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Old 01-24-2014, 11:56 PM   #41
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i use a sanitized turkey baster

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Old 01-25-2014, 12:04 AM   #42
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Originally Posted by coolharry View Post
Time to get a carboy, then you can watch without opening.
^^^I agree with coolharry. This is probably the main reason I moved to carboys early on when I began brewing, so I could keep an eye on it.

Every time you open the lid (especially early in the fermentation process) you risk contaminating your beer. IMO, if you have to open the lid, do it once to take your first gravity reading.
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Old 01-25-2014, 04:14 AM   #43
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Originally Posted by NTXBrauer View Post
^^^I agree with coolharry. This is probably the main reason I moved to carboys early on when I began brewing, so I could keep an eye on it.

Every time you open the lid (especially early in the fermentation process) you risk contaminating your beer. IMO, if you have to open the lid, do it once to take your first gravity reading.
The Bubbler or Better Bottles work too.
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Old 01-25-2014, 04:39 AM   #44
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Thanks dean that's what I was thinking. Once dry hopping is complete ill try it out with a baster.

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Old 01-25-2014, 04:45 AM   #45
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Originally Posted by wtfDean View Post
i use a sanitized turkey baster
I use one of those as well. Handy item, and they're only a buck.
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Old 01-25-2014, 04:50 AM   #46
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If you have no problems more than twice is too often to open your fermenter. After 2-3 weeks take a gravity check. (1st opening) 2 days later take a second gravity check. (2nd opening) If the gravity readings are the same you can bottle the beer.

Opening it any more often is taking an unnecessary risk of infecting your beer.

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Old 01-25-2014, 06:27 AM   #47
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Originally Posted by wtfDean View Post
also, breezy is right. the refractometer is only useful before there's alcohol in the beer.
I'd disagree a bit, if the reading is stable it will tell you if fermentation is complete without needing to take 2 full samples. I've also found Sean Terrill's refractometer calculator to be quite accurate with all but very highly attenuated beers (I'm usually double checking with a hydrometer myself but not always on a small batch).

When using a bucket for primary I actually just leave the lids a bit loose because I have such trouble getting them off even with a wrench. I haven't had any infection or oxidation issues, although the beers aren't in there more than about 2wks, maybe 3wk tops if dryhopping.
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Old 01-26-2014, 01:58 AM   #48
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Originally Posted by JakeSparrow View Post
Well my first batch I've brewed is still fermenting been a little afraid to take the lid off but the airlock does smell good. Im patient enough to wait but it would be cool to see the yeast at work. What's the best way to take a sample before bottling to make sure it's good to go?

Sanitized thief. Or sanitized turkey baster, if you don't have a thief.
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