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Old 06-24-2013, 07:32 PM   #11
terrapinj
 
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haven't heard much of people using these but they have been discussed here before

not exact but should give a general idea of gravity

http://www.brewballstore.com/

 
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Old 06-25-2013, 02:59 AM   #12
eric19312
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yooper View Post
Worse than not being able to see it and read it at eye level- what if it hits the side of the carboy and breaks?!?! Drinking glass wouldn't be my way to enjoy my homebrew.

Some people buy wine thief type of samplers, and you can put the sample right back in the fermenter if you hate to lose any beer.

Or, don't take so many readings. Take a reading at the beginning (OG). Then, once all signs of activity end and the beer is clear, and it's been at least 14 days, take another reading. If it's at an expected level, and the beer is clear, it's done. Drink that sample, and you're all set to bottle. That's about a "loss" of 3 ounces of beer, which you've drank so it's not a loss.
+2 this is my system now that I am using a glass carboy for primary...it works really well in a carboy where you can see the krausen fall and the turbidity clear.

In a bucket I do/did pretty much the same thing except usually give it 3 weeks, open it to see if it looks relatively clear from the top, take a sample (I have a thief now but used to use a 1/2 cup stainless steel kitchen ladle) and if FG is in expected range proceed to bottling. With 30 batches bottled I've yet to see a FG after as little as 2 weeks that that didn't satisfy me as being close enough to expected to bottle.

 
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Old 06-25-2013, 01:09 PM   #13
kal
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yooper View Post
Or, don't take so many readings. Take a reading at the beginning (OG). Then, once all signs of activity end and the beer is clear, and it's been at least 14 days, take another reading. If it's at an expected level, and the beer is clear, it's done. Drink that sample, and you're all set to bottle. That's about a "loss" of 3 ounces of beer, which you've drank so it's not a loss.
You'll find that as gain experience you'll stop taking as many readings as there's really no need to.

As Yooper and others have said, you basically only need to take a reading at the start so that you know your wort OG and then at the end before you package for your beer's FG. You need those two to calculate the % ABV alcohol.

What happens in between those two points (how fast it drops, what the cruve looks like, etc) is somewhat irrelevant. The yeast is doing its work.

With today's high quality yeasts leaving the beer on the yeast cake is good thing - the yeast cleans up after itself. So for a standard ale fermented at around room temp the ~14 day suggestion is a good one - it's basically what I do.

There are many ways to do this "right" but here's what I do using an AIPA or APA fermented with US-05 at 66-68F (the beers I make the most) as an example:

Day 1: Pitch yeast. Take hydrometer reading.
Day ~7: Add dry hops to primary (if dry hopping).
Day ~14: Rack to 5 gallon carboy (brite tank) and add ~4g of gelatine dissolved in hot distilled water.
Day ~16-17: Keg. Take hydrometer reading.

The beer then spends roughly 3-4 weeks in a fridge at 32F hooked up to C02 to get carbed up to 2-2.5 volumes of CO2 before being put on tap.

Kal

 
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Old 06-25-2013, 02:50 PM   #14
Weezy
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Very well put but I do want to note that there are good reasons to want to take intermediate SG readings...such as, stopping fermentation to preserve more natural sugars and flavor:
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f32/resu...riments-83060/

or for mildly sour beers where a partial ferment is desirable to preserve some simpler sugars for bugs (be they Brett, lacto, and/or pedio) also to limit bugs. (cold crash, rack to secondary, then add bugs)

or to gauge when to raise ferm temp based on % of attenuation to coax along some finicky yeast or to shorten a lager fermentation process.

 
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Old 06-27-2013, 08:13 AM   #15
kiwibrewer
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I have a friend who uses a large open fermenter for his homebrewing. He keeps the Hydrometer in throughout fermentation. To counter the krausen sticking to the outer of the hydro, you could use a small spray bottle of starsan - and wash it off. He didn't have any troubles of it knocking over or sticking to the side. All in all it seemed a little like a good source of potential infection, however with good management it could work, and certainly does for him.

 
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Old 07-13-2013, 04:32 AM   #16
whitehause
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I keg so the fg isn't as critical for me as it relates to bottle bombs. I let my primary run for 3 weeks, so if it ain't done by then it never will be. If your rushing a brew to get it bottled, then I could see a few readings at the end so you could get it bottled, but that's what a pipeline is for.
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Old 07-13-2013, 06:31 AM   #17
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I rarely take gravity readings myself and my beer always turns out great. I am confident with my repeatable processes and always allow at least 3-4 weeks for fermentation. Don't get me wrong, I love a science project like anyone else, but to me it seams like a non-value step in the process in most cases.
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Old 07-13-2013, 07:36 PM   #18
glick
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The only time that I really concern myself with my F.G. is when I am using a yeast that I haven't used before. I typically primary for 10 days and then bottle my ales. Some recipes are the exception to this of course, but I take them in stride.

 
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Old 07-14-2013, 07:23 AM   #19
sgames83
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I lost a Holiday Ale this way. After the hydrometer broke in the carboy I briefly thought of calling it Broken Ornament Ale before my better judgement kicked in and decided to dump it.

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Old 07-14-2013, 12:09 PM   #20
grathan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by terrapinj View Post
haven't heard much of people using these but they have been discussed here before

not exact but should give a general idea of gravity

http://www.brewballstore.com/

Out of stock... looks like they are making a more robust set.

 
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