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Old 04-30-2009, 07:06 PM   #1
cheschire
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Default Uh Oh

My friend and I are making our first homebrew and we have everything in our primary fermenter and he took the first OG reading and it turns out, the pot was too shallow for the hydrometer so we have no Idea what it was before we put it in the carboy. Are we screwed, or would it be possible to tell when the fermentation is complete by just taking readings until it stops changing? Or does the first OG reading just give you something to compare to the last so you have a clue what the ABV is in the end?

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Old 04-30-2009, 07:12 PM   #2
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Or does the first OG reading just give you something to compare to the last so you have a clue what the ABV is in the end?
Yes.

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...the pot was too shallow for the hydrometer so we have no Idea what it was before we put it in the carboy.
This is where you lost me bro'. You don;t have to take the reading in the pot and it'd be pretty hard to see the numbers accurately if you tried.

Do you have a test jar (hydrometer tube)? That is the ONLY place you should be taking your hydro readings.

There are other ways but save those for later on when you've got more brews notched into the table leg.
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Old 04-30-2009, 07:17 PM   #3
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your test jar can be the clear protective tube that the hydro came in. Just fill it up wiht some wort and sticke hydro in there. Sanitize first though.

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Old 04-30-2009, 07:20 PM   #4
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yes I have a hydrometer tube, but I thought my buddy knew that so after we sealed it up in the carboy I saw the numbers he wrote down and I asked him if he used it, and he just stuck it in the pot. It was sanitary and all but Im just wondering if its a huge deal if we didnt get that first reading? aside from not having an acurate ABV is it a problem with the fermentation? Or can we just keep taking new readings until it stops changing to know when fermentation is complete?

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Old 04-30-2009, 07:20 PM   #5
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Sanitize first though.
I've never sanitized my hydrometer. That wort is for 'sampling', not going back into the carboy.
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Old 04-30-2009, 07:23 PM   #6
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Ok , not sure I understand. WHat numbers was your buddy writing down? If this was extract then you probably safe thinking your OG is close to what specified on the recipe , provided volume of wort was correct. Lots of folks forgo gravity readings, you will produce beer. Just leave it in the carboy for 3 or more weeks, you'll be fine.

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Old 04-30-2009, 07:25 PM   #7
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If you post your recipe, we can help you get an approximate OG. If not, you will just not be able to estimate your ABV. Other than that, your beer will be just fine. Let it sit in a quiet spot for a few weeks.

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Old 04-30-2009, 07:25 PM   #8
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I've never sanitized my hydrometer. That wort is for 'sampling', not going back into the carboy.
Yeah , I really meant to sanitize what ever you use to pull wort out of the carboy or pot. Sorry.
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Old 04-30-2009, 07:27 PM   #9
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I've never sanitized my hydrometer. That wort is for 'sampling', not going back into the carboy.
+1 I sanitize the sample with my liver. My intestines confirm yeast viability within hours.

OP: Ayup. Wait a week, or two (if you are able) and take a sample. Write the number down and in 1 or 2 days take another. You could finish it here but, a better practice is to take a third sample in a nother day or two to be completely certain.
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Old 04-30-2009, 07:28 PM   #10
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Ok that helps a bunch thanks. Its a Muntona hopped barley malt pale ale extract with some ginger for those wondering.

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