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Old 10-12-2009, 06:55 PM   #1
haighter
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Default Hydrometer sample from spigot?

Can I take hydrometer samples from my primary by dispensing some of the goodness directly from the spigot?

I did some searching on the boards, but most say to use a turkey baster/wine stealer. Welp, I don't have either of those and I'm just wondering whether it's OK to take a draw right from the spigot. Thanks.

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Old 10-12-2009, 07:03 PM   #2
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Sure. If it's the Better Bottle spigot, just be aware that it can be a bit of a PITA to operate.


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Old 10-12-2009, 07:12 PM   #3
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I'd be more concerned with just having a spigot on the primary to draw from in the first place. I've read too many threads about spigots cracking and people finding their batch on the floor. At least when they were using the bottling bucket. Have not heard the same about the Better Bottle spigot.

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Old 10-12-2009, 07:18 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dontman View Post
I'd be more concerned with just having a spigot on the primary to draw from in the first place. I've read too many threads about spigots cracking and people finding their batch on the floor.
Funny you should mention that. When I was cleaning out the primary, I had it full of water and sanitizer. I noticed a huge puddle of water on my floor from - you guessed it - a leaky spigot. It's threaded, so I just gave it a quick twist to the right and problem solved. I probably would've flipped my biscuit if that had been a puddle of freshly brewed wort.


Anyways, my questions was more concerning sanitation. It seems like quite a bit of work (and risk of contamination) to move the fermenter (in an inaccessible point right now, at least for turkey baster), remove the lid, and take a sample. Why all that when I can just turn the nozzle and dispense a few oz's to my beaker for hydrometer testing. That was more of my concern, again.
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Old 10-12-2009, 07:56 PM   #5
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The only downside of using the spigot is the sample can have a heap of yeast/trub in it. But you just let it settle for ten minutes.

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Old 10-12-2009, 10:28 PM   #6
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So many of the beers I make end up with trub and yeast cake above the spigot, making it impossible to get sample from there. If you take basic precautions to avoid contamination, your beer will be fine. I make sure there isn't a draft that could be carrying wild yeast or debris, and then spray down the entire top of the fermenting bucket with star-san. Angle the spray up under the edge of the lid. Have everything ready and sanitized (including your hands). With one hand opening the bucket and the other operating the thief, its quick, easy, and shouldn't contaminate your beer.

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Old 04-10-2013, 12:26 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by david_42 View Post
The only downside of using the spigot is the sample can have a heap of yeast/trub in it. But you just let it settle for ten minutes.
The problem that I had is with the airlock, if I try to do this again I will probably open the lid. Without getting a free flow of air it was struggling to equalize the pressure. It kinda did the 'glug-glug' thing, sucking in some less-than-sanitary water and stirring up a lot of sediment in the process. Likely I will just use my thief sampler like I used to.
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Old 04-10-2013, 12:35 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by filbrew

The problem that I had is with the airlock, if I try to do this again I will probably open the lid. Without getting a free flow of air it was struggling to equalize the pressure. It kinda did the 'glug-glug' thing, sucking in some less-than-sanitary water and stirring up a lot of sediment in the process. Likely I will just use my thief sampler like I used to.
What type of air lock do u have? 2 piece take center cap out and youll get no back draft. S lock just push down on lid to empty lock than open. You should b good. Cheers
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Old 04-14-2013, 01:45 AM   #9
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Thanks, dirtybasementbrew, I've got both types of airlock. I tend to brew beers that are heavy on the sediment side, so I think I will just stick with my thief. The advantage of it, in my mind (and please correct my relatively inexperienced notions if my thinking is wrong) is that with the thief I'm sampling from the entire column, or close to, of the fermenting beer, giving a more representative sample. With the spigot, it just seemed like I was getting the sediment heavy bottom, which didn't seem to be that representative of the flavor of the beer, or for that matter the finishing gravity, though the difference for this particular beer was only 1.018 to 1.020.

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