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Deacon240 11-24-2008 07:18 PM

Checking Gravity
 
Now I ran a search on this but found next to null on what I was looking for. So sorry if it's a repost of a repost...etc.

As far as checking the gravity of your beer's progress how do most of you do it? Do you just pop the lid and get beer out of there or siphon some? Place some in a different fermenting container? Also do you check it a couple days in a row? These are questions I've done some research on but cant quite figure out...

ShortSnoutBrewing 11-24-2008 07:34 PM

Most will use a tool called a wine thief, or just thief. Remember as a kid (or maybe you still do this) you would put your finger on the end of a straw and lift it up and drop the fluid back in the glass, your mouth, whatever? Think of the thief as a big straw. Use it to extract some of the beer, put the sample in a tall, thin cylinder and then add your hydrometer to take the reading.

Revvy 11-24-2008 07:35 PM

I sanitize a turkey baster and fill a hydromter test tube about 3/4's of the way full.

imaguitargod 11-24-2008 07:40 PM

I too have been wondering how tften to do this. I take the OG reading and near when I think it should be bottled, I take a reading the day before bottling and the day of bottling to check to see if it's drastically changed....does this sound right? Or should I be checking every few days to get an acrate reading and create a graph of the fermentation? At 5 gallon batches, this seems like alot of beer stolen...

Deacon240 11-24-2008 07:42 PM

I like that idea Revvy. Thanks all for the quick responses

Kungpaodog 11-24-2008 08:52 PM

It's not the most picky method, but I just check when I go to secondary after 2 weeks, and then 2 weeks later at bottling. There is maybe a one or two point drop during that period, but it is enough data points for me to get a fair estimation of the alcohol content, and enough to know if something has gone horribly wrong (hasn't happened yet, knock on wood).

bhughes 11-26-2008 02:26 PM

I'm new to this also and my first batch has been fermenting for about 4 days. I'm kind of worried about the whole process of opening the lid of my fermentor and sticking something in there to take a gravity reading. Is there much risk of affecting the fermentation process when I open the lid, and also when I scoop some beer out with a measuring cup or something (sanitzed)?

Choguy03 11-26-2008 02:52 PM

As long as you sanitize your turkey baster you will be fine. Unless you sneeze in your beer or dump some mold in you will be fine. And even then you never know. Just remember to sanitize and you will be a happy brewer.

TJ-Bill 11-26-2008 04:15 PM

I just bougth a hydrometer and will be using on my next batch.

I was also concerned about opening the lid and letting air in.. I guess if you open it and it's not done fermenting then the air will be pushed out while it continues to ferment. And if it's done fermenting when you take your reading then you should move it into the secondary..

What about if you only keep you beer in the primary? If you leave it for 3-4 weeks then go staright to the keg do you really need to check the FG? fermintation should be done by then so why bother checking and risk letting something in there?

Deacon240 11-26-2008 04:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TJ-Bill (Post 976831)
I just bougth a hydrometer and will be using on my next batch.

I was also concerned about opening the lid and letting air in.. I guess if you open it and it's not done fermenting then the air will be pushed out while it continues to ferment. And if it's done fermenting when you take your reading then you should move it into the secondary..

What about if you only keep you beer in the primary? If you leave it for 3-4 weeks then go staright to the keg do you really need to check the FG? fermintation should be done by then so why bother checking and risk letting something in there?

That was my concern as well.

I'm assuming the main purpose of checking gravity is to A) Make sure fermentation is done and B) Calculate alcohol content


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