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Old 01-16-2011, 07:46 PM   #1
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Default How to take a reading from a fermenting carboy?

I've had my first brew in primary 6.5gl carboy since Tuesday. I plan on waiting a full 2 weeks before dry hopping to a secondary 5gl carboy. Between now and then what is best way to take hydrometer readings without disrupting the fermentation?

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Old 01-16-2011, 07:51 PM   #2
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Short answer would be sanitized turkey baster, or a Fermtech Wine Thief.

Slightly longer answer: check out the similar threads at the bottom of the page. There are dozens like it for your reading pleasure.

-Joe

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Old 01-16-2011, 07:52 PM   #3
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If you have a wine thief, that's the easiest. I often use a turkey baster, but it's hard to reach 5 gallons in a 6.5 gallon carboy, so that's most useful in a bucket ("ale pail").

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Old 01-16-2011, 07:57 PM   #4
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Thanks, wine thief it is

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Old 01-16-2011, 08:01 PM   #5
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As mentioned above, a turkey baster is best. In lieu of a turkey baster or wine thief though, you can always go to Dairy Queen or some other place that provides really long straws. Use those to reach into the carboy and place your finger over the top hole to grab a sample. Make sure to sanitize it beforehand though.

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Old 01-16-2011, 08:13 PM   #6
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Another option would be to get some tubing that will fit over the end (small diameter) of a flavor injector and use that to pull out about 2 ounces at a time. I would get a brand new injector, though, to make sure you don't have anything nasty get into your brew.

I was going to use that method, until I got used to using the glass wine thief. The wine thief is really easy to use, as well as clean. I know there are plastic ones that are larger, so you can get more of a sample in a single plunge. I'm just not sure how easy those would be to get clean. I suppose you could get a brush to get into them (not sure if the standard bottle brush would work, or not)... For the glass one, a soapy sponge for the outside, and run hot water through the inside after you use it. Sanitize just before using it, and you should be in great shape.

I would also suggest letting the brew go at least 2 weeks in primary. At that point, take a gravity reading. Give it a couple more days and take another reading. If it doesn't change after 2-3 readings, then fermentation is complete. I would probably dry hop into the same carboy too. That is, if you're planning on carbonating with sugar. Otherwise, you'll leave a good amount of yeast behind in secondary when you rack to the bottling bucket.

How long are you planning on dry hopping for? What brew did you make, for your first??

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Old 01-16-2011, 08:14 PM   #7
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I use my auto siphon and use a finger to create a seal on the end.

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Old 01-16-2011, 08:16 PM   #8
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I use a turkey baster go to the 99 cent store they usually have them there. but if were you i wouldn't take so many hydrometer reading i personally just take two. You dont need to take a reading before dry hopping.

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Old 01-16-2011, 08:17 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hotbrew View Post
Ayou can always go to Dairy Queen or some other place that provides really long straws. Use those to reach into the carboy and place your finger over the top hole to grab a sample. Make sure to sanitize it beforehand though.
s
this would only work if you if you were using a refractometer. A straw is no way to grab a sample for a hydrometer sample, unless you want to dip the straw in 60-70 times
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Old 01-16-2011, 08:30 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Golddiggie View Post
Another option would be to get some tubing that will fit over the end (small diameter) of a flavor injector and use that to pull out about 2 ounces at a time. I would get a brand new injector, though, to make sure you don't have anything nasty get into your brew.

I was going to use that method, until I got used to using the glass wine thief. The wine thief is really easy to use, as well as clean. I know there are plastic ones that are larger, so you can get more of a sample in a single plunge. I'm just not sure how easy those would be to get clean. I suppose you could get a brush to get into them (not sure if the standard bottle brush would work, or not)... For the glass one, a soapy sponge for the outside, and run hot water through the inside after you use it. Sanitize just before using it, and you should be in great shape.

I would also suggest letting the brew go at least 2 weeks in primary. At that point, take a gravity reading. Give it a couple more days and take another reading. If it doesn't change after 2-3 readings, then fermentation is complete. I would probably dry hop into the same carboy too. That is, if you're planning on carbonating with sugar. Otherwise, you'll leave a good amount of yeast behind in secondary when you rack to the bottling bucket.

How long are you planning on dry hopping for? What brew did you make, for your first??
I made an American IPA. I was thinking of dry hopping for 1 week and then over to a 5gl soda keg and continue to dry hop in it. I'm not bottling unless I plan on entering competitions later. Should I dry hop in the primary for an extra week and go straight to keg, skipping the secondary?
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