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Old 06-22-2013, 10:43 PM   #1
newbies13
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Default Gravity Readings -- Leave it in!

Pretty new to brewing, but had a thought...

So everyone is always asking about when to take gravity readings for various things, and how it is a better indicator of fermentation, etc. etc.

It seems like everyone steals a bit of beer from their carboy though, and then takes a reading with that. Why not put the hydometer into the car boy and leave it there for easy readings? Then take it out right before you move your beer to 2nd fermentation or bottling container, etc.

Thoughts?

The only downside I can think of at the moment is difficulty getting it back out, but a piece of sanitized fishing line attached to your airlock would prob do the trick.



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Old 06-22-2013, 10:53 PM   #2
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The hydrometer would most likely tilt over to one side. When you take a reading you're supposed to spin the hydrometer to center it in the sample vile. Can't do that in a carboy....not to mention it would be covered by krausen.



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Old 06-22-2013, 10:56 PM   #3
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The krausen would cover it up with junk and you would not be able to see anything.

The other problem is... what happens when you have several brews going at the same time like most of us. I have five batches at various stages of fermentation. Do I buy 5 hydrometers?

It is no big deal to take a quick gravity reading.

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Old 06-22-2013, 11:05 PM   #4
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Ahh yeah didn't even think of that... Fail idea.

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Old 06-22-2013, 11:20 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beergolf View Post
The krausen would cover it up with junk and you would not be able to see anything.

The other problem is... what happens when you have several brews going at the same time like most of us. I have five batches at various stages of fermentation. Do I buy 5 hydrometers?

It is no big deal to take a quick gravity reading.
Worse than not being able to see it and read it at eye level- what if it hits the side of the carboy and breaks?!?! Drinking glass wouldn't be my way to enjoy my homebrew.

Some people buy wine thief type of samplers, and you can put the sample right back in the fermenter if you hate to lose any beer.

Or, don't take so many readings. Take a reading at the beginning (OG). Then, once all signs of activity end and the beer is clear, and it's been at least 14 days, take another reading. If it's at an expected level, and the beer is clear, it's done. Drink that sample, and you're all set to bottle. That's about a "loss" of 3 ounces of beer, which you've drank so it's not a loss.
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Old 06-23-2013, 12:25 AM   #6
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After two weeks, use a refractometer, take a 1/4 teaspoon sample, record the reading, after 3 more days take a 1/4 teaspoon sample, record the reading. Use a calculator to take in the alcohol bias and get a true reading.

If near where expected fg is supposed to be, pull a full sample for hydrometer reading, track and keg.

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Old 06-23-2013, 12:47 AM   #7
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One more reason hydrometer in carboy won't work (and a reason for falsely high SG measurements with standard technique). CO2 bubbles adhere to the hydrometer, increasing buoyancy and resulting in a falsely high SG reading. I degas samples (rapidly rotate a wire whisk in sample) prior to pouring into float tube.

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Old 06-23-2013, 12:54 AM   #8
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Or, don't take so many readings. Take a reading at the beginning (OG). Then, once all signs of activity end and the beer is clear, and it's been at least 14 days, take another reading. If it's at an expected level, and the beer is clear, it's done. Drink that sample, and you're all set to bottle. That's about a "loss" of 3 ounces of beer, which you've drank so it's not a loss.
This is my exact process.
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Old 06-23-2013, 01:50 AM   #9
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I use buckets and will sanitize the hydrometer and put it right in the bucket when the wort is cooled. After all the fermentation is done, I'll do the same thing just before bottling/kegging. This has worked fine for me.

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Old 06-24-2013, 06:38 PM   #10
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beer bug!

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/parasitx/the-beerbugtm-digital-hydrometer



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