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Old 06-28-2011, 03:53 AM   #1
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Default Gravity samples and dry fermenting-contamination concerns?

What are you all doing to take gra city samples? Just pouring it out the spout, measuring then dumping or do you return it? Also, for gry hopping do you just crack the lid and dump it in?

I'm just wondering how concerned I need to be about contaminating the wort by opening the lid?

Thanks to you all for your help, I've learned a ton here already!

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Old 06-28-2011, 03:58 AM   #2
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don't return the sample to the fermenter, drink it or dump it. it's ok to open the lid for dry hopping.

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Old 06-28-2011, 05:05 AM   #3
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I always use my gravity sample as a taste test. Some people do return it to the fermenter, but id rather not chance it. If you do just be certain of your sanitation.
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Old 06-28-2011, 06:05 AM   #4
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Opening the lid is fine as long as you're quick and careful. But just take a sample and drink or dump it. No sense in risking contamination for a few ounces of beer.
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Old 06-28-2011, 01:29 PM   #5
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I use "The Thief" for hydro samples and just dump it back. I thoroughly rinse and soak in Star San before and after.

And yes, just dump those hops in. If you want to be OCD, you can sanitize the outside of the hops package. But remember that unlike fresh wort, you have a very low chance of contaminating your finished beer.
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Old 06-28-2011, 01:32 PM   #6
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In homebrewing there is so much that we advise folks not to do, yet the one thing that EVERY book, podcast, magazine and website talks about is gravity readings....

How do you think we get them?

Do you think the advice to take them is a vast conspiracy by us old timers to ruin millions of new brewer's batches, so that they flee the hobby and give it a bad rap? Or so they make crappy beer and we kick your asses in contests?

With simple sanitization practices openning the fermenter to take a reading is perfectly safe. You won't spoil your beer.

This is what I use, and it works with both buckets and carboys. And probably FV's whatever the heck those are....

I replaced the plastic one a year ago with an extra long stainless baster from a kitchen ware store and it is awesome. But the plastic one from any grocery store works fine.


Here's what I do....

1) With a spray bottle filled with starsan I spray the lid of my bucket, or the mouth of the carboy, including the bung. Then I spray my turkey baster inside and out with sanitize (or dunking it in a container of sanitizer).

2) Open fermenter.

3) Draw Sample

4) fill sample jar (usualy 2-3 turky baster draws

5)Spray bung or lid with sanitizer again

6) Close lid or bung

6) add hydrometer and take reading

It is less than 30 seconds from the time the lid is removed until it is closed again. More like 15 if you ask me.

Probably less if you have help. And unless a bird flies in your place and lets go with some poop, you should be okay.

ANd then you drink the sample....don't pour it back in....

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