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Old 06-14-2012, 08:26 PM   #1
bmwwd6
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Default Returning samples to fermenter?

I have a 5 gallon brewer's best kit in the secondary right now. I want to take samples for 3 days straight to see that fermentation has stopped and that FG has been reached, but I am unsure whether or not I should return the samples to the fermenter. I would prefer to not risk the infection by returning the samples, but I am afraid if I remove too much beer this will throw off the priming sugar calculations that the kit did based on 5 gallons and cause my bottles to be over carbonated. I use a wine thief by the way. Any thoughts?

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Old 06-14-2012, 08:29 PM   #2
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Taste the samples! Get to know how tastes change. You're only pulling out 6-8oz or so, not much. +/- a quart isn't enough to cause over-carbonation.

Besides, you'll lose an unknown amount to yeast/trub on the bottom anyway. Some people return the samples, but I like "free" samples of beer

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Old 06-14-2012, 08:34 PM   #3
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exactly. taste that sucker and see the progress. don't put it back

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Old 06-14-2012, 08:37 PM   #4
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Also, if you're concerned about "losing" too much, you really only need to take samples on day 1 and day 3. As long as those match, who cares what day 2 was? It's safe to assume that the gravity didn't magically drop (or rise) for day 2, then go back to the day 1 measurement again.

Long story short, you're not going to throw the volume off enough to noticeably overcarbonate your beer if you use priming sugar based on 5 gallons. Most folks have more significant loss from trub than from gravity samples, and don't wind up with overcarbonated bottles as a result...

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Old 06-14-2012, 08:43 PM   #5
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There's really no need to take samples for 3 straight days. Take a sample, wait a couple days then take another, compare the two. In actuality I wouldn't move it into a secondary until it was at FG unless your secondary is for more fermentables. If it's just a brite tank then waiting for FG is the way to go since initial clearing will have begun in primary. Then there's the whole no secondary required discussion......

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Old 06-14-2012, 10:24 PM   #6
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Replace the water you use for priming with the samples you took. Just boil it with your priming sugar like normal. That way you are not adding tasteless water to your beer and your not wasting beer.

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Old 06-14-2012, 10:53 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kwingert View Post
Replace the water you use for priming with the samples you took. Just boil it with your priming sugar like normal. That way you are not adding tasteless water to your beer and your not wasting beer.
Good idea! Why did I not think of that?
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Old 06-14-2012, 11:11 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrummerBoySeth

Good idea! Why did I not think of that?
As long as you boil (as suggested by the poster). I just don't see the need or benefit of doing this.

The problem with adding back the samples is if the samples were not completely fermented. In this case, you might have over carbonation. You are essentially adding back more fermentable sugar along with the priming sugar.

The samples are only a couple of ounces. If you don't finish off the samples when tasting, toss them.
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Old 06-14-2012, 11:16 PM   #9
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You wont be wasting beer if you taste it.

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Old 06-14-2012, 11:31 PM   #10
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Helibrewer and Stratslinger have some good advice for ya.

OT, Helibrewer, that beer where you gave me advice when my hops had spoiled turned out awesome. I forget which hop it was that went bad (warrior I think) but I used Nugget instead and it kicked ass! I just kicked the keg over yesterday :-(

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