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Old 04-19-2006, 05:31 PM   #1
Brewing Clamper
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Default Greetings from a Newbie

Hey all, Just thought I'd say hello to ya'll. I'm brand spankin' new to this hobbie and I must say I already love it! My very first batch is currently on it's 10th day of fermenting and I can't wait to bottle it this weekend. It's a cream stout recipe from my local HB supply store. I tasted a batch he had there and it was pretty good... at least I have something to compare it with...

Anyway, I suppose I do have a quick question: If I'm supposed to leave the air lock on, and I'm supposed to check the SG of the brew... how do I do that without opening the air lock and sticking a racking cane in? Should I just go the two week fermentation and hope for the best when it comes time for bottling? Ok, that's all... thanks!

--Ohms

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Old 04-19-2006, 05:45 PM   #2
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Welcome.

It's permissible to open up your fermenter for taking a sample, just make everything is well sanitized. If you have a plastic bucket type fermenter you can even slide the lid back and put the sanitized hydrometer right in to check the gravity. If you have a carboy, you're pretty much relegated to thieving a sample with your racking cane or other device (such as a turkey baster).

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Old 04-19-2006, 09:09 PM   #3
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Omni,
I agree with Baron's comments, but I'd also add that I wouldn't worry too much about the hydrometer. when I made my first couple of brews, I was worried about this also but I've come to believe that if you pitch your yeast at the correct temp, aerate, and you see activity in the airlock, there's no need to worry about the hydrometer. I just use it to calculate the ABV at bottling

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Old 04-19-2006, 10:09 PM   #4
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Do not bother taking the specific gravity. It's the most stupid thing books tell new brewers to do. It's completely unnecessary.

Do a one week primary, a two week (or more) secondary, and you're set.

Taking hydrometer readings in the middle of the ferment risks infection, wastes beer and accomplishes nothing. You don't need a hydrometer to brew at all. If you want to use one, take measurements only when you are already racking the beer. The fermentation will happen whether or not you take measurements.

Welcome to the board!

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Old 04-22-2006, 07:15 PM   #5
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Hey guys, thanks for the warm welcome. So we bottled our first batch yesterday and of course, I had to give it a taste. I was surprised how good a young, flat beer can be! We were so excited we rushed out afterwards to get another recipe going. I now have a German style wheat beer going in the primary... I think I'm gonna be really hooked on this hobby!!

--Ohms

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Old 04-22-2006, 11:04 PM   #6
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as to me champ love this gig although only into 3rd day fermentation instructions tell me to bottle 6-7 days after fermentation it is with a kit and not from scratch though although they say a use the hydro over 2 days and if its the same reading bottle it but from my understanding the only way u can get to ur brew is through the top taken the air lock out ? mine is like a keg with a tap on the bottem they tell me to take measurement when mixed then after 6-7 days over 2 days as to the same reading before bottling but im new as well so maybe it would be wise to listen to a experienced brewer

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Old 04-23-2006, 09:42 AM   #7
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I usually take a sample to get an OG. I then put this sample in a sanitized bottle, plug it with a paper towel and let it ferment along side my primary. Even if this "satellite" fermenter becomes infected, you should still get a good finishing gravity and won't have to open your primary risking infecting the whole batch.

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Old 04-23-2006, 10:15 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Texas65
I usually take a sample to get an OG. I then put this sample in a sanitized bottle, plug it with a paper towel and let it ferment along side my primary. Even if this "satellite" fermenter becomes infected, you should still get a good finishing gravity and won't have to open your primary risking infecting the whole batch.

nice idea i will even try that 1!
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Old 04-23-2006, 10:37 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Texas65
I usually take a sample to get an OG. I then put this sample in a sanitized bottle, plug it with a paper towel and let it ferment along side my primary. Even if this "satellite" fermenter becomes infected, you should still get a good finishing gravity and won't have to open your primary risking infecting the whole batch.
Dave Line used to recommend that in his book, I think it's a good idea. You won't get the exact same fermentation but it should be pretty close. I wonder why more people don't do this? Probably figure it's a waste of beer. I'm not that hung-up on gravity readings, so I doubt I will ever do it, but there are some gravity freaks out there.
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Old 04-24-2006, 10:47 AM   #10
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I don't use the specific gravity readings to determine if fermentation is completed, but to determine my ABV %. I believe if you see little or no action from the airlock is the best way to determine fermentation.

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