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Old 09-23-2012, 10:27 PM   #1
madkap_78
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Dec 2011
westland, mi
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Is there anyway to take a hydrometer reading without wasting the beer? If you sanitize everything really well is it ok to just pour the beer back in the fermenter after you get the reading?

 
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Old 09-23-2012, 10:30 PM   #2
grem135
 
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Yes, drink it so you get an idea of how it might taste. I use one of those $4 tubes for my hydro readings and only use about 4-5 oz I think.
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Old 09-23-2012, 10:42 PM   #3
CalmNcents
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May 2012
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I must agree. Taste it as often as you can, get familiar with the smells and looks of the fermentation as well. Just keep your equipment sanitized, I use a wine thief and I love to observe my beer. I don't sweat the small testing losses, the knowledge to be gained is worth the loss. Keep sanitized tho, I am not talking about double dipping a spoon into the wort or leaving a bucket lid off next to a litter box for ten minutes of observation. Enjoy the process and your tasty results.

 
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Old 09-24-2012, 12:00 AM   #4
Calder
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For an extract/steeping grain brewer, there really is no need to take an initial gravity reading. You can calculate it pretty consistently.

Once fermented, it is beer - drink it.

 
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Old 09-24-2012, 12:03 AM   #5
ChessRockwell
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Or you can just put the sanitized hydrometer in the fermentation bucket, as long as you're not doing a small batch where it will hit bottom. That's what I've always done. Doesn't waste anything!

If you're fermenting in a carboy, maybe not such a good idea...
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Old 09-24-2012, 12:15 AM   #6
CH-47_Guy
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Sep 2012
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I Keep the sample in a 12oz. bottle once I've taken my reading, then store it next to the fermenter so I can get readings without constantly opening the bucket exposing the batch.

 
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Old 09-24-2012, 12:37 AM   #7
amandabab
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Mar 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by madkap_78 View Post
Is there anyway to take a hydrometer reading without wasting the beer? If you sanitize everything really well is it ok to just pour the beer back in the fermenter after you get the reading?
I've never had an infection from sanitizing a hydrometer and thief.
take the reading and empty it through the bottom valve.

If its not clean enough to return it, it wasn't clean enough to dip into the batch in the first place.

 
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Old 09-24-2012, 03:03 AM   #8
madkap_78
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Dec 2011
westland, mi
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sounds like I should invest in a wine thief. Ive never actually seen or used one. You dont have to syphon the beer into anything, you can just take the reading with it in the thief?

 
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Old 09-24-2012, 03:13 AM   #9
kh54s10
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If you sanitize very well you can pour the sample back in. If you want to take the risk.

I take my OG reading with my refractometer. It only takes a few drops.

After fermentation I take one reading, sometimes with the hydrometer which needs compensation for alcohol content, sometimes with a hydrometer. If I get what I expect I don't take any more.

So, I only use about 4 ounces total for my gravity readings. I never put anything back. It is not worth the risk.

 
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Old 09-24-2012, 11:47 AM   #10
ReddHead
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Sep 2012
South, NJ
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I just leave the hydrometer capped in its plastic tube filled with sanitizer solution. Take it out, pop it in the bucket, and then back in the sanitizer for the next reading.

 
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