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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > hydrometer sampling
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Old 10-04-2008, 04:44 AM   #1
jrakich87
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Default hydrometer sampling

can i use a sanitized measuring cup and dip it in to get the sample for a hydro reading? or will that be inaccurate because it might skim too much off the top?

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Old 10-04-2008, 04:56 AM   #2
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don't mean to hijack, but i've been pondering about hydrometer readings myself.

what's the real harm in just dropping a sanitized hydrometer right into the primary? seems like that would be less mucking around than dipping a turkey baster in there several times, and i wouldn't be faced with the dilemma of tossing good beer vs. pouring it back in after my reading (which I have to admit I usually choose the latter - i guess i'm going to have to spoil a few batches to convince myself to quit doing that).

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Old 10-04-2008, 04:58 AM   #3
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well I for one kinda want to taste it!!! is that wrong? im trying to enhance my ability to differentiate all the flavours and possible off-flavours

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Old 10-04-2008, 05:01 AM   #4
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Once it is fermenting, everything in solution is in equilibrium, so it doesn't matter where you draw the sample from.

If you just drop the hydrometer in the primary, it may get covered in krausen, get stuck to the side of the vessel, or accumulate CO2 bubbles on it, all of which will result in an innaccurate reading. I also only take readings while transfering, but I always allow AMPLE time for fermentation to complete. I have a sort of Zen-like relationship with my beers, I can just feel when things are ready.

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Old 10-04-2008, 05:04 AM   #5
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You've mastered the first lesson of quality/consistent beer making:
Use a hydrometer.

Now you need to master the second:
Quit using it so often.

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Old 10-04-2008, 09:51 AM   #6
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haha thanks I only used it once (earlier today) and im almost at the target FG so ill check again in about 5 days? or should i sooner/later?

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Old 10-04-2008, 09:56 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yuri_Rage View Post
You've mastered the first lesson of quality/consistent beer making:
Use a hydrometer.

Now you need to master the second:
Quit using it so often.
Now Yuri Thats some funny $#!T

I like to sample my batches at transfer, so a hydro reading is just a bonus. I always take a sample and always drink it, NEVER NEVER NEVER put it back in the mix, What are you crazzzzzy!!
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Old 10-04-2008, 03:50 PM   #8
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Quote:
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NEVER NEVER NEVER put it back in the mix, What are you crazzzzzy!!
JJ
what's so crazy if everything's sanitized? i like to believe i've got my aseptic technique down (I'm a pharmacist that prepares IV chemotherapy, after all!) ...or do you think the risk of something airborne falling in is just too great? Especially after it's fermented, there should be little, if anything, that can get in there and bother it too much, right?

i've yet to actually drop a hydrometer into the bucket, though - and the point of unobservable CO2 bubbles sticking to the hydrometer is a good enough reason for me not to try it! hadn't though of that - thanks!!

As a relative beer noob, though, I actually wonder if I'm taking readings too infrequently... I'm following the advice I keep reading over and over again about not getting too crazy with the hydrometer. At this point, I have a yeast that's notorious for slowing down and then rerousing later on, after you thought it was done (S-33). It's spent 6 days in the primary, only the first 3 of which saw any activity in the airlock (started out very strong, "boiling" the airlock 16hrs after pitching the starter). I've yet to take a hydrometer reading since OG! Aren't you proud of me?!?!?!
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