How do YOU take a hydrometer reading? - Home Brew Forums

Register Now!
Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > How do YOU take a hydrometer reading?

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 04-09-2013, 12:31 AM   #1
durbo
Recipes 
 
Mar 2013
Posts: 60
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts



I use a plastic fermenter or a 6 gal bucket to ferment in with spigots. So to take my hydrometer readings I generally just use the spigot to fill up my hydrometer then discard the beer that I've taken out, as this seems the easiest way. My problem is...I'm wasting precious beer by doing this. Because of this I take as few readings as I can but I'm just wondering, is there a better way that I've missed? Cheers

 
Reply With Quote
Old 04-09-2013, 12:35 AM   #2
histo320
Recipes 
 
Nov 2008
Manteno, IL
Posts: 1,126
Liked 44 Times on 33 Posts


I always use a beer thief/turkey baster. Place it in the test tube and take my reading that way. Then I sample the beer. I do this habitually after 10 days of fermentation then again at 21 days. Usually it is done by then.

I would think using the spigot you would get some extra yeast cake in the sample. I'm not sure if that would alter your reading or not.

Discarding the beer is wasting beer. You might as well sample it so you get to know the process better and see how the beer develops over time.
__________________
Sideline Brewery

Drinking - Craft Brews
Primary - Surly Bender (clone)
Secondary - Zombiedust (clone)

 
Reply With Quote
Old 04-09-2013, 12:36 AM   #3
forstmeister
Recipes 
 
May 2011
Chicago, IL
Posts: 1,201
Liked 182 Times on 138 Posts


I have started to sanitize my hydrometer and put it in the fermentor directly. No issues yet but you gotta make sure you keep everything sanitized.
__________________
I drink (homebrew), therefore I am (gassy)

 
Reply With Quote
Old 04-09-2013, 01:20 AM   #4
petey_c
Senior Member
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
 
petey_c's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Jun 2010
Miller Place, NY (Long Island)
Posts: 1,347
Liked 89 Times on 76 Posts


I also put the sanitized hydrometer in the primary. If I pulled a sample big enough to set my hydrometer in, after I was done taking my reading, I'd drink that sample. Waste not, want not.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 04-09-2013, 12:00 PM   #5
seriousbeef
Recipes 
 
Sep 2012
Northampton, England
Posts: 105
Liked 3 Times on 3 Posts


I also use a thief. I transfer about 70ml over to a trial jar and take a reading from there. Surely putting a hydro straight into the beer gives for a hard reading?

 
Reply With Quote
Old 04-09-2013, 12:11 PM   #6
bad67z
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Recipes 
 
Feb 2009
Columbus, Ohio
Posts: 1,878
Liked 110 Times on 77 Posts


Another "thief" user here.

Click image for larger version

Name:	Thief.jpg
Views:	370
Size:	9.3 KB
ID:	114355

 
Reply With Quote
Old 04-09-2013, 12:17 PM   #7
kombat
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Recipes 
 
Oct 2009
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 5,443
Liked 1947 Times on 1227 Posts


On brew day, as I start pumping the cooled wort into my fermenter, I aim the hose into my hydrometer tube first, then quickly move the hose into the carboy and fill it up. It's a little messy, but I haven't yet found a better way.

To check during fermenting, I used a santitized stainless steel turkey baster to steal a sample from the carboy.

After fermentation, when racking to the keg, I again collect the first bit from the siphon in my hydrometer tube, then quickly move the tube into the (bottom of the) keg.

Now that I've typed it out, I can see how my process is probably a little messier than it needs to be. I'm open to suggestions.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 04-09-2013, 12:20 PM   #8
MGBBob80
Junior Member
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
 
MGBBob80's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Jan 2013
Bremerton, Washington
Posts: 40
Liked 6 Times on 4 Posts


I also use a thief to collect and sample the wort. Hydrometers fit nicely in the thief's tube and the sample size is relatively small. Of course I taste it after I get my reading.
__________________
Cheers, Bob

Four Dogs and a Cat

 
Reply With Quote
Old 04-09-2013, 12:20 PM   #9
Impulse115
Recipes 
 
Apr 2012
New York, New York
Posts: 9

Agree with most of the above posters - using a sanitized beer thief to take my sample, then consume the beer once I've got my readings.

Again like most posters, I hate "wasting" this young beer that would otherwise make it to the bottle. I'm considering investing the $50-60 for a refractometer. It only needs a couple drops of wort to pull an accurate reading. To be fair, the SG scale looks like it's printed in very tiny font. Has anyone else tried this?

 
Reply With Quote
Old 04-09-2013, 12:34 PM   #10
kombat
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Recipes 
 
Oct 2009
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 5,443
Liked 1947 Times on 1227 Posts


Quote:
Originally Posted by Impulse115 View Post
I'm considering investing the $50-60 for a refractometer. It only needs a couple drops of wort to pull an accurate reading.
I've bought a refractrometer, but haven't used it yet, to be honest.

Note that refractrometers are only accurate for determining the O.G., before fermentation has produced any alcohol. After there is alcohol present, you must apply a formula and do some sort of conversion, as the straight reading is no longer accurate.

 
Reply With Quote


Reply
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Hydrometer reading vs Refractometer reading Mpavlik22 Brew Science 21 10-08-2013 12:10 PM
reading a hydrometer and hydrometer vs. refractometer deanocamino Brew Science 12 09-15-2011 09:04 PM
Hydrometer Reading Steven4est Extract Brewing 14 11-16-2009 12:32 PM
My first Hydrometer reading momodig Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 17 07-27-2009 11:43 PM
When to Take Hydrometer Reading!? shot0rum247 General Techniques 9 07-06-2008 07:11 PM


Forum Jump