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Old 03-04-2010, 11:40 AM   #1
dshaggy
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Default Taking hydrometer readings

Sorry if this question seems dumb, but I did a search and couldn't find it anywhere. I'm wondering, what's the best method of taking a beer sample for hydrometer testing. I've seen that a lot of people use a turkey baster or wine theif, but this means you have to pull the cap off your bucket or carboy right? Could you siphon some out instead? The turkey baster method does seem like the easiest way, I just didn't know if you want to expose the whole batch to air every time you check it.

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Old 03-04-2010, 11:43 AM   #2
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I use teh turkey baster & plastic hydrometer test tube....I enjoy taking the sample recording the reading and drinking my sample from the test tube...feels all professional.

I believe the CO2 produced by the beer provides a layer which will protect your beer from oxygen....So should be all good.

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Old 03-04-2010, 12:17 PM   #3
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In my first three batches (2 unsuccessful, 3rd barely), I used a wine thief. Now that I am starting over, I think that I am going to use a turkey baster (sanitized of course). It seems to make more sense. With a wine thief, you have to stick it all the way in (that's what she said). Sorry, I am a big The Office fan. A baster minimizes contact with beer. I am looking forward to what the more experienced folks think.

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Old 03-04-2010, 12:51 PM   #4
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I've used a racking cane like a pipette, a turkey baster & now I use the Fermtech Thief. All work, all have their advantages/disadvantages, I'm now a big fan of the Thief though.

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Old 03-04-2010, 12:59 PM   #5
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As long as you are not putting anything dirty or contaminated in the beer you will be fine. Sanitation cures all evils. A little air getting in from pulling off the air lock is completely fine. Keep in mind that open air fermentation is done all of the time. I managed a restaurant/brew pub where the brewer fermented all of his beer in an open air environment. Now, this does require a bit more of a strict sanitized environment than your living room or garage, but exposing your beer to air for two minutes or so to get a reading won't hurt it at all.

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Some great resources in MD for those just getting started:

Maryland HomeBrew: www.mdhb.com

Annapolis HomeBrew: www.annapolishomebrew.com

The Thirsty Brewer: www.thirstybrewer.com

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Old 03-04-2010, 01:00 PM   #6
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I have tried every method under the sun. And this is my preference; plastic thief.



Of course, I also built something like this for sanitizing thiefs, racking canes, tubing, etc. Holds about 1/2 gallon of star san.



Thread here:
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f11/rack...ization-88030/

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Old 03-04-2010, 01:12 PM   #7
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As a previous poster has stated the Co2 is heavier than air, so it will provide a blanket on your beer and shouldnt oxygenate it. I personally use a well sanitized turkey baster and also drink the sample from my hydro test jar.

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Old 03-04-2010, 02:13 PM   #8
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The wine thief that I used was different from the pic above. Mine was similar to the bottle filler that had a valve that had to be depressed on the bottom, or side, of the bucket.

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Old 03-04-2010, 02:48 PM   #9
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I usually ferment in a bucket with a spigot attached. Need a sample? Just open the spigot! When I'm using a carboy, though, I just use the sanitized turkey baster method.

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