Originally Posted by ill.literate
you don't get to taste the sample if you don't take any out of the carboy.
one trick I learned, when you put the hydrometer into the cylinder, is to give it a gentle spin. It'll help settle the bubbles, and should keep it off the sides.
and wait... just let it sit for a bit. There's usually no rush to take the reading immediately
Use a stainless steel cup or something to dip out your sample and then seal up your fermenter right away.
Now you can take your time. Go over to a sink or something, place you hydrometer into your tube dry and then fill it to overflowing. Set it down and let the bubbles settle out. Give the hydrometer a slight tap downward to knock off the bubbles (they'll cause a false reading if they "float" the hydrometer).
Once things have settled, hold the hydrometer up and position it so that the needle floats in the middle, away from the walls.
Then, drink your sample.