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Old 01-20-2008, 04:13 PM   #1
beardedbrew
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Default amature needing help

I'm recently starting to brew. I've already spoiled a batch due to my impatience. I'm on my second batch now and as I'm getting further into the process, more questions accure that my brew book can't answer. I would really like to get through this batch without spoiling the beer and I was wondering if anyone might be able to help with my questions...

After a week of fermentation in my 5 gallon carboy, I need to start taking hydrometer tests. What's the best way to do this? I have a rubber fitting on the top of the carboy with 2 ports. I've been carefully tipping the whole carboy so the beer drains through one port into my test tube. I was thinking about sanitizing a hose, removing the fitting completely and dropping the hose in the carboy and plugging the opposite end to prevent the beer from draining from the hose as I'm pulling it out. I thought that way I will not be disturbing the beer (or wort) when I take the samples. By doing this, will I be exposing too much contaminated air to the wort?

Any help is appreciated.

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Old 01-20-2008, 04:31 PM   #2
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I wouldn't disturb your brew by moving the carboy.

A wine thief is a great $8 investment. It's easy to sanitize and removes just the right amount to take a hydrometer reading.



A sanitized turkey baster is another things folks use for removing beer from a carboy. You can buy them at Walmart for a few bucks.

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Old 01-20-2008, 04:50 PM   #3
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Read up on the posts where people are leaving their brew in the primary for 3 to 4 weeks. Most of them are saying they are getting really good results.
Try leaving it alone for 3 weeks in primary and then take a hydrometer check.Less chance of screwing up and I'm pretty sure you will get a reading telling you it's done as long as you are fermenting at the temps. that are recomended.
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Old 01-20-2008, 04:56 PM   #4
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PATIENCE is the number one ingredient in brewing..... This was stressed to me by the brewer that helped me with my first batch..... Dont get into a hurry with practice and some more equipment you will have several batches in different stages going at the same time.....

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Old 01-21-2008, 02:02 AM   #5
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Yes, patience. You don't have to take a reading after a week if you're yeast is still obviously fermenting.

That's, probably, more a tangent that anything else, but I've been fryin' bacon.


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Old 01-21-2008, 02:10 AM   #6
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Thank you! I've got a turkey baster that should work fine. Hopefully I didn't screw it up too bad, I tipped it twice to get readings already.

One more thing...

I've read the best way to carbonate is by boiling 3/4 c of sugar with a couple cups of water for 5 minutes and then add it to your mix when you start bottling. If I don't have exactly 5 gallons of beer, won't that over carbonate the bottles? It seems like the best and most efficient way to carbonate is to measure the sugar in to each bottle.

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Old 01-21-2008, 02:59 AM   #7
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i was running into inconsistent carbonation by following the rule of 3/4 cup for 5 gallons, because as you said you don't always have exactly 5 gallons.

eventually i add a measuring device to my carboys. i filled the carboy with a liter of water at a time and marked the level on a piece of duct tape stuck to the side. it may not be perfectly accurate but it at least gives me an idea of if i have 20L or 23L or whatever. the duct tape also seems to hold up pretty well when i'm washing the carboy.

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Old 01-21-2008, 10:16 AM   #8
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Technically we are all amateurs unless of course we are getting paid for brewing

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Old 01-21-2008, 02:57 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beardedbrew
I'm recently starting to brew. I've already spoiled a batch due to my impatience.
Is this brew still around or did you dump it. Some of my best brews were batches I thought were bad. I gave them more time to age and they tasted great.

Quote:
Originally Posted by beardedbrew
I've read the best way to carbonate is by boiling 3/4 c of sugar with a couple cups of water for 5 minutes and then add it to your mix when you start bottling. If I don't have exactly 5 gallons of beer, won't that over carbonate the bottles? It seems like the best and most efficient way to carbonate is to measure the sugar in to each bottle.
There are priming calculators online that you can use, but the 3/4 cup to 2 cup is a close measurement. A 1/4 gallon one way or the other really isn't going to be that big of a deal and it is a lot better then trying to prime per bottle. IMO
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Old 01-21-2008, 03:09 PM   #10
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GaryA- I dumped the first batch after going through the whole process. It didn't taste right at all, nothing I would have enjoyed drinking.
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