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Old 10-14-2009, 10:06 PM   #1
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Default Questions about Hydro readings

I need some clarification about the correct procedure on taking hydro readings. First off I understand that you are supposed to take an initial reading prior to adding the yeast to your wort (before it's in the fermenter). My confusion is due to conflicting information about taking hydro readings once the wort is in the carboy. should you open the airlock and risk infection to take readings? Or should you setup a satellite fermenter (many say this is not an accurate way to take readings)? What's the easiest way to extract the wort from the carboy to take readings? Lastly, how often should you take the readings once the wort is in the carboy? Any advice would be appreciated.

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Old 10-14-2009, 10:53 PM   #2
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I am not very experienced, but from what I learned here, after I pitch the yeast, I do not touch the fermenter again until the three week mark. Granted I go downstairs and look at it a few times a day, but I don't touch it except to add vodka to the airlock.

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Old 10-14-2009, 11:07 PM   #3
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Here's some quick responses:

1. I don't worry about the brief time that the fermenter is open. First, its brief. Second, there's a layer of CO2 on top of the beer, protecting it from things. But, mainly, its brief.

2. I recently got a wine/beer thief - - and its easy. Otherwise, you can just siphon some beer out of your fermenter. Either way, just sanitize like you normally do.

3. For most of my beers, I don't monitor the beer's gravity as closely as some do. I tend to take an original gravity reading and then a final gravity reading, before bottling - usually four or more weeks after brewing. If there appears to be a problem with the fermentation, or its an unusual fermentation, I may take a reading or two in addition to those, just to track progress, but for most beers, I don't see the need.

Hope this helps.

edit: I didn't buy the beer thief from the ebay seller above, just posted the link to explain what I was referring to - bought mine at my LHBS
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Old 10-15-2009, 12:55 AM   #4
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+1 with Pappers.

Say you think it's bottling day and you take a sample - the result after 3 -4 weeks isn't what you expected - 1.025 when you wanted 1.012 - then you have a stuck fermentation and can post that problem, but usually, the yeast know what to do and all you need to do is to practice patience. (hard, I know. That's why we peek. Just don't do any more than peek). Just leave it be, and you'll have beer!
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Old 10-15-2009, 03:09 AM   #5
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I'd imagine getting more than one reading near bottling, say two or three days apart can confirm a final gravity reading. I thought the Centennial Blonde I brewed a couple weeks ago might be done at 1.010 like Beersmith predicted... It's sitting at 1.005 right now, clearing up.

I'm a n00b brewer, my beers have a thousand off flavours, but oxidized from taking hydrometer samples is not one of them.

Another starving grad student fighting sobriety.
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