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Old 09-22-2010, 03:18 PM   #1
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Default Broken Hydrometer

I was brewing my first batch last night and broke the hydrometer. My understanding is that is the only way I can know when the batch is ready to be bottled. I went ahead and finished everything because I didn't know what else to do I was in the middle of the brew. Is there anyway for me to know when the batch is ready?

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Old 09-22-2010, 05:03 PM   #2
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First of all, welcome to the forum!

You can always buy a new hydrometer. Once gravity is constant for 3 days, fermentation is complete and your beer can be bottled.

However, if you want to make the best beer possible (and who doesn't) you should let the beer sit in primary for at least 2 weeks, 3 is better. This gives the yeast time to clean up after itself, helping to get rid of any byproducts from fermentation that can cause off-flavors. After 2 -3 weeks in primary, fermentation is almost certainly complete, and you can bottle safely. Then let the beer sit in the bottles for 3 weeks, chill 1 or 2 for 24 - 48 hours, and try it. Buying a new hydrometer should still be a priority. It's really the only way to know for sure when fermentation is complete.

Time and patience are your friends in this hobby. The last beer from the batch will be the best beer of the batch. In the meantime, get another batch going so you have something to occupy yourself with while you wait!

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Old 09-23-2010, 05:20 PM   #3
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thanks for the help I am going to order a new hydrometer. I am so new and the instructions they gave me at the store were not very good. I have the batch in the primary (even though I'm not sure its going to work) after the two weeks I mix in the sugar and beer in the bottling bucket and bottle for three weeks? What is the best way to sanitize the bottles? Also I think I am going to order a second primary fermenter and start a blue berry hefeweizen if you have any recommendations for a good recipe or another beer you recommend.

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Old 09-23-2010, 05:25 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by benharper13 View Post
thanks for the help I am going to order a new hydrometer. I am so new and the instructions they gave me at the store were not very good. I have the batch in the primary (even though I'm not sure its going to work) after the two weeks I mix in the sugar and beer in the bottling bucket and bottle for three weeks? What is the best way to sanitize the bottles? Also I think I am going to order a second primary fermenter and start a blue berry hefeweizen if you have any recommendations for a good recipe or another beer you recommend.
I broke two hydrometers my first brew day, it was a disaster. I would check out How to Brew by John Palmer for quality instructions, I have read that thing every day since I started, awesome resource.

When I bottled, I added sugar to some water and brought it to a boil, making sure all the sugar had liquified. Then I let that cool and then put that in the bottling bucket, then racked my beer on top of that. I think that is proper way to do it.

For sanitizing bottles, I got some StarSan and mixed it in a 5 gallon bucket and then submerged my bottles in there and let them sit. Then when it was time to bottle, I cycled bottles into the sanitizer as I bottled others, worked pretty well.
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Old 09-23-2010, 10:12 PM   #5
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is there a way to look at the airlock and see if its fermenting? Are there suppose to be bubbles coming up? It is coming up on 48 hours in there and I thought it was suppose to start by then

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Old 09-23-2010, 10:27 PM   #6
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The airlock will begin to release bubbles, although that can take anywhere from a few hours to several days. Give it some time and don't worry. Definitely go to Howtobrew.com and read through Brewing Your First Beer With Malt Extract.

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Old 09-23-2010, 10:33 PM   #7
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Hey Ben, welcome to HBT!

You should locate the broken hydrometer thread and add yours to the count. It will make you feel right at home.

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Old 09-23-2010, 11:26 PM   #8
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Would it be a big deal to take the lid off for a minute and take a peak or should I resist my urges and wait?

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Old 09-24-2010, 12:03 AM   #9
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Little harm will come from cracking the lid and taking a peek...just don't do it too much. Look for any activity or Krausen beginning to start. One issue you could be having (now that you have mentioned lifting the lid) is a leak in the lid's seal. This could cause carbon dioxide to escape without causing the airlock to bubble. You have nothing to worry if this is the case. Just let it continue to ferment. Most likely this is not the case and in less than a day you will probably see activity in your airlock. Also, read this:
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f39/ferm...e-signs-43635/

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Old 09-24-2010, 12:03 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by benharper13 View Post
Would it be a big deal to take the lid off for a minute and take a peak or should I resist my urges and wait?
Fight the urge!
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