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Old 12-19-2009, 05:56 AM   #1
65chevy11
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Wanted to know if you use a bottling bucket for a fermenter what technique would you use to get gravity readings if you use a refractometer. Would you use the spout?

 
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Old 12-19-2009, 06:47 AM   #2
ArcaneXor
 
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After aeration just take a sample from the surface.

 
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Old 12-19-2009, 07:02 AM   #3
65chevy11
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What about during fermentation.

 
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Old 12-19-2009, 07:06 AM   #4
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Wait... how is this an all grain question?
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Old 12-19-2009, 07:15 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 65chevy11 View Post
What about during fermentation.
No need to. Wait until fermentation looks done, then take a hydro sample with a winethief or some such.

 
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Old 12-19-2009, 07:39 AM   #6
65chevy11
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What about if you only use a refractometer.

 
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Old 12-19-2009, 07:49 AM   #7
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It's not impossible, but using a $8 hydro is so much easier and quicker because you don't have to worry about getting a representative sample and doing calculations that may or may not be very accurate.

 
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Old 12-19-2009, 07:57 AM   #8
65chevy11
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So you can't just use a refractometer, what i was doing was doing all grain and fermenting the beer in those mr beer fermenters and every so often i would take off the lid (carefully) and take a small sample for a refractometer reading. I wouldn't be able to do the same technique or it just won't be that accurate.

 
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Old 12-19-2009, 02:16 PM   #9
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I am sure a refractometer would work. It is used in wine making all the time and I wish I had one. If you want to do a comparison, spend the 8$ on a hydrometer and test with a refractometer too.

As far as getting a sample get it from the surface then again a few days later until the readings are consistent.

 
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Old 12-19-2009, 02:30 PM   #10
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65Chev: I'm not sure how familiar you are with a refractometer. Once the fermentation process begins, the refractometer is not going to accurately read the correct gravity. The presence of alcohol that's been created by the yeast will "skew" the reading. During brewing, before the yeast is pitched, the refractometer is spot on if calibrated.

There's a work around, and it requres some math OR it requires a free spreadsheet program that you can download on Morebeer. Also, most brewing software has a refractometer calculation.

BobbyM has a You Tube video that explains this entire process, it's well done. You plug in your starting gravity, and when you take additional samples as the fermentation progresses the software correctly calculates the correct gravity from the Brix reading.

What I do is take a straight racking cane that's sanitized and place the end down into the beer, with draw a small sample and place it onto the lens of the refractometer, record the reading, and enter that Brix reading into the spreadsheet.

Good Luck...
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