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Old 08-31-2009, 07:43 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Evan! View Post
But just like Revvy's blanket statement that your airlock is unreliable, this blanket statement that it IS, is not helpful.
You are right and in post# 7 of this thread I acknowledged that, but it does bear repeating.

My OP wasn't a blanket statement. It was a well-defined conditional statement.
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Old 08-31-2009, 07:47 PM   #22
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Changes in atmospheric pressure can affect the amount of airlock activity. It wouldn't make much difference during active fermentation, but it could mask things as fermentation slows, causing you to think it's done, when it's really just slowed down. conversly, it could lead you to believe fermentation has re-started.

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Old 08-31-2009, 07:53 PM   #23
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Hydrometers are tools, air locks are pressure reliefs. End.

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Old 08-31-2009, 08:05 PM   #24
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Hydrometers are tools, air locks are pressure reliefs. End.
Ignore all the data available to you and you're a fool.

End or something..
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Old 08-31-2009, 08:07 PM   #25
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. . . but the liquid does have to become saturated with CO2 before it starts to release it.
Good point. Didn't think of that. But lets not let anyone think that this amount would ever be enough to consider your beer finished.

No bubbles in your airlock should always be a reason for concern. It might just be a leak, and ignoring it may still produce good beer, but if I don't see bubbles, I want to know why.

I leave my beer in the primary well after fermentation has stopped. In the early stages, out-gassing will prevent outside air from getting into a leak, but after fermentation has stopped thermal contraction will suck air in. In my damp basement, I'd hate to have some moldy spore dropping by during that sucking process.


(he he he . . . I said sucking process)
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Old 08-31-2009, 08:09 PM   #26
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really i dont know what all the fuss is about i almost never use my Hydrometer.
Yeah i know crazy right!
I just dont have any use for it, unless i am making some super hi-gravity beer or if i am making a mead wine or something odd i have never done before.
most of the beer i make i have made many times in the past and have my set recipts and logs ect at this point i just know where its at.

I can tell by look ,taste and flow if my mash was on target , and i really dont care what the 100% correct alcohol% is anyway. i ferment in glass and have never had a leaky stopper.

airlock action, plus yeast clean up time is all i need for most of the ales i make, i almost never use a secondery anymore , and just wate till flocculation is compleat then wate a few more days and then rack to keg and carb, that way the ferment gets opened just once at kegging time and my hydrometer stays nice and safe on a shelf in its case where it belongs

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Old 08-31-2009, 08:16 PM   #27
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Hydrometers are sometimes nothing more than an excuse for us noobs to play with our beer. You really only need three readings. One pre-boil to confirm your mash/lauter efficiency (so that you can make hop adjustments.) Another before fermentation, and the last before bottling to confirm attenuation. If you leave your beer in the primary for a few weeks at the proper temperature and you pitched health yeast in the correct amount into well oxygenated wort, your beer is finished if airlock activity has stopped for several days in a row after that time (run-on sentence, sorry.) Another hydrometer reading should not be necessary.
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This is just silly and lazy. Have I ever racked to a secondary without checking the gravity? Sure. Doesn't mean it's not lazy. There are times when I wind up leaving something in a primary for 2 weeks because I don't have time to address it. To me, as long as I've seen the krausen drop, then I'm generally confident that it's good to go.

That doesn't mean that I don't think I that the general consensus that you check your gravity after that set number of days (5, 7 or 10, or whenever) to check if fermentation is done is just an excuse to play with my beer and my beer 'toys'. The hydrometer readings let me calculate my ~ABV%. It gives me the confidence to know that the conditions in my brew closet and my brew process were on par with every other batch I've done. Why should I wait until bottling day, up to 3 or 4 weeks after I move it from primary to secondary to check my gravity? What if I'm using harvested yeast and I don't realize it's pooping out until I've made another batch? I can know in 7-10 days, rather than waiting 30-45 days.

Is this really as traumatic as you or I are making it sound? No, but to say that I'm looking for an excuse to take readings (potentially infecting my beer) is just silly. I'm doing it for a reason. To make the best beer I possibly can and to learn about my process and make it better.

/edit: The original topic is apparently an "attack" (whether friendly or full of malice) on Revvy's often quoted gospel (see what I did there?) that the air lock should not be used to determine if fermentation is complete. I agree with Revvy's side of the "debate", but I don't think it needs to be as tragic as it sounds.
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Old 08-31-2009, 08:28 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by Clayton View Post
really i dont know what all the fuss is about i almost never use my Hydrometer.
Yeah i know crazy right!
I just dont have any use for it, unless i am making some super hi-gravity beer or if i am making a mead wine or something odd i have never done before.
most of the beer i make i have made many times in the past and have my set recipts and logs ect at this point i just know where its at.

I can tell by look ,taste and flow if my mash was on target , and i really dont care what the 100% correct alcohol% is anyway. i ferment in glass and have never had a leaky stopper.

airlock action, plus yeast clean up time is all i need for most of the ales i make, i almost never use a secondery anymore , and just wate till flocculation is compleat then wate a few more days and then rack to keg and carb, that way the ferment gets opened just once at kegging time and my hydrometer stays nice and safe on a shelf in its case where it belongs
Does this mean that you believe that there is no chance, at all, that yeast will stop eating (and flocculate) before all fermentable sugars are consumed? I realize that you didn't say as much but it leads to a question for clarification. If indeed you believe it so, that is a brave assumption that could leed to some beers that could potentially be on the sweeter side to some liking. Perhaps you don't mind if your beers are on the sweet-side. I happen to care, so I will continue to utilize hydrometer readings as my main indicator of completed (or near enough completed to my liking) fermentation.
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Old 08-31-2009, 08:29 PM   #29
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i almost never use my Hydrometer.
I'll take an OG reading, but other than that, I don't use it much anymore either. As you say, we brew these beers over and over again. You just get a feel for it after so many times.

However, I do think new brewers should use it until they reach a more experienced & comfortable place in their brewing...
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Old 08-31-2009, 08:35 PM   #30
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You just get a feel for it after so many times.
You get a "feel" for completeness of fermentation? A rare gift indeed.

Perhaps I am too new to the process to understand that way of thinking. I mean, I get a "feel" for when I should be taking a hydrometer reading but i don't think we are talking about the same thing here.
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