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Old 02-04-2009, 09:20 PM   #1
Eepa
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Default Specific Gravity?? when and how much

So every once in a while someone is told to check their SP GR, and it seems to be usually suggested during troubled times. Whether its to find out if the wort is still going good or if its finished and good to go into bottles or keg, which ever it may be.

But how often is too often. At what stages should i take a hydrometer reading, and how many or how often should i take them. I keep on reading on the forums that the beer talks to us, and well i would like to learn how to listen. Taste, smell and hydrometer readings i know are important. And im pretty careful when i take them, but the more i take them (even though I’ve heard that the beer is pretty robust) the more there is a chance of contamination right?

So how often should i listen to my beer?

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Old 02-04-2009, 09:24 PM   #2
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I do it twice...once before yeast pitch...and since I leave my beers in primary for a month, I don't take another one til bottling day. I usually only do it for ABV..

If I am racking to dry hop, or add fruit, I will check it at 14 days or so to make sure fermentation is complete...but It's rare that I am doing anything that leads to secondarying.

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Old 02-04-2009, 09:28 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eepa View Post
So every once in a while someone is told to check their SP GR, and it seems to be usually suggested during troubled times. Whether its to find out if the wort is still going good or if its finished and good to go into bottles or keg, which ever it may be.

But how often is too often. At what stages should i take a hydrometer reading, and how many or how often should i take them. I keep on reading on the forums that the beer talks to us, and well i would like to learn how to listen. Taste, smell and hydrometer readings i know are important. And im pretty careful when i take them, but the more i take them (even though I’ve heard that the beer is pretty robust) the more there is a chance of contamination right?

So how often should i listen to my beer?
LOL.. You should always listen to your beer! You should definitely take an OG (original gravity) right before you pitch your yeast in the primary. Take your reading from your cooled wort and write this number down somewhere.. Then, after primary fermentation is over, usually at least 5 days or so, take another gravity reading and record this. Then the next day, take another one. If it is the same as the one from the day before, your beer is fermented and ready to be bottled or racked to the secondary, if thats what you choose to do.. (I usually take a gravity reading for three days in a row before I am convinced that fermentation is done). That's it!

As for contamination risks, yes there are some each time you take a gravity reading, but it's more important with your OG reading because at this point, your wort is more susceptible to bacterial contamination. With the later readings, you still need to be careful and sanitize things, but there is less a risk of infection because the alcohol present in the beer is a formidable barrier for contamination. So we take gravity readings to not only know when our beer is safe to bottle, but also so we can calculate the ABV. Does this help? Happy Brewing

Happy Brewing!!
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Old 02-04-2009, 09:31 PM   #4
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Only when you need to. With experience this should become less.
Use it to confirm what you think or know or what you don't know.

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Old 02-04-2009, 09:36 PM   #5
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My rule: I take a reading any time there is some kind of decision I intend to make as a result of that reading. If I don't have a specific plan on how I'm going to use the data, I don't bother measuring it.

For instance, I measure my starting gravity immediately before I pitch yeast. This (along with my finishing gravity) tells me what the alcohol level is, which is useful information for planning future recipes. It also tells me what my mash efficiency was, which is very important for evaluating changes in my mash process. This data isn't immediately useful to me at the time I measure it, but tremendously useful during the planning process for later brews.

I don't take any measurements for three weeks after that. I'm going to leave the beer to sit for at least three weeks regardless of what the hydrometer says, so why bother measuring?

After three weeks I take a sample. If this is well enough attenuated, I might just decide to bottle right then without bothering to wait for a second sample. But if there's any doubt that the yeast might still be going, I wait two or three days, then take a second sample to compare.

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Old 02-04-2009, 09:49 PM   #6
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Like others have said, once before pitching yeast. Then forget about it for 3-4 weeks, take another one and bottle.

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Old 02-04-2009, 10:32 PM   #7
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bullrider4,
omg

Groo the wanderer!! oh the memories.

now I gotta go to the comic shop and look for old copies... probably even funnier now that im old enough to drinnk beer while readining it !
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Old 02-05-2009, 01:56 AM   #8
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Default Thanx guys

Seriously all that info is very helpfull. Thanx a bunch guys.

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