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TDorty3

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I am a newbie with 2 questions as I wait for my first batch to finish carbonating.

Looking back on how I made my beer I can now think of things that I would have done differently. One thing I didn't do was use a hydrometer.

I did a lot of reading and research and decided to leave it in the primary for 4 days and the secondary for 9 days.

Do you think it's bad to not use a hydrometer? Does anyone else not use a hydrometer?

One other question.... When pouring homebrew from the bottle to a glass does anyone ever use a filter of any sort to stop any possible sediment that would come out?

Just wondering. Thanks again for all you guys' help.

-tim
 

homebrewer_99

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Welcome!

Talk about opening up a can of worms......you're new, so I'll forgive you. :D

I always use a hydrometer. Others here do not. The choice is yours. More debates to follow........

With that said, you already mentioned 4 days then 9 days.
These are subjective dates. How do you really know your brew is done?

That's one of the reasons why I ALWAYS use a hydrometer, even when sampling...I like to know these little things that others do not want to be bothered with. No, I am not an anal person. Just curious.

As for filtering, the best filter you have is yourself and patience.

When you rack from the primary to the secondary try not to disturb the yeast and everything else on the bottom .

When you rack from the secondary to the bottling bucket the same guideline applies as above.

The less (unwanteds) you transfer the less you'll have in your bottle. :D
 

loopmd

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Oh, man, Where's Janx? LOL A little homebrewtalk inside humor. ;)
I have done it both ways, using a hydrometer and not using one. Doesn't bother me, if I'm curious, I'll use a hydrometer. It does not dictate to me when to bottle and when not to bottle. With the kits I use, I feel safe doing the one week, 2 week method. As far as using a filter to pour your beer, why bother? It is the uniqueness of homebrewed, bottle conditioned brew. I really don't think you would be able to tell the difference with little bits of "settling" being poured into your glass. Just like 99 said, don't rattle things around too much when you rack into your secondary and then siphon carefully from your secondary to your bottling bucket.

cheers, dave
 

zprime

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Personally I've given up on hydrometers....I've owned 3 and broken all of them, bizarely in the same fashion (I did my test, then went to the sink to rinse it of and the minute the tap water hit they hydrometers pop....and I was very careful to avoid drastic temp changes). I've now moved to a more hands off approach, primary for 3-7 days depending on activity, then at least 2 weeks in the secondary. Now as of late I've given up bottling and gone to kegging so carbonation isn't an issue for me.

At no point have I missed using a hydrometer (yes it sucked to break three of them but 3 strikes and they're out, I ain't gonna even try any more).

Oh yeah meant to add, just find and do what your comfortable with....some where on this forum I read something along the lines of ask 3 brewers how to do something and you'll get 4 different answers.
 

homebrewer_99

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Sorry to hear about the breakage. That must have stung a bit...I broke one a long time ago.

I don't think it had anything to do with the temp though. A couple of times I noticed I accidently hit the spigot with the thin end because it "seemed" invisible at the time.

Now I hold it in 2 hands as I put it under the spigot when rinsing. :D
 

zprime

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They all three broke in more or less the same way, at the thick end where the glass is over the ballast the end bits of glass broke off and I ended up with basically half a sphere of glass.

I've just decided that they are too much of a pain....and I'm far enough behind on bottling/kegging(who am I kidding, I'm not going to jack around with bottling beers anymore it's a hassle) that by the time one gets kegged there's little to no worry its done. My beers are currently 2 months in the secondary, the current kegged beer was in the secondary for almost 3 months.

I think at times I'm odd though....I almost enjoy the act of brewing more than consuming. So long as we have a good time though, that's all that really matters.
 

tnlandsailor

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I guess I'm just a geek. It would drive me insane not to know the gravities of my beer, espeically with all-grain. I'm always tasting and evaluating. If I don't know where I started, I don't know where I'm going next. I'll admit, I quite taking a post boil gravity and have settled on taking a preboil and then boiling off a set volume and using Promash to tell me what the post boil gravity is. Plus, I always like to see how well my yeast performed. If a British Best only ferments down to 1.015, I know something is up, or it indicates that I need to look at something in the process. But we all brew differently, that's what makes it interesting. I'm just on the geeky side.....

Prosit,
 

andre the giant

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FWIW, using a hydrometer gives a great deal of info about how your yeast is doing. My current batches were close to their final gravity after only 7 days in the fermenter. I think the Pale ale was down around 1.007. Its probably not going to get much dryer than that. My Oatmeal Stout was around 1.015 and may not drop too much further. If I didn't have a hydrometer, I wouldn't know how far the fermentation has progressed.

Yes it's annoying to break a hydrometer. I broke my first one by accidentally tapping it against the side of the stainless steel sink I was washing it in. The darn things are fragile. But they are about as helpful as a good thermometer. If you're doing all grain, but don't know what temperature your mash is at, how do you think it's going to turn out?

To each his own. But I do have to say, "taking a hydrometer reading" is a perfect excuse to have a little quality time with your wort/beer. After you take the reading, you've got to do something with the tube full of beer... why not drink it? :)
 

uglygoat

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i've never used one, though i can see the sense of it. i personally don't care to know what my starting or ending gravity is, because i really cannot do anything about it once the wort is cooled and the yeast pitched. strike water temp is more important to me ;)

that's just me though. i do keep track of all my batch's receipes, how long i boiled the hops and how much etc. how long i let it sit in the primary and the secodnary, how long i let it sit in the bottle, and how it tasted at various stages during the bottle aging process, some beers have been at their peek within ten days (mostly when i use the irish ale yeast and golding hops) some taste best after a month or so.

i've thought about kegs, but i think i'll stick to the bottles, it'll be nice to have a bottle or two six or so months down the road, when i know i'd have drunk the keg dry :)
 
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