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Have I killed my brew

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Rangichard

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Ok, I'm new to brewing. Came home from work and checked in on my fermenter to find my submerged heater was switched off an my brew was sitting at 16 degrees. A day later and my airlock refuses to bubble. Is my brew dead the extract stated a 7day fermentation and I'm looking to bottle on Sunday, is this a waste of time?
 

brzt6060

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It should be ok but a few simple questions will help determine for sure, just answer what you can.

What temp were you fermentating at?
What are you brewing?
What did you use in the brew?
What was the yeast?
What was your OG and what is your SG now?
How does it smell?
How does it taste?

Making a few assumptions here but I recon it will be ok.
 

rehabs_for_quitters

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what yeast are you using and what temp was it at prior and for how long has it been in the fermenter?
 

GuyQLD

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Rangichard said:
Rangichard, on 04 Jul 2014 - 6:21 PM, said:

Ok, I'm new to brewing. Came home from work and checked in on my fermenter to find my submerged heater was switched off an my brew was sitting at 16 degrees. A day later and my airlock refuses to bubble. Is my brew dead the extract stated a 7day fermentation and I'm looking to bottle on Sunday, is this a waste of time?
Hey Rangi,

Kit instructions are usually pretty sparse and definitely not what most would call good practice. Have a read through some of the beginner threads here to answer some of the questions you'll come across during your first couple of batches. There's some good info around.

As to your question, well airlocks are pretty useless bastards at the best of times. They wont work for a couple of reasons and generally aren't a good indication of anything, though I'm kinda partial to the noise they make myself.

First question is, do you have a hydrometer or refractor meter? If you don't, try and grab one from your local home brew shop asap - it's a small investment and the only guaranteed way to know what's going on.

Secondly, 16'C is at the low end of some ale yeasts, but it's usually still pretty safe. I wouldn't stress. You wont kill yeast by going to the low end of their working range, they just get kinda lazy and take longer to do things. Or fall asleep. Bring it up to around 18'C if you can and try and hold it there. Maybe give the fermenter a slight swirl (don't open it if you can!) but no harm done.

If you can wait, try and give it 2 weeks to make sure it's completely fermented out, if you're bottling in glass you definitely don't want exploding glass so be patient. Draw off a couple of hydrometer samples once fermentation looks like it might have stopped (or in 10 days or so).

Two readings a couple of days apart is the best way to check; providing the readings are close to your expected final gravity (your kit should have given you a rough guide of what it is.. or if you list your ingredients / process we can work it out)

Looks like your pitched on Sat/Sunday last week? If you were holding it around 20C or more I'd say the bulk of fermentation is done now and you can relax. 16C isn't going to make much if any difference now.

Trust your hydrometer.
 

Helles

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Take a gravity reading mate
Shouldnt be any reason for it to stop fermenting with the cooler ferment
Dont bottle until its finished fermenting
Dont plan to bottle it until it is finished fermenting plus a couple of days
Seven day ferment is pretty quick and asking for bottle bombs
Use your hydrometer to tell when it is done ready to bottle
 

heshtek

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An almost identical thing happened to me. I was running 2 submersible heaters and one crapped out. When it short circuited it tripped the safety switch on my powerboard and the power was out all night. By the time I had one back up and running the brew was sitting at 16 degrees. It started bubbling again when the temp warmed up a bit. Hopefully its ok.
 

verysupple

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+1 to pretty much everything GuyQLD said. If you're still looking for reassurance tell us the recipe, OG and FG. Then we can help decide if it's actually done fermenting.
 

Rangichard

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Thanks for all the comments, all real sound advice. I have run off a sample and have a hydrometer reading of 1.018. The O.G came in @1.044. I've taken all the advice on board and decided to wait at least another 7 days before bottling. I'm fermenting @ 22 degrees
IPA epic clone
Smells good
 

wereprawn

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Hard to say without an ingredients list but that hydro reading seems a bit high. Did you swirl the fermenter as advised earlier in this thread?
 

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