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Old 05-04-2011, 04:10 PM   #11
KevinM
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Yup, as long as it's sanitary, there *shouldn't* be any problem. I've done it myself a few times, especially on my one gallon batches for that very reason you've mentioned. Then I've been doing 5 gallon batches of other things and getting lazy and I don't sanitize my hyrdometer vessel or hydrometer. So I just drink it. (I do however still sanitize the thing I'm using to draw the liquid out.)

 
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Old 05-04-2011, 04:16 PM   #12
Wyrmwood
 
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Originally Posted by Insomniac View Post
Sure, but on a small <= 5L batch, thats a lot of your brew to be drinking, and your then increasing headspace unless you top up with water. Surely its just as risky pouring in new water as it is pouring back the sample (assuming you cleaned your hydrometer)...
My bad. When I said a fifth, I meant as in a 5th of a gallon (an old measurement for wine/whiskey not used anymore). The batch was 5 gallons so it would be more like 1/25th of the total.

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Originally Posted by MedsenFey View Post
In small batches, I often pour the sample back in. As long as you keep everything sanitized, that will do no harm.

Wyrmwood,
My compliments on that excellent brewlog!
Thanks!
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I haven't used that Merlot yeast before, but most of the high ABV yeast are fast fermenters that blow off a lot of aromatics. This may be exacerbated by fermenting at higher temps (and 72 F is high enough). If you try this yeast again, you may want to consider fermenting in the basement - the tolerance of the this yeast is 60F, so you should be able to conduct fermentation there OK, and this will keep more of the honey aromatics in, though you will have a much slower fermentation.
That's good advice. Thanks!
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Dry traditional meads often lack honey aroma, but it tends to come back in force with aging, though that aging may take 12-24 months to peak.
Then I will definitely test a bottle before giving out. If need be, I'll save it until Christmas 2012!
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I'm a little concerned that you didn't follow the gravity reading more at the end. A gravity of 1.000 is often not "done." Due to the low gravity of alcohol, wines/meads often get a finished gravity as low as 0.990. I hope your batch does not start to ferment when it warms back up again.

Medsen
Yeah, that was lazy of me not to check on bottling day! I guess it just tasted so dry and was crystal clear, so I didn't even bother. My guess is it finished around .980, but the world may never know... I also have been having some trouble with my latest hydrometer - just really inconsistent even with water... I need to get a refractometer so I can make the readings with a few drops.
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Old 05-04-2011, 04:41 PM   #13
Yooper
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wyrmwood View Post
Thanks! That's good advice. Thanks! Then I will definitely test a bottle before giving out. If need be, I'll save it until Christmas 2012!
Yeah, that was lazy of me not to check on bottling day! I guess it just tasted so dry and was crystal clear, so I didn't even bother. My guess is it finished around .980, but the world may never know... I also have been having some trouble with my latest hydrometer - just really inconsistent even with water... I need to get a refractometer so I can make the readings with a few drops.
It's not possible that it would finish at .980. It could easily finish at .990, though especially with that yeast.

A refractometer really isn't all that useful because alcohol skews the readings quite a bit. It's perfect for prefermentation readings, though, or a good guestimate but certainly can't replace hydrometer readings when deciding to bottle.

Hopefully you won't get popped corks or bottle bombs if you bottled at 1.000. I would never bottle a three month old mead, so I'm a little concerned about this happening.
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Old 05-04-2011, 05:10 PM   #14
Wyrmwood
 
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Originally Posted by Yooper View Post
Hopefully you won't get popped corks or bottle bombs if you bottled at 1.000. I would never bottle a three month old mead, so I'm a little concerned about this happening.
Really? I thought that would only be for bulk aging, not a concern about fermentation still going. Well, I could always pop a cork and drink some really young, just to get another reading, but I think I'd buy (yet) another hydrometer before bothering.

I thought refractometers could be used for FG
http://onebeer.net/refractometer.shtml
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Old 05-04-2011, 05:27 PM   #15
Texron
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Dec 2008
Houston, Texas
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I bought a wine thief at my LHBS that has a check valve at the bottom of the tube. You simply put your hydrometer in the theif, stick it into the brew to fill the tube, pull it out, take your gravity reading the stick back in to drain without having to touch anything.

Works like a champ.

 
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Old 05-05-2011, 03:02 PM   #16
MedsenFey
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wyrmwood View Post
I thought refractometers could be used for FG
http://onebeer.net/refractometer.shtml

It can, but there tends to be some error in the calculation (as compared to a hydrometer) and a fair amount of variability in the reading from drop to drop in my experience. I trust my hydrometer when it comes to bottling decisions.

 
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