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Old 12-23-2008, 09:33 AM   #1
browntrout
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Default 1st batch, new kit, broken hydrometer...

So.. I decided to start homebrewing and really have put the time in to research/reading prior to buying supplies, a recipe kit and getting underway. Unfortunately my order was delayed in the mail and when it arrived the box was a bit beat up. Everything in the kit sans the hydrometer was intact though. Due to time constraints in the coming weeks I had to brew that day and was obviously unable to take a OG reading. Everything seems to have gone well so far. Airlock started bubbling within hours of the wort being put into the primary. Constant bubbling in the airlock now at 48hours (1-2 per sec).

Question is how do I know when to rack into the secondary? Should I wait two (one? three?) weeks and when I recieve a new hydometer do the three readings for three consecutive days thing? Should I use the expected FG from the recipe kit?

I realize that i will not be able to figure out the alcohol content. Bummer.

I also realize I was a dumba$$ for not taking a sample and keeping it in the refridgerator to be checked when the new hydometer comes in...bypassing this whole issue. Oh well first batch. Some mistakes expected.

I have to say other than this issue, this whole process has been a blast. And this site is great. Thanks. Looking forward to some responses and my first homebrew.

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Old 12-23-2008, 09:44 AM   #2
mickpc
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First off, what where the contents of the kit? You can get a good idea of the final product with the ingredients, generally.
As far as when you should bottle, give it roughly two weeks (others may disagree) and if you can use the plastic PET bottles, that way you avoid bottle bombs.

These days I only use my hydrometer as a rule of thumb. Some of the beers I have done lately have had OG's and FG's all over the place (within reason), so yea don't be to worried about the hydrometer, but do get a new one asap.

Have a merry christmas.

Mick

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Old 12-23-2008, 12:23 PM   #3
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Assuming you're making an ale just leave the beer in the primary fermentor for 3+ weeks. After then you can use your new hydrometer. After that 3 weeks there is a good chance you'll be near your target fg mentioned in the recipe.

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Old 12-24-2008, 02:41 AM   #4
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thanks to both. i guess im wondering if it would be ok to rack into the secondary fermenter one week after going into the primary or should i wait longer since i have no true objective way to measure? sounds like you're both saying to leave it in the primary longer to make sure. but if it is incompletley fermented in the primary the rest should happen in the secondary right? or is it better left in the primary?

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Old 12-24-2008, 06:43 AM   #5
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Yeah, I wouldn't worry about it. Order the new hydrometer now. In a couple weeks, or whenever the new hydrometer comes in, measure the SG, provided that the bubbling has stopped. Then measure it again a few days later. If the reading hasn't changed and it is reasonable close to your target FG, then fermentation is done and you can rack to secondary. The kit probably came with instructions with the OG on there. If you follewed everything correctly, I would just assume the OG they gave you or you can calculate it using any number of tools.

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Old 12-24-2008, 11:44 AM   #6
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If you allow three weeks from pitching yeast to bottling, whether you simply leave it in the primary or rack to the secondary, you should be fine. This assumes that you will have kept your fermenter at the 65 - 70 F range the whole time.

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