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Old 11-15-2012, 11:17 PM   #11
stevedore
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Nov 2012
Madison, Wisconsin
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Resurrecting this thread as it's more appropriate than starting a new one- so... I should be taking hydrometer readings near the end of fermentation to make sure I get 2-3 consistent readings in a row before I bottle?

And of course, what is the issue with dropping the sanitized hydrometer directly into the wort? Is it going to interfere with getting an accurate reading or is it more of a sanitary issue?
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Old 11-15-2012, 11:23 PM   #12
Doctor_Wily
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May 2011
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Yes, you want to make sure fermentation is basically complete so you check over the course of a couple days to make sure the FG is reached/stabilized.

The reason some people don't drop the hydrometer into the vessel is on the off chance it's not completely sanitized you don't lose your whole batch.

Cheers

Edit: forgot to mention I've read of people putting the hydro right in the vessel without issue, but then you don't have a sample to drink.
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Old 11-16-2012, 12:31 AM   #13
raf1919
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Dec 2010
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question.. what is point of taking the reading? i get that it tells the alcohol level but if i dont care what the level it is do i really need to take the readings. I'm still a novice i have brewed maybe 7 batches and i stopped using the hydrometer after my first batch as it was pain and i didn't see why i needed it. is there something i'm missing out on?

I brew mini mash kits and keg and force carb it.

 
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Old 11-16-2012, 12:43 AM   #14
Doctor_Wily
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it's good to keep track of your gravity. I'm sure there is a far more in depth explanation somewhere but one of the main reasons is to check when your beer is done. If you get a consistent reading across 3 sample days you can figure it's time to bottle.

Then there is the ability to know about what abv you are looking at.
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Old 11-16-2012, 01:23 AM   #15
phatspade
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Oct 2011
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I don't drop the hydrometer in my carboy unless I know for sure I'm not making another batch of beer before I bottle. I've done it before and I like to do that for every batch I make, but I'm not at that point equipment-wise to start buying more hydrometers.

The point of taking the readings is to ensure the yeast is done making alcohol. With that the yeast also gives off other byproducts that contribute to flavoring so if you were to cut it short by not checking the SG of the batch you can lose some taste.

To me taking a SG reading is very important as I do the old fashion sugar priming and if I don't wait for the yeast to finish I can end up with bottle bombs. I'm sure there's other factors too, but I never got more indepth in the brewing process.

 
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Old 11-16-2012, 01:43 AM   #16
greenhaze
 
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Sorry to be a pain, but why take readings (after your initial SG reading) if you leave your beer in the primary for three weeks, which seems to the considered opinion on this forum.
Slainte

 
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Old 11-16-2012, 01:52 AM   #17
phatspade
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Depends on the type of beer. High gravity beers/barleywines need more time. Hydrometer reading is to ensure fermentation is fully done. It's also a good tool to ensure fermentation is taking place if you don't have visible airlock activity or going too slow to see activity.

 
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Old 11-16-2012, 02:07 AM   #18
TrubDog
 
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Lots of mixed advice here. Here is my .02 cents for what it's worth. I always take a reading before pitching and record my OG. I put my sanitized hydrometer directly into the cooled boil kettle. Don't have to mess with test jars, basters or a thief. Never had an infection. Don't take another reading for at least three to four weeks - typically as i am transferring to a keg or to secondary if I am dry hopping. The second reading is simply to record where my FG ended up. Just pour a little from my siphon hose into a test jar, take a reading and then drink it! In my book there is no need for multiple readings (and multiple chances for infection). Just don't be in a hurry - patience!

 
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Old 11-16-2012, 04:19 AM   #19
bobbrewedit
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greenhaze
Sorry to be a pain, but why take readings (after your initial SG reading) if you leave your beer in the primary for three weeks, which seems to the considered opinion on this forum.
Slainte
Just wait till you have your first stuck fermentation...you'll have your answer. Taking a big chug of carbonated sweet tea is not cool when you are expecting beer.

 
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Old 11-16-2012, 04:25 AM   #20
matt-tastic
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Apr 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greenhaze View Post
Sorry to be a pain, but why take readings (after your initial SG reading) if you leave your beer in the primary for three weeks, which seems to the considered opinion on this forum.
Slainte
I've NEVER left a beer in primary for 3 weeks. my longest was 10 days, and that was because i didn't have time to earlier. I've never done a high gravity beer, which would take longer in the primary, but I have yet to find a reason to wait that long to rack.

 
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