have at least three to five weeks to get some bottles. Just make sure they are pry off caps not twist offs. Most of my bottles are New Glarus. I could give you 4 or 5 cases if you lived a little closer.

Oh, and welcome to the forum! You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy.

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RRRR, hit em with… the club Porkchop!!! RRRRR… Sneezles61

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Just buy a few cases of beer. For newyears eve. And start using the bottels later for your home brew. But remember the bottles need to be dark. Color. You need to get caps and and a machine to cap the bottles

Welcome! If it helps any, the answer to “did I ruin it” is almost always no. I bet it will be fine.

Bottling wise, growlers are risk. I have used them before but not in a long time. Buy yourself some good craft beer in old fashion pry off cap bottles. P.E.T. plastic works. If you drink unflavored seltzer water the bottles work. You can also buy the PET bottles. Swing tops like Grolsch bottles are nice. I think the bottles are worth more than the beer inside though.

The really cold basement will make carbonating in bottles take a long time. Somewhere warmer would be better. Room temp is about right.

I’ve bottled in flip top growlers and most time it was alright with low carbonation. If you mess up and over prime which happens once in awhile they didn’t actually shatter but blew off the bottoms which is messy so I don’t do it anymore.

I found an imperial stout (Dragon’s Tooth by Elysian) that my wife suddenly got hooked on. It was part of the quest to find stouts she liked to help with breast milk production. Kid is past that now, but they only come in 22 oz bottles and she has helped provide ‘quite’ a supply for bottling. I don’t even bother to strip the labels anymore. I just use different colored caps for my brews when I bottle and condition.

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