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Old 05-06-2012, 12:27 AM   #1
suzanneb
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Default i just broke my hydrometer!! now what

any way to take a reading without a hydrometer. The homebrew store by me is closed tomorrow and i gotta leave tomorrow night. I wanted to take a reading before i left and bottle. Any suggestions?

or better yet
anyone in the saugerties/kingston NY area have a hydrometer i can borrow for half a day??

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Old 05-06-2012, 12:33 AM   #2
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You can use your recipe and exact volume you got and can plug that in a brew calc.to get your OG without a hydrometer,if its extract thats easier but all grain depends on brewhouse efficency but you can still get a rough figure without a hydrometer.We just need the recipe.Or you can plug into a brew calculator. Better yet save your sample /refrigerate it and wait till you get a hydrometer- then take your sample but make shure it gets to 60F for an accurate reading.

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Old 05-06-2012, 12:34 AM   #3
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Are you doing extract? If so, you can estimate via potential calculation. In some regards it's more important towards the end of fermentation to check to make sure fermentation is finished. I would go ahead and brew without it,,,,,many a fine brew has been made without one.

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Old 05-06-2012, 12:35 AM   #4
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I'm gonna say there are two things you can do, a) bottle it, b) wait, buy another hydrometer.

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Old 05-06-2012, 12:38 AM   #5
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Let it sit while you're away and until you can get a replacement hydrometer. It won't do any harm to let it go until next weekend (or even a few more weekends). Unless you have something in the batch that you need to get it off of ASAP (like tomorrow). If that's the case, rack it into a sanitized container and then bottle it when you return and can take the FG. If you've not taken a first potential FG reading, and it's not been more than long enough to reach the FG, you're better off waiting.

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Old 05-06-2012, 12:39 AM   #6
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Out of curiosity... Could you not just save a small sample and go ahead and pitch. I know you will not be able to make any adjustments but it sounds as if you are screwed in that department either way. At least if you saved a sample you could get your ABV when its finished.

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Old 05-06-2012, 12:43 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by suzanneb View Post
any way to take a reading without a hydrometer. The homebrew store by me is closed tomorrow and i gotta leave tomorrow night. I wanted to take a reading before i left and bottle. Any suggestions?

or better yet
anyone in the saugerties/kingston NY area have a hydrometer i can borrow for half a day??
Seems to me the batch was brewed already and the OP is looking to bottle the batch on Sunday...
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Old 05-06-2012, 12:44 AM   #8
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If you're REALLY confident it is fermented out you could put a small sample in a sanitized jar to be measured after you do get a hydrometer. You still risk bottle bombs if it's not done.

Or, I imagine you could rig your own "hydrometer" with a vessel that floats straight up in liquid (I can't think of the ideal thing, but possibly a used yeast vial with some pebbles in it to weight it a bit?). [NOTE: I'm completely talking out of my a** by the way but this should work]. Float that in water at 60F and mark where the water level is, that'll be your 1.000 mark. Then make up a solution with a really precise measurement of table or corn sugar to an exact volume so you can know the gravity of the solution (8.0 oz of table sugar with water bring to exactly 0.5 gallon would be 1.046). Float your "hydrometer" in that to get your 1.046 mark. Then float it in your beer, halfway between the 1.000 and 1.046 mark would be 1.023 and so on... I would think it'd get you pretty close.

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Old 05-06-2012, 12:53 AM   #9
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How long has it been in the fermenter?

If it is less than 3 weeks, you probably should wait until you get a new hydrometer. Leaving it will not hurt the brew. If it has been three weeks or more you MAY be ok to bottle but you cannot be 100% sure without a hydrometer.

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Old 05-06-2012, 01:42 AM   #10
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wow lots of responses.
it has been in for two weeks. i just stared at it for about an hour and i get a pretty decent sized bubble every 3-6 minutes. i am guessing this means its not done yet. or is there a reason it would bubble lightly still if it was done.

i was thinking about bottling 2 gallons and then transfering 3 gallons to my secondary fermenter(3 gallon carboy). or am i better off leaving those 3 gallons with the yeast and sludge in the 6.5 gallon carboy?? i.e. if it isn't quite done yet does it need to stay in the primary?

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