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Old 01-19-2009, 01:11 PM   #1
bigfloppybunny
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Default hydrometer question

I have a hydrometer and the little tube you fill up. Why cant I just sanitize the hydrometer itself and stick it right in the fermentation bucket? Do I have to take some liquid out and fill the tube up?

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Old 01-19-2009, 01:14 PM   #2
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The hydrometer may give inaccurate readings due to bubbles in the wort, and if
you have Krausen that will interfere as well. Bubbles, yeast, etc can stick to the
hydro.

I never saw anything wrong with that if you're sure there isn't anything sticking
to the hydrometer, but I have a Carboy that I can't do that with so I use a thief
to pull a hydrometer sample.

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Old 01-19-2009, 03:32 PM   #3
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I have tried to use the tube that the hydro comes in before but the hydrometer always seemed to stick to the side. You can find sample tubes at any home brew store for 5 bucks

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Old 01-19-2009, 03:56 PM   #4
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You really do not want your wort exposed to the air for as long as it takes to get a correct reading. As posted above - bubbles adhering to your hydrometer will give incorrect readings.
It is best to use the tube - that way you can close the lid back up - spin the hydrometer (to displace bubbles) and let it sit for about 15 minutes before actually taking the reading.

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Old 01-19-2009, 04:01 PM   #5
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Also - don't leave your hydrometer in the thief when you dip it into your carboy.

It displaces the wort and you might not end up with enough to float the hydrometer.

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Old 01-19-2009, 04:58 PM   #6
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Apart from the problem of krausen getting stuck to the hydrometer, there is also the practical issue that it would be really hard to read that way! Even quite pale beers look much darker when you have a large volume of them in a carboy, so you won't be able to see the part of the hydrometer scale that is submerged. Without being able to get your eye up close to it, it would be tricky to see exactly what the reading is.

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Old 01-19-2009, 05:33 PM   #7
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Do you use the temp. conversion chart. I read in Palmer that the SG is standardized to 59 degrees F. and that you need to use the chart to get the true reading.

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Old 01-19-2009, 08:30 PM   #8
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I use beersmith. You put in the temp of the sample and what it reads. The program spits out a converted reading. This works if your sample is close to 60*F. It get skewed if the sample is much above 100*F or lower than 40.

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Old 01-19-2009, 09:32 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigfloppybunny View Post
Why cant I just sanitize the hydrometer itself and stick it right in the fermentation bucket?
You can. I used to. Thing is, I aerate my wort by dumping it from the kettle into the bucket through a screen, so there's a 3-inch layer of foam on top of the wort surface!

Now I just reserve the last quart or two of wort in the kettle (along with the vast majority of hops and trub) and skim off that with a baster to get my OG sample. It takes a few minutes for the trub to drop out, and in that time I can pitch and seal the fermenter without worrying about what nasties are floating in the air.

EDIT: Just noticed you're not talking about just the OG sample. For later samples I use a sanitized drinking straw and turkey baster through the airlock hole.
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Last edited by 944play; 01-19-2009 at 09:45 PM.
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Old 01-19-2009, 09:36 PM   #10
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Why'd you even ask this question? You know you're going to try it anyway no matter what we say...just kidding.

All good answers. Just remember, what you think is a short cut may actually take longer than doing it the PROVEN way.

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