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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Beer Discussion > Hydrometer Game vs Just wait 2 weeks
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Old 01-21-2013, 06:10 AM   #11
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thx for reply pdxal

this better?

ferment 2 weeks, take hydrometer reading, wait 3 days, take another reading - if no change then
taste it & then bottle

btw the kit says to do the hydrometer reading thing after only 4-6 days

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Old 01-21-2013, 10:16 AM   #12
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I can only agree with the "don't rush it" method. I made the mistake of rushing my first brew to the bottle. It was "done" as I didn't produce bottle bombs and it most like did reach FG, but it still doesn't taste as good as the other half of the split batch that spent an extra week in primary.

IMHO, if you have the patience, go for three to four weeks before bottling. Take a few gravity readings and taste in between, just to get a feel for how things change over time.

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Old 01-21-2013, 11:05 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jasolhe View Post
thx for reply pdxal

ferment 2 weeks, take hydrometer reading, wait 3 days, take another reading - if no change then
taste it & then bottle
That's what I would do. If you aerate the wort, pitch the correct amount of yeast, and control your temps the fermentation might be done closer to the 4-6 day mark. However, 2 weeks is probably better.

I used to be in the multiple hydrometer readings crowd when I first started. Now that I'm more confident in my abilities and have my process down, I tend to just leave it be for 2-3 weeks and then keg/bottle when I get around to it. I do take a hydrometer reading so I have an FG for my notes, but I'm not checking if fermentation is done since I'm pretty sure it is by this point.
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Old 01-21-2013, 12:18 PM   #14
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I have never taken a hydrometer reading before and actually just got my first one. I was planning to take an OG reading while doing my first all grain batch this past Sunday but dropped and broke the hydrometer after sanitizing. Maybe next time.

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Old 01-21-2013, 12:55 PM   #15
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I always do a "satellite" in a 500ml flask that way I don't have to worry about contamination, can test at will, and it's much easier to view what is happening in the flask.
That's a great way to tell when your 500 mL satellite beer is done fermenting, but virtually useless for indicating anything about the main batch.

The only way to guage the progress of the actual batch of beer is to measure its specific gravity directly.
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Old 01-21-2013, 05:02 PM   #16
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That's a great way to tell when your 500 mL satellite beer is done fermenting, but virtually useless for indicating anything about the main batch.

The only way to guage the progress of the actual batch of beer is to measure its specific gravity directly.
Interesting, my satellites have always been very close to the sample taken straight from the main vessel, your experience has been different?
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Old 01-21-2013, 06:14 PM   #17
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Interesting, my satellites have always been very close to the sample taken straight from the main vessel, your experience has been different?
Honestly, I haven't bothered to do them, because literature I've read indicated they can't be trusted. A smaller vessel has a wildly different thermal mass than a full 5 gallon fermenter, and thus temperature swings will be much more dynamic, which affects fermentation speed. Other variables, such as dissolved oxygen and simply having much less wort to work through, mean the two fermentations (satellite vs. main) will have too many differences to make a useful comparison.
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Old 01-21-2013, 06:38 PM   #18
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To the OP:
Patience is not an easy thing, but you must find it. Look into your soul and into the depth of your heart and ask:

Do I like good beer? Do I want the beer I made to be the best it can be?

If your answer is yes then seek out patience and wait. Wait the 21 days at least for the yeast to do their work and then clean up after themselves. Then take a reading and you will see the yeast have done well and your patience is rewarded as your beer is at FG. Then wait 3 more days and test again is your FG attained? Yes, good!
Now place your fermenter a cool (50 or less) place so your yeast friends can find peace and sleep after they have worked so hard to make good beer.

Once the beer has cooled for 3 days (5 days better) package it in confidence knowing you have done well by your yeast friends and treated them with respect and patience.

Please be kind to yeast and allow them to work and do their job to the best of their ability, so that the yeast can do all that they can do, and fulfill their destiny to make good beer!.

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Old 01-21-2013, 06:54 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jasolhe View Post
thx for reply pdxal

this better?

ferment 2 weeks, take hydrometer reading, wait 3 days, take another reading - if no change then
taste it & then bottle

btw the kit says to do the hydrometer reading thing after only 4-6 days
The two consecutive gravity samples are also for safety. Just recently there was a post from a guy who had bottle bombs and ended up picking glass shards out of himself - lots of blood involved. IMO your plan here is a minimum for safety. I personally like to give it three weeks because it might be better quality. If it didn't need the extra week, no harm done.
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Old 01-21-2013, 09:01 PM   #20
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If you're doing a malty beer, extra time is often beneficial to taste. If it's an IPA, the hop flavor is already fading. You want to drink it as soon as possible. I go about a week and take successive gravity readings. When fermentation is over, it gets dry-hopped for a week or so and then bottled. I start drinking about a week in. For low-gravity beers, you can bottle in less than two weeks if you have good pitch rates and fermentation has stopped for a few days. Certain beers might mature over time, but fresh styles can be done much sooner than 3 weeks.

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