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Old 03-11-2010, 05:26 PM   #31
mrdonbonjovi
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Hmm, I might try the brix with the hydrometer for a couple of batches. Does this one look okay?

And my understanding is to ensure it works there are a couple calculators I can use:
http://brew.stderr.net/refractometer.html
http://onebeer.net/refractometer.shtml
And I really like this last one as it allows me to record my information...
http://morebeer.com/public/beer/refractbeer.xls

Even if the conversion is off I won't get an accurate ABV but I can still tell when fermentation has completed when the Brix level stops changing?


Can anyone confirm my last question? I also have another question. When going from primary to secondary or bottling bucket using an auto siphon what do people do to keep the crap at the bottom of the fermenter from transfering buckets?


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Old 03-11-2010, 05:29 PM   #32
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the racking cane usually has a little cap on it to help reduce the possibility of sucking up the sediment. But I personally also stop the siphon leaving an inch or so left in the carboy so i don't suck up the sediment.



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Old 03-11-2010, 06:01 PM   #33
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Yea, just hold the racking cane above the trub. As it gets shallower, gently tilt the fermenter towards you and try not to agitate the trub. Then you can rack a bit more, but you always lose some beer. Sorry, I have never used a refractometer so I don't know about calibration and whatnot. They looks pretty awesome though, so as soon as my hydrometer breaks I know what I will be getting. If you find out the answer to that, please post it here.

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Old 03-11-2010, 06:33 PM   #34
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Can anyone confirm my last question? I also have another question. When going from primary to secondary or bottling bucket using an auto siphon what do people do to keep the crap at the bottom of the fermenter from transfering buckets?
I don’t know about the brand/seller/shipping price, but the eBay Brix you linked to earlier has 0-32 scaling, ATC, and is for brewing (so probably shows a “% alcohol” value in the viewfinder, vs. some other obscure value), so = check.

The links you found are exactly what I copied from/tweaked in my own spreadsheet. (You can just look at the html source code to get those differing calcs, that is only if you want to modify the XLS and reconcile/understand all the various calcs you will find out there, and maybe craft up something for pre-boil gravity – but all that detail should be its own thread.)

And yes to your last question, no Brix change = no beer change (even if calibration is off – although I’ve never had a calibration problem. Brix has matched hydrometer OG perfectly for many years. In fact, I giggle every time it matches, so I keep the hydrometer around).

All that being said, relative to an exacting FG calc, I should make it clear that I’m more of a .05 guy, if you know what I mean. I could really care less if my beer is 7.0 or 6.5 alcohol, for example, as long as it tastes good. I dink around with the numbers, just as a mater of course, but more exacting people may not as amenable to the luxuries of the Brix.

Indeed, using math in general when homebrewing seems like cheating to me. I’m not trying to auto-land a plane; I’m trying to hit a baseball. So by analogy, when you throw a baseball straight up in the air, and as it falls, take your bat and crack the living **** out of it, and it goes towering far and long, and you have that bat-feel resonation & swing form – THAT is how I calculate beer making. Completely internal, based on experience. “We don’t need no stinking calculators to brew beer!” (if I may coin a phrase)

Relative to the racking cane, Grimm & Mirage gave you the straight dope: canes have a little black cap that effectively raises the end of the tube up a bit so that some measure of bottom liquid will remain left behind. As does Mirage, I’ll tip the source bucket to pool more liquid, but I’ve never lifted the cane up to gain extra clearance. I’m happy to get a bit’a extra bottom-stuff. “It makes my beer go to 11”.

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Old 03-11-2010, 06:49 PM   #35
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Love that pic!! I also end up getting some extra trub in the bottling bucket usually when we stop paying attention to the racking cane (take the relax and have a homebrew to heart while bottling and brewing).



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