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Old 11-22-2006, 11:35 AM   #1
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Default hydrometer 101

Ok, I've done two batches so far. I have a Hydro, but no vessel in which to use it. I tried a pint glass on my last batch but it wasn't deep enough. Do they sell just the vessel to measure in? I looked at some in a homebrew/microbrew store and they came with cheap plastic tubes. Also, how does one get the beer out of the carboy? I've heard of a "thief," is this what I'm looking for?
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Old 11-22-2006, 11:59 AM   #2
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yeah, $3 for a plastic cylinder. You can use either a wine thief or a sanitized turkey baster to grab samples (buy one dedicated for this purpose).

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Old 11-22-2006, 01:20 PM   #3
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My hydrometer came in a rather flimsy plastic case that is perfect for measuring. What did yours come in? Did you throw out the case?

I have a "thief", but it's only 6 or 8 inches long, so unless the top level of beer is near the top of a 5-gallon carboy, it doesn't do the job. So, what I do is orally siphon...don't worry, nothing that my mouth touches ever gets near the beer in the carboy. I sanitize the hell out of my racking cane and tube. I stick the cane end into the beer, suck on it until the tube is filled, then hold my tongue over it while I pull the cane back out and release it into a measuring cup. Depending on the length of the tube, this is typically enough for me to get a reading from. It's not the best method in the world, but it's the best I got right now.

What you (and I, for that matter) should really do is buy an autosiphon. But until then, this works for me. Better than going through the trouble of a true gravity siphon when all I want is a few ounces of beer.

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Old 11-22-2006, 01:37 PM   #4
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i just stick a siphon tube into the carboy, siphon like evan and fill up the 3 dollar plastic tube with stand for the hydro...

they hydro almost makes brewing like a science project, but it's useful.

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Old 11-23-2006, 12:44 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Evan!
My hydrometer came in a rather flimsy plastic case that is perfect for measuring. What did yours come in? Did you throw out the case?
My kit is second hand and I did not get a hydro vessel, just the thermometer looking thingy. As well as a priming bucket with a hole. But I did get a carboy and a bottling capper and some extra sanitizer and a couple cases of empties and... well, the thing was pretty cool for the $60 my wife tells me she spent. Cooler even, since I have a new found hobby that's more productive than On-line gaming.
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Old 11-23-2006, 01:46 AM   #6
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Mine didn't come with a container either. A wine theif is the way to go. It takes the sample, its easy to sanitize, easy to clean, and it reaches the bottom of a 6.5 gallon carboy.

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Old 11-25-2006, 03:09 PM   #7
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I guess I have been afraid to use my hydrometer... I really don't know what to do if my OG is off. Anyone know of some newbie friendly sites out there that walk you through the hydrometer?

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Old 11-25-2006, 03:15 PM   #8
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If you are doing extract, your original gravity is locked in. If it is off, you either didn't stir enough or used the wrong amount of water. It's checking the final gravity that makes it worth having a hydrometer.

http://www.howtobrew.com/appendices/appendixA.html

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Old 11-25-2006, 03:17 PM   #9
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The hydrometer is simply indicating the specific gravity of the wort (OG) and the specific gravity of the beer (FG). The difference between these two is the conversion of fermentables to alcohol. In other words, the density of what you have in the fermenting vessels is being changed every hour by those hard working yeasties. The hydrometer is letting you know how hard their working. Additionally it will tell you what your anticipated ABV will be initially.

That is the quick and dirty on it. Back me up here guys.

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Old 11-25-2006, 03:23 PM   #10
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yeah I am just doing extract.. I knew the principals of the hydro, just not what to do if it were off.. thanks

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