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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Techniques > Gravity reading from glass carboy?
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Old 11-12-2008, 03:03 PM   #11
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My dog got sick when she was a puppy, so we had to feed her via a large gauge, no needle syringe. When she got better, I realized that racking tubing fits perfectly on the end of the syringe. I've been using it ever since. Here's a link to where you can get them (.19!)

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Old 11-12-2008, 04:26 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lapaglia View Post
refractometer is no good once you get any alcohol in the must. Its only good for the initial reading.
The folks at morebeer.com may disagree with you...
MoreBeer | MoreBeer!™: Using a refractometer in brewing
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Old 11-12-2008, 05:00 PM   #13
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Very helpful link, thanks! Gotta love morebeer...

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Old 11-12-2008, 09:23 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hokie View Post
The folks at morebeer.com may disagree with you...
MoreBeer | MoreBeer!™: Using a refractometer in brewing
I'm thinking about asking for a refractometer for christmas! There's also a page that's just the calculator for determining ABV by Brix:

Onebeer.net :: Homebrew :: Refractometer Calculator

So, you can determine ABV from the refractometer, it's just more complex calculations...
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Old 11-12-2008, 09:36 PM   #15
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Default Wine theif work great

I keep my whine thief in a bucket of sanitizer with a hydrometer. Pull it out rinse it off with hot water inside and out. Drop it in the carboy. Pull it out and read right from the hydrometer the S.G.

Then put the end of the thief in a glass and the sample pours out into the glass to be sampled. Drop the thief back into the sanitizer to be ready for the next sample.

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Old 11-12-2008, 10:13 PM   #16
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this guy: MoreBeer | Sample Taker/Thief - 3 Piece

easy to sanitize, works great.

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Old 11-13-2008, 04:33 AM   #17
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If the refractormeter does not work after the ferment then why does Promash have a program to measure the OG with a refracto after the ferment?

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Old 11-13-2008, 11:30 AM   #18
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I use the Fermtech wine thief exclusively. It's easy to use, and obviates the need for cylinders to float the hydrometer in, and some arrangement to siphon or suck the beer out. The original idea of the "thief" is just a tube open at both ends. It's lowered into the liquid (which can be beer, wine, whisky, etc.), then a thumb is placed over the top end, vacuum holds the liquid in the tube, it's raised out and the sample is tested / tasted, etc.
The Fermtech thief has a simple one-way valve at the bottom, and has an opening at the top large enough to accommodate the hydrometer that came with my kit. It's simplicity itself to lower the thief into a plastic bucket fermenter, get a sample, then give the hydro a twirl to dislodge any bubbles, and take a reading. No thumb action is required, because the one-way valve at the bottom keeps the liquid in the thief.
Carboys, for me, usually require a slightly different technique, which I observed on some YouTube video. If the liquid is far enough up in the neck, immersing the thief far enough down to get sufficient liquid will overflow the carboy somewhat. If the liquid is a bit low, it may be impossible to lower the thief far enough to get enough liquid. The technique is to lower it into the liquid as far as possible, and get more liquid into the thief by rapidly "jerking" the thief up & down in the wort / beer. As the thief goes down, a bit more beer goes through the one-way valve, but can't escape. When enough liquid fills the thief, take the reading.
I read a thread on another forum in which someone said that their hydro wouldn't float straight up in their thief, so that it rested against the side, making accurate readings impossible. Mine works fine, but it is true that the diameter of the thief is not as large as most cylinders I've seen for sale, which is another simple way to float the hydrometer.
In summary, I'm a big believer in the Fermtech wine thief, and I also really like their autosiphon and bottling wand. Durable, easy to use, and simple to clean. Of course, any such gadget should be thoroughly rinsed immediately after use, to prevent any wort / beer from drying on it, and then sanitized before use. I employ a 30" wallpaper tray that I bought at the hardware store to soak all the "gadgets" an fittings. It's great for things like hoses, the thief, and the autosiphon.

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Old 11-13-2008, 02:03 PM   #19
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Wow. Now that's what we call a ringing endorsement.

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Old 11-13-2008, 03:37 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Photopilot View Post
I keep my whine thief in a bucket of sanitizer with a hydrometer. Pull it out rinse it off with hot water inside and out. Drop it in the carboy. Pull it out and read right from the hydrometer the S.G.

Then put the end of the thief in a glass and the sample pours out into the glass to be sampled. Drop the thief back into the sanitizer to be ready for the next sample.
Why do you rinse it ? Seems to defeat the whole soaking in sanitizer doesn't it. I just spray the thief with Starsan wait a minute or so and use. I don't sanitize the hydro since it wont come into contact with the beer just the sample that I drink anyway
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