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Old 08-09-2010, 01:35 AM   #1
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Default Bottled another batch; gravity/hydrometer question

Just bottled another batch of cider - hurray! Did a five gallon batch this time, ended up with a little more than two cases. Its good to get the pipeline going again!

I had an odd thing with this batch, though. I didn't use Nottingham (as I had previously) but went with Edinburgh yeast i had in the fridge, made a starter, pitched, and it took off quickly. A week ago, I took a hydrometer reading and tasted it - read 1.030 and was significantly sweet. Took a reading in the middle of the week, still read 1.030 even though there was visible active fermentation going on.

Today, took another reading and a tasting - the reading was still 1.030 but the cider was notably drier, in fact, dry enough to bottle. In hindsight, i'm wondering if the many bubbles in the hydrometer tube kept me from getting an accurate reading. Perhaps if i had let it sit for a while, the bubbles would have dissipated and I would have gotten a more accurate reading? In any case, the yeast was clearly working (visible in the carboy and a steady stream of CO2 being released via the blowoff tube) and yet my hydrometer reading didn't change over a week. Any thoughts?

Don't worry about the bottle bombs from the incomplete fermentation - that's the plan, I'll pasteurize the bottles after they are at the proper carbonation level.

Any ideas regarding my hydrometer mystery?

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Old 08-09-2010, 02:52 AM   #2
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Well, not really Pappers. I dropped mine the other day, straight down out of the end of the carrying tube. Didn't break and I have tested it several time since to make sure it is still viable. I do know that the bubbles can keep you from getting a correct reading though. I have a large rubber washer with a hole in the middle that I put the top of my hydrometer thru and then rest the washer on top of my tester tube. It is loose enough to let the hydrometer bobble up and down but not side to side. That way it doesn't rest on the sides or in the side bubbles. It helps me.

By the way, I am stoked over your pasteurization techique. Now I have a reason to get the old canner assembly out of the shed.
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Old 08-09-2010, 03:45 AM   #3
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Bubbles can mess you up if you do a reading during an active ferment. You kinda gotta shake the hydrometer a bit to get a good reading. I've seen the hydro float up 20 points over the space of a couple minutes because of the bubbles

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Old 08-09-2010, 11:09 AM   #4
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I usually take my sample, leave it in the sample jar until all the bubbles dissipate (might have to shake it every few minutes) THEN take the measurement.

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Old 08-09-2010, 03:53 PM   #5
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Thanks for the responses - you're confirming what I thought (in hindsight). The cases of cider are in a warmer place now and I'll check on carbonation in a few days, then pasteurize and enjoy!

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Old 08-09-2010, 09:41 PM   #6
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I always give the test tube a knock on my bench , the plunge up and down with the hydrometer a bit to agitate the bubbles out.

Once you're ready to take the reading, take the hydro between your thumb and finger and spin it, to release attached bubbles.

It's worked so far.

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Old 08-09-2010, 10:07 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank_The_Magic_Hobo View Post
I always give the test tube a knock on my bench , the plunge up and down with the hydrometer a bit to agitate the bubbles out.

Once you're ready to take the reading, take the hydro between your thumb and finger and spin it, to release attached bubbles.

It's worked so far.
I always plunge the hydrometer up and down and spin it. The difference here is that with the cider i'm taking a reading of a cider that is not done fermenting.
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