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Old 03-09-2006, 12:07 AM   #1
tubejay
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Default Hydrometer?

When you take a hydrometer reading while fermenting, how do you get the hydrometer out of a glass carboy when you're done taking a reading? Do you just leave it in there for the fermentation cycle, or what?

Dumb question, I know!

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Old 03-09-2006, 12:12 AM   #2
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You can get a tube that you put your hydrometer in (called a hydrometer flask). All you have to do is take some beer out of the carboy (with a sanitized turkey baster or something) put it in the tube and then put your hydrometer in the tube. You shouldn't put your hydrometer directly in your carboy.

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Old 03-09-2006, 12:12 AM   #3
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...........

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Last edited by Kevin K; 03-09-2006 at 12:18 AM. Reason: If I don't know, I shouldn't post.
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Old 03-09-2006, 12:12 AM   #4
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I use a turkey baster thats been sanitized. Then u get to sample your brew!!!!

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Old 03-09-2006, 12:14 AM   #5
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Here we go

Don't bother taking readings during the fermentation. It's fermenting! Leave it alone. You REALLY shouldn't throw the hydrometer in the fermenter. If it breaks, that batch is toast. If you MUST take readings, then take out a sample. But in doing so you risk infection for no gain whatsoever.

Better yet, wait until you are racking to a secondary and take a sample then.

Better yet, don't bother at all. Ferment in primary one week, then secondary at least two. I just told you everything a hydrometer will ever tell you about whether or not the beer is finished.

If you want to know the alcohol content, take a reading on the wort and then a reading at bottling time. Why oh why do books tell you that you need a hydrometer to tell when beer is done?? It's insane!!

You did sanitize it first, right? At this point, I'd leave it in there so you don't risk infection or break it trying to get the silly thing out.

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Old 03-09-2006, 12:22 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Janx
Here we go

Don't bother taking readings during the fermentation. It's fermenting! Leave it alone. You REALLY shouldn't throw the hydrometer in the fermenter. If it breaks, that batch is toast. If you MUST take readings, then take out a sample. But in doing so you risk infection for no gain whatsoever.

Better yet, wait until you are racking to a secondary and take a sample then.

Better yet, don't bother at all. Ferment in primary one week, then secondary at least two. I just told you everything a hydrometer will ever tell you about whether or not the beer is finished.

If you want to know the alcohol content, take a reading on the wort and then a reading at bottling time. Why oh why do books tell you that you need a hydrometer to tell when beer is done?? It's insane!!

You did sanitize it first, right? At this point, I'd leave it in there so you don't risk infection or break it trying to get the silly thing out.
Yes, hydrometers are great for reading your alcohol content... but arent they also handy to see if your yeast really did it's job? If you take a hydrometer reading on your wort and then take one when you rack to your secondary and there is little or no change then that would be a good indication that you got some lazy yeast!
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Appear: 3.5/5.
Mouthfeel: 3.5/5
Carb/Head: 3/5
Taste: 2.5/5
Overall: 3/5

An overall decent beer but it has too much of a banana character, I think it's because of fermenting at too high of a temp. Tasted better as it aged, but far from perfect.

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Old 03-09-2006, 12:29 AM   #7
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Yeah, but that basically never happens. Make a starter. Aerate your wort. Stuck ferments almost never happen except on high gravity beers.

At least I never get them, and I brew dozens of batches every year. I never use a hydrometer, especially at racking time. You can tell it's fermenting just by looking at it. There's absolutely no need for a hydrometer to tell you that.

One week primary. At least two in the secondary. More is better. Simple as that. Why complicate it for newer brewers with the idea that this process that ALWAYS works might not work, so you better risk infection to test and see that...yep, it's working.

Homebrewers should learn to trust their senses more.

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Old 03-09-2006, 12:40 AM   #8
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Check the gravity of the wort. Then when you rack it to the secondary. This reading will give you an idea if the fermentation went OK. Most if not all of my brews were very close, within a point or 2, to their FG when racked to the secondary. Check the FG at bottling/kegging and you will know alcohol content.
For my first few brews, I constantly checked the gravity. It soon became apparent that it was a waste of beer and an unnecessary task. I guess a part of that is while the beer is fermenting there is nothing to do. Which is why you need to brew more beer!

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Old 03-09-2006, 12:54 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Janx
Yeah, but that basically never happens. Make a starter. Aerate your wort. Stuck ferments almost never happen except on high gravity beers.

At least I never get them, and I brew dozens of batches every year. I never use a hydrometer, especially at racking time. You can tell it's fermenting just by looking at it. There's absolutely no need for a hydrometer to tell you that.

One week primary. At least two in the secondary. More is better. Simple as that. Why complicate it for newer brewers with the idea that this process that ALWAYS works might not work, so you better risk infection to test and see that...yep, it's working.

Homebrewers should learn to trust their senses more.

Feel the Force flow through you...
point taken
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Primary: Porter Potty (oaked porter)
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Next: IIPA

last batch review(Schwheat (wheat))

Appear: 3.5/5.
Mouthfeel: 3.5/5
Carb/Head: 3/5
Taste: 2.5/5
Overall: 3/5

An overall decent beer but it has too much of a banana character, I think it's because of fermenting at too high of a temp. Tasted better as it aged, but far from perfect.

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Old 03-09-2006, 12:23 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Janx
I never use a hydrometer, especially at racking time. You can tell it's fermenting just by looking at it. There's absolutely no need for a hydrometer to tell you that.
I guess the reason is that beginners haven't done it before, and therefore don't have any experience/instinct to trust. So taking a reading at racking time would reassure one that the main work of fermentation really is done.

Also, if you do primary in a plastic buckets, one of the diasadvantages is not being able to see what's happening in there. (Although after a few batches you learn to guage it by airlock activity.)

I take hydrometer readings before pitching and before bottling only, unless I have some reason to suspect something weird is happening (which I concede basicallly never happens, as Janx said.)
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