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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Techniques > Taking a Sample from Secondary
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Old 02-08-2006, 08:40 PM   #1
Rulane
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Default Taking a Sample from Secondary

I have racked my brew to secondary for the first time. What is the recommened length of time to leave your brew in secondary?

I have read...
Primary for 1 week, secondary for 2 weeks, condition for 3 weeks

Take hydrometer readings and when they stabilize package. This begs the question, How do you get your sample from secondary?

Secondary! We don't need no steenking secondary. I eat hops and trub for breakfast.

Thanks,

Erik

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Old 02-08-2006, 08:43 PM   #2
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2 weeks is a normal time, but some people leave the beer in the secondary for months and months.

to get a sample: my method is to take a 1 foot long piece of hosing and jam it onto the end of a turkey baster (all sanitized, naturally). Squeeze the baster bulb, drop the hose into the beer, and release the bulb.

You should get a decent sized sample this way.

-walker

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Old 02-08-2006, 08:45 PM   #3
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or you can invest 10 dollars or so in a wine/beer thief. those make it real nice and easy. just sanitize and put in the secondary, it will automatically take enough for a hydrometer sample and taster.

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Old 02-09-2006, 03:43 PM   #4
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Thanks for the input. The wine thief is a good idea.

I just checked on it this morning. Still getting about 3-5 bubbles a minute.

Erik

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Old 02-09-2006, 03:46 PM   #5
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yes, a wine thief is nice, but I'm like Alton Brown in this sense.... I don't liek to have any equipment that serves only a single purpose if I can avoid it. If I bought a wine theif, it would have one purpose.

I already have a baster that serves other purposes, so....

-walker

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Old 02-09-2006, 04:04 PM   #6
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sweet, alton brown's program is a gas! i refuse to purchase auto-syphons or thiefs as well

i use a curved ss racking cane. i sanitize it, dip it in, hold my thumb over the end, hold it over the sample container, let my thumb up and bingo the brew goes in... usually two or three times and there is enough.

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Old 02-09-2006, 04:08 PM   #7
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I used to do the same thing, T1, but I just used a length of hose instead of a racking cane. One day I realized I had a turkey baster that got used about once or twice a year, so I commandeered it so I could get my samples much faster... one dip into the beer and I'm out of there. The fermenter is only open for a few seconds.

-walker

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Old 02-09-2006, 04:10 PM   #8
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i'd be treading in dangerous waters commandering anything outta my brides kitchen collection.... i caught serious hell when she saw me using her good mixing bowels to dump hot break into....

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Old 02-09-2006, 04:10 PM   #9
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I have a stainless baster that I can sanitize, and it is long enough to reach the beer on its own (I secondary in a 5G carboy), and takes enough for a hydro sample. when using a baster, make sure that you squeeze the bulb prior to submersing, so that it doesn't inject room air into the beer.

Haven't had any contamination issues yet.

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Old 02-09-2006, 05:53 PM   #10
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I have one of those wine thiefs that looks like the bottom half of an autosiphon but I don't like it. The reason is that I find the interior diameter of it is just a little too small and the hydrometer tends to bind a bit against the sides. It's handy to get the beer out of the carboy and into the test cylinder but lots of stuff can do that. Waste of money IMHO.

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