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Old 07-26-2012, 04:42 PM   #1
snyklez
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Default Taking a Hydro sample

I've got a pale ale in the primary (first brew) and plan on bottling this Saturday, two weeks after brew day. I want to be sure fermentation is done, so I'd like to take a sample for my hydrometer today and one Saturday to check for changes. It's in a glass carboy. I have an auto siphon, no thief. What is the best way to get at the beer to take a sample? I didn't think siphoning would be a good choice, just because I didn't want to use that tool for such a small task. Maybe I could take the auto siphon apart and use the outer chamber as a thief? I'm not sure if that's even possible.

Also, if I can figure this app out, I'll include a picture just for fun. I racked to a 5gal glass carboy (I know that's not the best vessel for a full batch) so I could see my first batch fermenting. You'll notice the level is somewhat low, I attribute that to the amount I lost in the vigorous fermentation. I had a tube attached for the first few days and then switched to the airlock. The color has darkened nicely too.

image-2945161802.jpg

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Old 07-26-2012, 05:12 PM   #2
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You could always Sanitize a piece of tubing, place it down inside the liquid so it fills up, place your thumb over the end of the tubing out of the carboy and remove. Then fill the graduated cylinder.

But...

Invest in a thief, they're a couple bucks.

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Old 07-26-2012, 05:18 PM   #3
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I used to use my auto siphon to collect a sample, but I never liked it because it wasn't fun to clean.

I bought a wine thief, and it leaks like a sonofabitch

I'm gonna stop on the way home today and buy a turkey baster.

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Old 07-26-2012, 05:19 PM   #4
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You can rack it into your pail now and check the gravity while you do that. You'll have to move it before bottling anyway to get it off the trub. If the gravity doesn't change between now and Saturday, you should be okay to bottle. Just remember to add sugar based on how many gallons you actually have.

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Old 07-26-2012, 05:22 PM   #5
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I used a turkey baster, but that leaked a lot too. Unless you're using a 1-piece turkey baster, I wouldn't recommend it for a carboy. I bought a thief and it works really well and it's a lot easier than using a narrow racking tube. There are also glass wine thieves on ebay that look good

http://www.ebay.ca/itm/Glass-Wine-Thief-Great-Beer-Cider-Too-/150762031357?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item231a1e 08fd#ht_2951wt_954

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Old 07-26-2012, 05:25 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jpmg
I used a turkey baster, but that leaked a lot too. Unless you're using a 1-piece turkey baster, I wouldn't recommend it for a carboy. I bought a thief and it works really well and it's a lot easier than using a narrow racking tube. There are also glass wine thieves on ebay that look good

http://www.ebay.ca/itm/Glass-Wine-Thief-Great-Beer-Cider-Too-/150762031357?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item231a1e 08fd#ht_2951wt_954
Careful with glass ones. They're harder to clean and Sanitize and are typically only used for wine. My local homebrew shop talked me out of the glass one for those reasons.
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Old 07-26-2012, 05:25 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kingwood-kid
Just remember to add sugar based on how many gallons you actually have.
That is a really good point I hadn't thought of yet. The kit came with the appropriate amount of corn sugar for 5g, I'll need to see exactly where I come out at. Is that calculation somewhere in Palmer's book, or does anyone perhaps know how to figure the amount of priming sugar needed off the top of your head.
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Old 07-26-2012, 05:48 PM   #8
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Never mind, found a few calculators online. Looks like if I end up with 4g, around 3oz will do it. My closet stays a constant 74°. Good news is, I ordered my STC-1000 yesterday.

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