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Old 09-04-2006, 02:25 PM   #1
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Default Checking gravity out of a carboy, o2 and sanitization.

WHen you guys check the gravity out of the carboy, what do you use? I was thinking of using a turkey baster... My plan is to soak up an iodophor solution into the turkey baster, let sit for a few minutes and then rinse out the baster. Then remove the blowoff tube from the carboy and suck up some wort.

Is there any problem introducing oxygen into the carboy? I know that co2 is heavier than o2 so co2 should remain in the airspace of the carboy.

What about transfering to the second carboy for secondary fermentation? Is o2 a concern here?

Also, I leave my blowoff tube sitting in a bowl of water that also has iodophor in it, is this correct to do?

I am crazy about sanitization and wonder if I take it a little too far.

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Old 09-04-2006, 02:44 PM   #2
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If youa re going to use the turkey baster, don't rinse after using the idophor to sanitize. A proper solution of idophor should be a no rinse sanitizer and any trace amount of a no rinse sanitizer that contacts your brew will have no detectible impact on fermentation or flavor.

Instead of a turkey baster or a 'wine thief', I use an autosiphon, only without the hose. It's makes that item dual purpose and it grabs a sample from the center of the beer.

Steps to use autosiphon: Sanitize the autosiphon put the plunger into the tube, put thumb over the hose end of the plunger, drop the autosiphon into the carboy so that the end is in the center of the wort, pull plunger up about 75%, remove autosiphon (hold over sink) and replace carboy cap, pour sample into graduated cylinder for measurement, drink whatever's left. I've even put a mark on my autosiphon so that I draw out exactly the amount I need in my graduated cylinder for a reading.

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Old 09-04-2006, 02:54 PM   #3
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I use a thief also. Then place the sample in the stand that holds the hydrometer.

Sounds like you're being too zealous in your sanitation, but regardless of what I think you're better safe than sorry.

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Old 09-04-2006, 04:00 PM   #4
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I used a turkey baster for a while, sanitized with Star San (no rinse). It worked just fine. Now all of my fermenters have spigots, so I just use those for sampling. I don't sample all that often - it just wastes beer most of the time . I do take a sample initially, any time I rack, and at bottling time.

As long as you don't stir, agitate, shake, or otherwise rough-handle the uncapped carboy, you aren't going to introduce any significant amount of oxygen as you take your sample. Remember, it's dissolved oxygen that you're worried about, not free oxygen in the headspace.

As for racking to another fermenter or clearing tank, oxygen is a concern. You want to transfer with as little agitation as possible. Use a siphon hose long enough to reach the bottom of the new container. You should get very little aeration that way.

As long as your blowoff tube is intially sanitized and submerged, you run little risk of infection. Adding some sanitizer to the water covering the blowoff tube is probably a bit unnecessary, but it isn't a bad idea - I do it just for a bit of insurance/peace of mind.

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Old 09-04-2006, 04:03 PM   #5
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I bought a $7 theif that allows me to put the hydrometer directly inside it. Its easy as pie...

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Old 09-04-2006, 05:06 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kornkob
If youa re going to use the turkey baster, don't rinse after using the idophor to sanitize. A proper solution of idophor should be a no rinse sanitizer and any trace amount of a no rinse sanitizer that contacts your brew will have no detectible impact on fermentation or flavor.

Instead of a turkey baster or a 'wine thief', I use an autosiphon, only without the hose. It's makes that item dual purpose and it grabs a sample from the center of the beer.

Steps to use autosiphon: Sanitize the autosiphon put the plunger into the tube, put thumb over the hose end of the plunger, drop the autosiphon into the carboy so that the end is in the center of the wort, pull plunger up about 75%, remove autosiphon (hold over sink) and replace carboy cap, pour sample into graduated cylinder for measurement, drink whatever's left. I've even put a mark on my autosiphon so that I draw out exactly the amount I need in my graduated cylinder for a reading.
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Old 09-04-2006, 06:34 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kornkob
If youa re going to use the turkey baster, don't rinse after using the idophor to sanitize. A proper solution of idophor should be a no rinse sanitizer and any trace amount of a no rinse sanitizer that contacts your brew will have no detectible impact on fermentation or flavor.

Instead of a turkey baster or a 'wine thief', I use an autosiphon, only without the hose. It's makes that item dual purpose and it grabs a sample from the center of the beer.

Steps to use autosiphon: Sanitize the autosiphon put the plunger into the tube, put thumb over the hose end of the plunger, drop the autosiphon into the carboy so that the end is in the center of the wort, pull plunger up about 75%, remove autosiphon (hold over sink) and replace carboy cap, pour sample into graduated cylinder for measurement, drink whatever's left. I've even put a mark on my autosiphon so that I draw out exactly the amount I need in my graduated cylinder for a reading.
that is a great idea...

i've been using my auto-siphon to fill my cylinder by actually siphoning. it fills quickly and almost takes two people. ineveitably i always spill a little beer in the process...

thanks for the idea of the dual purpose auto-siphon.

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Old 09-06-2006, 03:33 PM   #8
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Just superglue a string to the hydrometer and sanitize it and drop it into your carboy. I only use glass carboys and that is what I do....I can read it just fine through the carboy.

I get 1 or 2 extra beers in the end because I do not waste sample beer.

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Old 09-06-2006, 03:38 PM   #9
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I don't consider the samples a waste since I drink them. : )

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Old 09-07-2006, 04:27 PM   #10
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Drinking unfermented wort, or uncarbed beer is wasting beer. Maybe not waste in the strictest use of the word, but a waste none-the-less. :')

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