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Old 12-04-2012, 08:12 AM   #1
kiwicalifornia
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Default When to take a reading?

Hi all, first ever brew went into carboy 2 days ago and appears to be fine so far. Couple of questions on gravity readings.

Took a 1st reading after the wort went into carboy, my instructions I was following said nothing about stirring everything up in the carboy after it was put in there before adding yeast, is stirring an important thing to do (assume it has something to do with co2?).

My instructions say 10-12 days in the carboy before bottling, but I'm thinking longer is better? ..how do I know when it's ready to be bottled, what is the FG reading I'm looking for, and is it always the same reading or does it differ depending on what you are trying to brew?

I'm reading the forums to look for answers and while there's and amazing amount of info from all you contributors, my head is kinda swimming right now, trying to digest it all....

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Old 12-04-2012, 08:43 AM   #2
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Generally speaking ale yeast will finish the job on most beers in about 10-14 days. Your instructions might have given you a final gravity to shoot for, so if you are close you know it's probably close, if not already done.

Generally what you want to do is get the same reading three days in a row. Practically what that looks like is I will test, then test again on the third day. If its the same, you're done. Just make sure you are accounting for temperature differences when you make the measurements. If its lower, test again two days later. The idea is that you want the yeast to finish eating all the fermentable sugars, especially if you are going to bottle. If it's not done, you may be inviting trouble upon yourself with gushers or bottle bombs.

Hope this helps

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Old 12-04-2012, 09:36 AM   #3
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The FG will vary from beer to beer as it depends on the yeast being used and how well it attenuates(eats sugars). As stated above check your gravity with a hydrometer I generally start check 10-14 days after active fermentation slows. Then check again a few days from then. If the same good to go. If not recheck in a few more days.

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Old 12-04-2012, 02:07 PM   #4
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As was mentioned, a target final gravity should have been provided. If not, tell us what you are brewing and someone should be able to tell you a pretty close approximation. Or, if it was a kit, find the manufacturer online and you should be able to get it.

To answer your question, final gravity will vary brew to brew and beer to beer. Brew to brew differences like specific yeast conditions, temps, subtle variation in extract or mash temp, etc will all account for small changes (+/-0.005). Beer to beer variation is much greater. A lighter, drier low gravity beer might be as low as 1.002 or lower while a high gravity, full body beer might have an OG above 1.100 and a FG in the 1.030 range or higher.

As you push your recipes farther and farther from "normal" you will get results farther and farther from normal. I would say average numbers are something like 1.010 to 1.025. My guess is something like 90% of beer brewed falls somewhere in this range. But I could be wrong, in which case someone will let me know.

Hopefully I didn't just waste your time with info you already knew. I didn't entirely understand what you were asking.

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Old 12-04-2012, 04:23 PM   #5
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Thanks for the advice guys , appreciate it.

When the wort is first transferred to the carboy, is it necessary to give it a good stir, then take the first reading, then pitch the yeast?, or is stirring something that is again, dependent on the brew you are trying to make? And reference to taking the readings at 60 degrees, are we talking about the temp of the room or the brew?

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Old 12-04-2012, 04:30 PM   #6
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Instead of taking a ton of readings every couple days, and introducing oxygen each time you do so, I recommend taking a reading after about 2 weeks in the fermenter (if you're curious). But really, 3-4 weeks total fermentation & conditioning time prior to bottling won't hurt... It will only make your beer smoother and less harsh. There's not much you can do at that point if your FG isn't on point. Reaching the target FG has much more to do with preventative processes, proper times and temps, yeast health, etc. than it does for any type quick fix hack moves after the fact like shaking the carboy or adding champagne yeast.

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Old 12-04-2012, 04:50 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kiwicalifornia
Thanks for the advice guys , appreciate it.

When the wort is first transferred to the carboy, is it necessary to give it a good stir, then take the first reading, then pitch the yeast?, or is stirring something that is again, dependent on the brew you are trying to make? And reference to taking the readings at 60 degrees, are we talking about the temp of the room or the brew?
Generally extract batches you would want to stir the $&it out if to ensure you're getting an even mix if the extract and top up water. Plus aeration is good for the yeasties. So I guess any brew should be aerated prior to pitching.

A lot of people will use online calculators for determining their OG due to getting low reads from not properly blended wort and top up water.

And the 60F is the temp of the sample being measured.
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