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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Fermentation & Yeast > Why use hydrometer
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Old 01-25-2011, 06:56 PM   #1
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Default Why use hydrometer

I know why they are used for the OG/SP and to tell when fermentation is done plus figuring out your alcohol % but if everyone says to just let it primary for a month or longer and you dont care to know then FG then do you really need to do it. Maybe for bigger beers but just let it sit two months. I still use one but I have a beer that I made on 1/1/11 and want to transfer it to a keg tonight, I assume its done fermenting. I did take a gravity reading today but it was beer with alot of trub because my primary has a spigot. So this throws off my FG with all the solids in solution. I dont have a wine theif so was wondering if I leave it on primary for a 3-4 weeks then do I really need to take a hydro reading?

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Old 01-25-2011, 06:58 PM   #2
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Well, even letting it sit for a month or two, you still don't know if you have a stuck fermentation. You could be bottling something that has dormant yeast that, when moved to a warmer location to bottle condition, decide to wake up and explode some bottles.

The FG lets you know if you are in range and, if constant, that fermentation is complete.

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Old 01-25-2011, 07:01 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Ace_Club View Post
Well, even letting it sit for a month or two, you still don't know if you have a stuck fermentation. You could be bottling something that has dormant yeast that, when moved to a warmer location to bottle condition, decide to wake up and explode some bottles.

The FG lets you know if you are in range and, if constant, that fermentation is complete.
This!! I don't always take multiple readings, but I do take one before bottling to make sure I'm where I should be. If you get a stuck ferment, and then bottle you could be looking at bombs.
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Old 01-25-2011, 07:03 PM   #4
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Bottle Bombs...It will only take one to convince you. That being said,it also allows you to track and compare how different temps, actions and conditions affect your brewing process. The result is that it makes you a better brewer.

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Old 01-25-2011, 07:04 PM   #5
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Friends like to ask teh ABV of teh beer they're drinking. Being able to tell them a two decimal point number makes it look like I'm not just brewing up grand dad's medicine

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Old 01-25-2011, 07:21 PM   #6
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Wait until you wake up to what sounds like someone pop a firecracker in your kitchen. Then only to discover sticky wine all over the wall, shelves, floor and stain the grout in your tile.

Also you can use it to see if you are mashing correctly. Or just how much sugar you are leaving behind in the tun. I will admit I do not use a hydrometer anymore on my house beers. But any beer I make that is not my monthly standard, anything HG, any wine, melomel, or mead I make, all get the hydrometer.

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Old 01-25-2011, 07:29 PM   #7
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Gotcha. Didnt really think about the tracking or dormant yeast part. Thats a good point. How do I get an accurate reading from the spigot with all that trub in it

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Old 01-25-2011, 07:33 PM   #8
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Quote:
How do I get an accurate reading from the spigot with all that trub in it

IIRC trub won't matter in the calculation of SG because it is not part of the liquid, it is just floating around in it.
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Old 01-25-2011, 07:41 PM   #9
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Why not just take a sanitized ladel and ladel your beer into a hydrometer tube for the reading? Is there a reason why you must use the spigot?

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Old 01-26-2011, 12:25 AM   #10
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No reason, guess I dont think outside the box much. Wont trub affect the ration of solids to solutes. Just like sugar in the wart. The more sugar or fermentables to higher the OG so I figured the same is true if I have a bunch of trub in the beer. Could be way off just thinking back to O chem

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