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Old 11-17-2009, 01:50 AM   #1
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Default Reading gravity during primary fermentation.

Hello everyone,

I've just recently begun experimenting with making cider and I have a question. There is a great deal of information out there and, as with everything that's a hobby or more, everyone has their opinion on what is right and what is wrong. I'm trying to get the best information possible, so I came here to ask the geniuses.

I'm on my second and third batches of cider at the moment. The first batch is aging a bit because the alcohol level turned out to be a bit higher than I anticipated. Its still quite good though, even though it's very young.

This time around, the airlocks aren't bubbling. From what I gather, this may not be a big deal, so I'm doing my best to not freak out quite yet. I only pitched the yeast 24 hours ago. Also I've read that an airlock isn't an accurate gauge of fermentation anyways.

Finally, my question Is it safe to take a gravity reading during primary fermentation? I've read some places that people do this and its common enough. I've read other places that you shouldn't do this because it introduces air into the fermenter. I planned to simply use a sanitized turkey baster to grab a sample to read the gravity, but I don't want to end up with a big ol' batch of vinegar because I was impatient.

Your help is extremely appreciated by this novice.

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Old 11-17-2009, 02:51 AM   #2
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Welcome to HBT!

You can take a reading whenever you like without any problems. Just sanitize everything that is going to touch the cider. Personally, I wouldn't bother for a few weeks but if you just can't help yourself, go ahead.

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Old 11-17-2009, 08:04 AM   #3
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I think it is really important to monitor the progress of a primary ferment with regular hydrometer readings. As a beginner it will give you an idea of the way yeast works, and even professionals constantly monitor. if a problem develops eg stuck ferment you can be right on top of it and if the ferment is unexpectedly fast you will know. It also makes it more fun and you can taste the flavour development as you sample.

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Old 11-17-2009, 08:44 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gregbathurst View Post
It also makes it more fun and you can taste the flavour development as you sample.

This is the best part
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Old 11-18-2009, 03:01 AM   #5
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Thanks very much for the replies! Its a good first experience with a forum when you get replies that are both kind and helpful!

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