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Old 11-17-2012, 09:18 PM   #1
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Default Hydrometer question

I've been fermenting my first batch for about a week now. I was gonna take a reading with my hydrometer and possibly move it into a secondary fermenter. However, today I broke my hydrometer before I could get a reading. Turns out my local homebrew store is sold out of hygrometers, so I ordered one online. My question is should I go ahead and move my wort to a secondary fermenter or wait for my hydrometer to get here and skip secondary fermentation all together? I'm brewing a brewers best American light kit.

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Old 11-17-2012, 09:22 PM   #2
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Skip secondary. It's only been one week anyway. It should be closer to done by the time the new on comes in. After initial fermentation is done,it'll slow down till it hits FG. Then another 3-7 days to clean up & settle out clear. You have plenty of time.
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Old 11-17-2012, 09:23 PM   #3
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*takes cover*

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Old 11-17-2012, 09:24 PM   #4
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most people will advise you to skip a secondary and let it go longer than a week. Personally, I skip secondary in the beers I've done so far (I'm still fairly new) and I usually primary for around 3 weeks.

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Old 11-17-2012, 09:25 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doctor_Wily
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Old 11-17-2012, 09:32 PM   #6
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I would say just leave it in primary for another week (at least!), then, assuming you've kept it at a reasonable temperature for fermentation, it would be fine to bottle whether you've taken a reading or not. I did my first few batches without taking any readings. That being said, you will not know what your abv is, or know your FG to compare it's body with other beers (just to start to get a feeling of what 1.015 feels like in your mouth). HOWEVER, there IS some risk involved with this method. If something were to keep your yeast from totally fermenting out in a couple of weeks (a really low temperature, way underpitching, or barely viable yeast) you COULD end up with bottle bombs. But with a moderate gravity beer like the one you've got, if you pitched any decent yeast, and kept it above the mid 50s, you should be fine after 2-3 weeks.

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Old 11-18-2012, 05:19 PM   #7
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Thanks for the advice guys. I will say one thing that has concerned me about this batch has been the lack of active activity coming from my airlock. Honestly, i didn't see any activity within the first 48 hrs. At first II thought I didn't have a tight seal around the lid, however I pressed slightly on the lid and noticed the air lock working so I knew this wasn't the case. In addition, pressing on the lid seemed to cause bubbles to start coming from the air lock so I figured I was in the clear. The next day I checked, again there was no activity so I repeated the same process with the same results. The fermenter is in a bedroom closet which stays anywhere from 60-65 degrees. I was worried that the beer wasn't fermenting or it has stopped completely, hence the reason I wanted to take a reading. The OG of my wort was 1.040 when I measured it back on the 11th. I guess I wait for my new hydrometer to get here and take another reading then.

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Old 11-18-2012, 05:41 PM   #8
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1. Airlock activity is not an accurate sign of fermentation. Remember that well.

2. When you pushed on the lid, you were simply forcing the CO2 inside the fermenter out of the airlock (the only escape path for it). This action doesn't have any correlation to how your fermentation is progressing.

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Old 11-18-2012, 06:01 PM   #9
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Thanks. Hopefully things will work out. I guess I'm just being overly paranoid since this is my first batch. Appreciate the information.

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Old 11-18-2012, 06:09 PM   #10
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I know what he's talking about. The co2 keeps building up,but slowly. It doesn't build fast enough to burp the airlock. But pressing on the lid releases it. It builds up till the next day,he does the same thing. So co2 can build up slowly after initial fermentation is done. It'll continue to do so till FG is reached.
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