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Power outage = cold fermentation; Advice please!

Need some advice here. On January 5th I made two batches; 5 gal stout, and 5 gal amber. Both batches pitched with Safale S-04. I have a rubbermaid/aquarium heater incubator that keeps my fermenters at 68 degrees. I was planning on bottling both yesterday, however on Wednesday night I lost power due to the Snowpocalypse that rolled through the Northwest. By Thursday afternoon my basement, and thus the incubator was down to 40 degrees, where it sat until tonight when my power was restored.

After a few days at 40 degrees my yeast no doubt slipped into a coma. When my power came back on tonight I turned the incubator up to 72 degrees, where I’ll leave it until tomorrow when I bottle. Do you guys think this is enough to revive the little buggers for bottling, or do you think I need to repitch?


It’s quite possible that the beer is done, but you need to check the gravity. If you’re not where you want to be, rouse the yeast once the temp in back up and give it another couple of days at least and check the gravity again.

Thanks for the speedy reply! I forgot to mention; gravity checks before the power outage confirmed that the fermentation is complete. I wasn’t able to bottle because I was busy bailing water out of my basement for two days straight. Now that power’s back I just want to make sure I’ll be able to revive the yeast enough to bottle carbonate. Thanks!

snowpocalypse. word. i was lucky enough to not lose power. if they were finished before they cooled off, youre good to go. i would have stripped down to my birthday suit and spooned with the carboy to keep it warm if it was during active fermentation…lol.

4 days of cold crashing after just over 2 weeks in the fermenter? I think you will be just fine to bottle. No need to add yeast.

if it just got cold… it wont kill it at all. you’re good! just made them dormant :cheers: , just like cold crashing.
bottle like you normally would, get them around 70* for awhile, and you should be golden.
Get them way too hot however and thats another story.

Right on! Thanks for the advice everybody.

Bottled today. The stout went uneventfully, however I accidentally over-primed the amber. I prepared 4oz cane sugar for 2.5 volumes CO2. However, with all the dry hops and trub I was only able to siphon off about 3.75 gallons. Unfortunately I always dump the priming solution into the bottling bucket at the beginning of the transfer. By my estimate I should have about 3.8 volumes CO2, hopefully not enough for bottle bombs! I think from now on I’ll wait until the transfer is complete before I add the priming solution.

I’ve successfully carbonated to 4.0 volumes multiple times without a single bottle bomb. Put the bottles in a covered container just in case. I have had weak bottles that exploded and that was a mess!

Thanks for the tips. I’ve decided that I’ll recap them tomorrow to vent off some of the gas. I doubt I’d get any bombs, but I also don’t want 3.75 gallons worth of gushers.

Recapped tonight. Every single bottle hissed real loud, as if they were already fully carbonated. I’m very glad I decide to vent them, I only hope once was enough. Even so, I’ve got 25+ brews under my belt and this is the first thing that I’ve done that I would consider a “mistake”. Had a clean track record until now :slight_smile: .

I have always charged each bottle with sugar so that I know how much each volume of beer is getting. If I make a mistake, it would be bottling before it was done, and since I use a hydrometer, that is not an issue any more (it was my first several batches years ago, which is part of the reason I got a hydrometer). I know that some folks think charging each bottle is a pain the arse, but it has become part of my brewing ritual I guess. Until I start kegging, I will continue charging each bottle.

glad to hear your salvaging the batch from bottle bombs…are you the type of guy to use 4 or 5 oz per 5 gal batch? do you use a priming calculator? every time ive bottled, and its only been 5 times, ive been beetween 3 and 4 oz. 90-110 grams for 5 gallons, and its come out fine…maybe overcarbonated. i also have my fermentors marked with gallon readings, and rack to the bottling bucket before i make a priming solution to be sure…i havent carbed above 2.8, but i also ferment at 60-65 F.

Yeah, I use a priming calculator, usually aiming for 2.5 volumes. I have always made my priming solution before transfering to the bottling bucket, I guess I’ve just never had enough trub in the fermenter for it to matter. Then again, I usually don’t dry hop too often.

SOB! This batch has just been the perfect storm. It’s still pretty cold in my basement, so I have the bottles in my rubbermaid aquarium heater incubator for natural carbonation. I was checking the temperature in the water and noticed that several of the bottles have a small ring of rust forming just under the cap. Interesting, because I have used the incubator for several batches before this with no rust problems. Argh. Trying to decide whether a quick rinse of the cap collar with CLR would be more or less harmful than the rust itself. Ideas?

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