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Old 05-04-2006, 03:27 PM   #1
dcroyd
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I have a Russian Imperial Stout in my plastic fermenter. The local brew shop operator discouraged me from buying a hydrometer when I tried to purchase one. I will get one and I will also find a new place to buy my ingredients. I used liquid yeast and within 24 hours I had lots of action. My airlock was bubbling so hard that wort and foam were coming out of it and around the sides of the lid where it is supposed to seal. After about 3 days the bubbling subsided. Since I did not get a reading with a hydrometer on my wort...is there any reason test it now? Without a base line can I determine ABV? I will rack this into my carboy tomorrow. Should I get any activity from my airlock in the carboy? My local guy says the time in the carboy is more of a settling process. I want to get the most out of this brew. Any suggestions?

 
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Old 05-04-2006, 03:30 PM   #2
Monk
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You could still use your hydrometer to get a general idea of how complete the fermentation was, (ie is it still 1.040, or down to 1.020).

 
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Old 05-04-2006, 04:14 PM   #3
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I'd leave it in primary for at least one week. If it is not sealing well on the lid you will not see airlock activity. I wouldn't hurry that beer and let the yeast do it's job for a few more days.
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Old 05-04-2006, 04:19 PM   #4
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You can still get a pretty good sense of the ABV with just a final gravity, because with extract brewing (which is what I assume you are doing), there are really very few variables that would effect the OG more than a point or two.

So if you followed the recipe correctly, your OG was very close to the calculated OG of the recipe.
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Old 05-04-2006, 04:20 PM   #5
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Yes, it's worth testing gravity to determine if the fermentation is complete.
You can approximate ABV by plugging your recipe into promash or one of the other programs.
You probably won't get any action in the carboy. In this case, your supplier is correct, it's mainly for settling.
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Old 05-04-2006, 04:25 PM   #6
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Why in the world would your LHBS not want you to but a hydrometer? If nothing else it is a sale for them. Go and get a good hydrometer and maybe a new LHBS.
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Old 05-04-2006, 06:51 PM   #7
sonvolt
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brewpastor
Why in the world would your LHBS not want you to but a hydrometer? If nothing else it is a sale for them. Go and get a good hydrometer and maybe a new LHBS.
They don't want you to be able to see how watered down the LME they are trying to sell you really is!

Seriously, I can think of no other reason why an HBS would discourage use of a hydrometer. I can understand purists thinking that alcohol content should not be our primary concern as homebrewers, but a hydrometer (IMO) is essential in determining how well fermentation is going and when it is done.

When I was an extract brewer, I always did a hydro test . . . . and found that a lot of liquid malt extract did not give me the gravity points I was after or that they should have given. Perhaps I am just a bit paranoid, but I don't trust DME or DME producers .

Does this HBS dispense their own malt from barrels of it . . . like in a plastic jug or something? Or . . . do you buy canned products? Perhaps the HBS doesn't want you to see how watered down their malt is . . . a fact that would be obvious with hydro readings.

Only my $.02 . . . and probably a bit paranoid at that.

 
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Old 05-04-2006, 09:03 PM   #8
dcroyd
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The malts are name brand from the can. Monton ( I can't remember the spelling). What it boils down to is this. He has very poor customer service skills and no local competitors. He said if I had a hydrometer I would just worry about it, (and unspoken) I would call him all the time and worry him. Tlhanks for the input.

 
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