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Old 01-11-2012, 12:45 AM   #1
ale1
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Oct 2011
Tacoma, WA
Posts: 25


New tothe brew game, doing small, all grain kit batches from Brooklyn brew shop. The kits are set up with no o.g. Or f.g. So no hydrometer needed, but some day soon I will be doing recipes, so I got a hydrometer. But how and when do you use it? Do you folks take a reading right after you pitch the yeast for your o.g. Check? When do you start checking for f.g.? I have read that f.g. doesn't matter as much as stable readings, so how often do you open your air lock to see? I thought a big part of this was leaving the beer/wort sealed up. Does everyone rack some beer out of the fermentor in to a test tube, or will your hydrometer float in the car boy? I have a one gal carboy and i am not sure if my hydrometer will float on it or not.


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Old 01-11-2012, 12:56 AM   #2
SilverZero
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Sep 2011
Bend, OR
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Check OG while you're racking to primary, at 60F or whatever your hydrometer is calibrated to. Check FG after 14 days or longer, and check 3 consecutive days or so to make sure it's not changing. You can drop it in the carboy if you want, but you'll have trouble getting it back out without breaking it. And you may break it dropping it in if it bobs down too far and hits the bottom. Instead, get a wine thief for samples, sanitize it before testing and you'll be fine. You'll also need a tall glass or, better yet, a hydrometer cylinder for testing.



 
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Old 01-11-2012, 12:58 AM   #3
RM-MN
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You really want to take the OG right before you pitch the yeast so you don't have any yeast activity or yeast sticking to the hydrometer. This will help you determine the efficiency of your mashing and will be the first number needed to calculate the alcohol in the batch.

I leave my beer for 3 to 4 weeks and have an idea of about where the FG should be so I take only one reading just before adding the priming sugar to make sure it hasn't been a stuck fermentation. Once removed from the rest of the wort or beer, never return the sample so you don't accidentally add a bacteria or wild yeast. You drink it or dump it. Since you only start with one gallon and it takes just as big of a sample for that as it would for 20 gallons, you would want to limit the number of times you sample or you will have nothing left to bottle.

 
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Old 01-11-2012, 01:01 AM   #4
IrishBrewer74
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May 2011
New Berlin, WI
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Search for hydrometer on you tube and watch a video from "craigtube". By far one of the easiest to understand on the not only how to use it, but also what it does and why.

 
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Old 01-11-2012, 01:06 AM   #5
dezman
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Aug 2011
Marquette, Michigan
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To take my sample I use a sanitized turkey baster to suck up wort. Then you can just squirt it into the tube the hydrometer came with or better yet get the hydrometer tube thing with the base on it (more stable and a bit larger then the tube the hydro comes in). Take the O.G. after the wort is chilled and before the yeast is pitched. Then the F.G. after about 3 weeks. After your done with the sample drink it or pour it out.

 
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Old 01-11-2012, 01:40 AM   #6
IrishBrewer74
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May 2011
New Berlin, WI
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I used a wine thief to snag my sample. No need for a second container. Just float my hydrometer right in the thief. I filed with water first and marked how high I need to fill it. Turkey baster is a good item but I would buy one just for brewing and like everything else it's got to be super clean and sanitized since the samples are taken post boil.

 
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Old 01-11-2012, 02:31 AM   #7
Esmitee
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Apr 2011
Little Egg Harbor, At the Bay and Ocean, NJ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IrishBrewer74 View Post
Search for hydrometer on you tube and watch a video from "craigtube". By far one of the easiest to understand on the not only how to use it, but also what it does and why.
Oh I highly agree with that statement. I was CLUELESS until I viewed Craig's vid about this tool. He puts it a very common sense way. I know you will get it after watching it. Hes cool too LOL

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Old 01-11-2012, 02:45 PM   #8
ale1
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Oct 2011
Tacoma, WA
Posts: 25

Thanks guys!
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Old 01-11-2012, 03:11 PM   #9
Calichusetts
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Nov 2011
Plymouth, MA
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If you buy their book ($12 on amazon kindle i think) they have their recipies in it, just plug them in to some software to get the FG, OG. Be careful taking multiple readings with one gallon batches...for beers sake.

 
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Old 01-11-2012, 03:30 PM   #10
Homercidal
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Be sure to mix well before taking a sample. Nothing worse than fitting a thick or thin spot. This is if you add top-off water only...



 
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