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Old 11-02-2008, 11:10 PM   #1
thakoolaidkid
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Default Two questions before bottling

My first brew, a Brooklyn Brown Ale clone, has now been in the primary for one week. I am going to wait until Tuesday (Day 9) and do a gravity reading. If I am close to the final gravity I believe I will go directly to bottling rather than move to a secondary for my first brew.

What does everyone use for a container to check gravity? My first time I attempted to use a pint glass but I did not take out enough to get an accurate reading, plus I felt like I was wasting a good amount of beer. I've thought about using the tube that the hydrometer came in but I am not sure if that would give me an accurate reading seeing as how small it is. So, again, if I could get some examples or suggestions of what you use I would appreciate it.

So my plan is, if I reach a close enough FG, to siphon from the primary to the bottling bucket, and then to add the priming sugar. After adding the priming sugar I assume you need to stir the beer somewhat vigorously to evenly spread the sugar, correct? And then from there I will bottle and wait.

At what temp do you all leave your beers once you have bottled? Is it really necessary to watch the temp that closely once you have bottled?

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Old 11-02-2008, 11:22 PM   #2
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Get a hydrometer cylinder to float it in or use the tube the hydrometer came in. A glass will waste too much. Let it sit at least 2 weeks in the primary, 3 is better.

DO NOT STIR the sugar in. Boil 1.5 cups of water with the sugar. when it is cool put it in the bottom of a bottling bucket and siphon the beer to it with a little splashing as possible. The beer will mix just fine by it self. NEVER stir it vigorously at this stage. You do not want to put any O2 in to the beer.

So, lets recap.
Get a graduated cylinder to float the hydrometer
DO NOT STIR the beer
put the sugar and water in the bottom of a bottling bucket and rack the beer on top of it with no splashing.

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Old 11-02-2008, 11:28 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lapaglia View Post
Get a hydrometer cylinder to float it in or use the tube the hydrometer came in. A glass will waste too much. Let it sit at least 2 weeks in the primary, 3 is better.

DO NOT STIR the sugar in. Boil 1.5 cups of water with the sugar. when it is cool put it in the bottom of a bottling bucket and siphon the beer to it with a little splashing as possible. The beer will mix just fine by it self. NEVER stir it vigorously at this stage. You do not want to put any O2 in to the beer.

So, lets recap.
Get a graduated cylinder to float the hydrometer
DO NOT STIR the beer
put the sugar and water in the bottom of a bottling bucket and rack the beer on top of it with no splashing.
+1 to this info. At least 2 weeks in primary, 3 weeks will really help clear it up. I have heard of people putting their hydrometer directly into the primary if using a bucket. Just make sure it's sanitized. But do get yourself a graduated tube to use with the hydrometer. Much easier and less risky and minimal waste. Also a turkey baster to get the beer from bucket to the tube.
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Old 11-02-2008, 11:29 PM   #4
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You can use the tube the hydrometer came in with no problems. If you want an excuse to buy more equpiment then yes get the flask but otherwise the cylinder is fine.
+1 on siphoning on top of the boiled corn sugar. the swirling should take care of mixing for you.
If you take a reading and the SG is close then let it sit for another week or so. 9-10 Days is, IMHO, not long enough in the primary. If you aren't going to secondary then let it sit regardless of the SG readings.

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Old 11-02-2008, 11:35 PM   #5
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The easiest way for me to check the SG is to use a sanitized turkey baster and fill the hydrometer test jar. They sell a wine thief just for this purpose, and those are nice, if you want to purchase one. I'm still using my dollar store turkey baster, though.

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Old 11-02-2008, 11:35 PM   #6
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I'd test that hydro tube before using it for a sample. Mine leaks like a sieve.

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Old 11-03-2008, 12:27 AM   #7
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Thank you all for your input. I just checked my hydrometer tube with some water and it held tight so I think I will use that until I can get a graduated cylinder. I just wanted to double check and see if anyone has used a floating hydro like mine and if they found it to be accurate. My phone camera kinda sucks but it's the best I have at the moment:

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Old 11-03-2008, 12:50 AM   #8
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Yes, that looks pretty typical. Does it have different scales on it- the Balling/Brix, potential alcohol, and specific gravity? Those are called "triple scale hydrometers" and go from about .990 to 1.130 or so. Those are typically what homebrewers use.

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Old 11-03-2008, 12:57 AM   #9
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Quote:
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Yes, that looks pretty typical. Does it have different scales on it- the Balling/Brix, potential alcohol, and specific gravity? Those are called "triple scale hydrometers" and go from about .990 to 1.130 or so. Those are typically what homebrewers use.
Yep, sounds like it's an exact match to what you described. I'm glad to see I stumbled onto the right equipment unknowingly.
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Old 11-03-2008, 01:03 AM   #10
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Also, after reading the replies here and on the sticky about "Primary to Secondary", I have decided to leave the brew alone until this weekend before doing a hydro check and (possibly/hopefully) bottling.

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2nd batch (Bottled): Spiced Winter Warmer Ale
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