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Old 11-28-2005, 03:32 PM   #1
DarkMagneto
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Default 1st time brewer question - Hydrometer

I picked up my "Brewers Best" beginners kit on Saturday at the store. I chose to make the "American Micro Style" Ale for my first beer. I read the multiple sets of directions very thoroughly and I now have one question...

I have my wort in the 6.5 gallon fermenter. It has a lid with a hole drilled in the top of the lid. The hole contains a gromet that my airlock goes into. However....how am I supposed to take readings with my hydrometer? I assume that I should not open the lid because that would introduct oxygen to the fermentation process. I took a reading with the hydrometer right before I pitched the yeast and it was in the range the instructions specified. How do I know when I can syphon into my glass carboy for my second stage fermentation?

One source said to wait until the bubbles in my airlock are averaging 1 bubble per minute or less. Is this an accurate way to judge? Is there any problems with letting it ferment for too long?

Sorry for making this such a long post....any guidance for a 1st time brewer is very welcome!

Cheers!
Dark Magneto

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Old 11-28-2005, 03:45 PM   #2
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One or two bpm is a good point at which to move the brew to the carboy. Ferments take anywhere from 2 days to three weeks, with 4-5 days being most common.

If your kit has a raking cane, see if it will fit through the gromet. If so, you can sanitize it and draw off a sample. I'm not a fan of grometed airlocks for exactly this reason. I prefer using a stopper.

If you can't draw a sample, wait for the ferment to slow and take a gravity when you rack to the carboy. If it's a little high, that just means a little more time in the secondary.

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Old 11-28-2005, 03:50 PM   #3
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David,

Thanks for the tip! OK...next newbie question....how long does it sit in the secondary for?

Yes, the kit did come with a racking cane, but I am confused on how I "start" the syphon process with that. Any help please....

Thanks!
Dark

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Old 11-28-2005, 04:09 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkMagneto
Thanks for the tip! OK...next newbie question....how long does it sit in the secondary for?
Minimum: until it's done fermenting.
Maximum: as long as you can stand it.



I usually leave my beers in the secondary for 2 weeks. Some people will leave it in there for months.

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Originally Posted by DarkMagneto
Yes, the kit did come with a racking cane, but I am confused on how I "start" the syphon process with that. Any help please....
The cane is not meant to help you start a siphon. It's meant to help you control the intake of your siphon (so you can avoid sucking up the sediment on the bottom of the fermenter.) It's just a rigid extention to your siphon hose basically.

To start the siphon, you need to get an autosiphon, carboy cap, or just take your chances and suck on the siphon hose to start things. I do NOT suggest sucking on the hose.

-walker
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Old 11-28-2005, 04:17 PM   #5
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I know that the cane is not meant to start the syphon, I was confused on how I can "start" the syphon process with using the racking cane...

That link you provided is perfect! Thanks for the tip!

Cheers!
Dark Magneto

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Old 11-28-2005, 04:21 PM   #6
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no problem.

Also, LOTS of people here use the autosiphon. It's seems like a real Jim Dandy piece of equipment. Your mouth is never involved at all. (Search this forum for "autosiphon" and you'll find lots of info.)

I'm just a cheap-skate kind of guy, so I opt for the cheap and versatile rubber caps.

happy brewing!

-walker

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Old 11-28-2005, 11:02 PM   #7
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You could also use a trukey baster to start a siphon, get gravity readings and get taste samples by removing the rubber stopper only and sucking a sample out.
Make sure the baster is sanitized before putting it in your batch. Just be carefull when using the baster and make sure not to pump any air into the beer. A baster cost about .99 cents to 2 bucks.

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Old 11-29-2005, 03:24 PM   #8
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good idea, 808! I never thought of using the baster for anything other than stealing samples, but it should make a pretty good siphon starter.

-walker

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Old 11-29-2005, 04:35 PM   #9
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Whenever I think of a turkey baster I think about turkey or artificial insemination...

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Old 11-29-2005, 04:42 PM   #10
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Turkey AI? LOLOLOLOLOLOL.....how the hell do you get that job?

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