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Total Mess Up... I think

First time brewer. I purchased the starter 1 gal kit for the Irish Red. Everything seemed to be going fine and I followed the instructions to the T.

After the wort was finished boiling, I put it into the carboy and I would say there was only about half of the carboy was full, maybe a little more than half. I unfortunately didn’t even think to add more water or anything.

So anyway. I added the yeast and put it in the closest to start fermenting. The next day I could see the bubble activity in the air lock. Day two comes around and so far nothing. I’m hoping I didnt ruin the batch.

I realize I probably have made rookie mistakes, but that’s because I’m a rookie. so I’m wondering if the beer should still sit the two weeks or should I just try again?

What was the temperature of the wort in the carboy? If it was to warm the yeaast may have died.

Without topping off to 5 gallons your beer is double everything. The volume of yeast you pitched probably could not handle the high OG. Find some dry yeast like SA-05, or a yeast that can work in high alcohol conditions, and pitch two packets. Let it ferment out. Leave it in the primary for at least three weeks before taking a hydrometer reading.
You will end up with beer and it will have very full body and almost double the normal alcohol.

I will take the recipe sheet and underline the major steps, start time of the boil, fill in the times for additions, and finally the end of boil time.

The wort was at 65 degrees. my concern is because so much was boiled off that is what caused it. since i’m using the 1 gallon carboy is it appropriate to add water at this stage or just add yeast and let it do its thing?

i’m guessing that i had the heat up too high, which caused the wort to boil off so much volume, because i used the instructions exactly. used timers and all.

Did you take any sort of gravity reading before you pitched your yeast? Do you have any krausen (foam layer at the top)? Some people have success adding water after fermentation has begun but I would think it would just taste watered down. You could brew another batch and mix the two to even them out. If there’s only half a gallon you won’t even get a 6 pack out of this.

[quote=“flars”]What was the temperature of the wort in the carboy? If it was to warm the yeaast may have died.

Without topping off to 5 gallons your beer is double everything. The volume of yeast you pitched probably could not handle the high OG. Find some dry yeast like SA-05, or a yeast that can work in high alcohol conditions, and pitch two packets. Let it ferment out. Leave it in the primary for at least three weeks before taking a hydrometer reading.
You will end up with beer and it will have very full body and almost double the normal alcohol.

I will take the recipe sheet and underline the major steps, start time of the boil, fill in the times for additions, and finally the end of boil time.[/quote]

How could I miss 1 gallon?
Starting another batch to mix with this one would work. I would get a two gallon bucket to ferment in. One gallon of beer in a one gallon carboy is an accident that will happen.
Two gallon frosting buckets are available at grocery stores that do cakes. Mine were $0.50 apiece.

I can’t see why adding a quart of boiled and cooled water would hurt at this point but Try not to splash any oxygen into the wort. It might be possible that with that little volume you are close to being fermented out but don’t be surprised if the fermentation restarts. You should learn to take hydrometer readings.
If you are using extract you don’t have to have a very strong boil. Just enough for hops if you are using them. Add water at the last 10 mins. of the boil to get to your correct volumes. Many big breweries make a bigger beer then add water to always get a constant final gravity.

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