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Old 05-29-2010, 05:21 AM   #1
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Default Hydrometer readings

I'm currently fermenting my first brew, an english pale ale, and the brew store directions say to take hydrometer readings 7-10 days into fermenting. I'm currently on day 6 and figure from everything i've read that just waiting 2-2.5 weeks to bottle should be fine.

Do I really need to take hydrometer readings during the 2nd week until i get consistent readings for quality brew?

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Old 05-29-2010, 09:02 AM   #2
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hydrometer readings are very important. They will tell you exactly what's happening with your brew. For example if you were not to sample and got a stuck fermentation and just bottled at 2-2.5 weeks there is the possibility that you wold end up with a bad brew at least and bottle bombs at worst.

If you want, just leave your testing until the 10 day mark, and then test again three days later if you get consistant readings on the 13th and 14th day, I would go ahead and bottle (this is presuming that you are not using secondary).

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Old 05-29-2010, 09:53 AM   #3
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You probably wanna measure before the 2 week mark just to make sure that your beer is actually fermenting properly (has your airlock been bubbling?). If your gravity hasn't moved you may have dead yeast or fermentation, meaning bad stuff. A steady Gravity reading means your ready to bottle, any sooner and you'll get bottle bombs.
You can also use your gravity reading to figure out your alcohol content.

Estimated ABV: (Starting Gravity - Ending Gravity) x .129 = Your ABV%

ex. 1.043 (or 43) - 1.011 (or 11) = 32 x .129 = 4.12 % ABV
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Old 05-29-2010, 03:39 PM   #4
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My experience has been if I leave the beer for 3+ weeks in primary and I had plenty of airlock activity during fermentation I have always been at(or near) my FG. I take my FG the day I bottle and have not had any issues at all!

I know airlock activity is NOT a gauge for fermentation but I know that if it is bubbling then it is probably fermenting. If there is any doubt about a completed fermentation then I would certainly take consecutive SG readings.

Remember, just because the yeasties are not actively fermenting does not mean they are not working! Once they eat their fill of sugar they will go hunting for more food and eat a lot of the "stuff" they left over earlier in the ferment!

Whatever you decide good luck and keep on brewing!
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