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Old 12-03-2009, 07:04 PM   #1
May 2008
Dayton, Ohio
Posts: 243
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Two things here:

First, last Saturday I brewed up a two hearted clone. The OG target was 1.064. I hit 1.062 with a sample that I cooled to 60 degrees. When I took the sample immediately after cooling the batch it had all the crud and slop in it and I figured the reading might be a little off - close enough. I left the sample aside as I wrapped up the rest of the brewing process. A day later I came back and the sample had completely cleared with all the crud having settled to the bottom. The hydrometer then read 1.064 in a 63 degree basement.

Here's the question. Did I get a bad reading when I tested it with all the crap floating around in it and is the more accurate reading the subsequent one the next day?

Second, I left the sample sitting there, hydrometer in tact, and five days later I notice it's fermenting. This sample was taken prior to pitching yeast. Did I create a hydrometer tube sized lambic by catching a wild bacteria floating around the basement? Or, is there some other explanation?

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Old 12-03-2009, 07:10 PM   #2
Ale's What Cures You!
Yooper's Avatar
Jun 2006
UP of Michigan, Winter Texan
Posts: 69,885
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You can go with your first reading- that's really close. I wouldn't sweat 1.002 difference.

It definitely sounds like you have some wild yeast or bacteria working on your sample now.
Broken Leg Brewery
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Old 12-03-2009, 07:15 PM   #3
Nov 2009
Asheville, NC
Posts: 2,827
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temp does effect the readings but not that much and not in that direction. here is a link to info on temp corrections

Could be the floaties skewed the reading OR it could be you just read it wrong. .002 differance is nothing to worry about. Relax and have a homebrew.

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Old 12-03-2009, 07:23 PM   #4
DRoyLenz's Avatar
Jun 2009
Posts: 702
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I noticed a similar phenomenon on Monday when I brewed. This was the first time I didn't use a hop bag (I couldn't find it in time) so I had a lot of crud floating around. I read an OG of 1.056 when I first chilled the beer, then it raised to 1.058 when everything settled to the bottom of the tube.

I attributed it to the following explanation. After everything settled out, the very bottom tip of my hydrometer was submerged inside the trub at the bottom a little bit. I think this trub at the bottom was pushing my hydrometer up a little bit, leading to a slightly false readout.

Just a theory though.

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