Best way to get hydro sample

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greencoat

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Hey all - what's the best way to take a sample for a hydro reading?? When I took my first one before pitching, I just dipped a sterilized tube into my wort, but splashed my clumsy hand in (hopefully that doesn't lead to infection.) I was wondering if there is a safer way to do this.

Also - would using a bottling bucket for primary be a bad idea?? If I just hooked a tube up to the spigot at the end of primary, couldn't I just open the valve and rack it instead of siphoning??

Thanks in advance!
 

ChshreCat

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Wine thief FTW! Easiest way to get a sample for your hydrometer. You stick it in, put your thumb over the hole and pull it out. Like you used to do as a kid playing in your pop with a straw.

I wouldn't primary in a bottling bucket for two reasons. One, you don't know if you're going to get trub in/around the spigot. Primaries with a spigot usually have a set up inside to let you get your beer from right above the truble. Two, my bottling bucket is only 5 gallons, so that leaves no space for krausen.
 

Yooper

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You know, for as long as I've been brewing, you'd think I'd have a wine thief. I do have a dollar store (new) turkey baster that I sanitize and use to pull out my samples. A wine thief is great, but in lieu of one, you can use a clean and sanitized turkey baster. Just make sure you squeeze the bulb before you stick it in the wort, so you don't blow air bubbles through the beer. I did that once, and felt so dumb but maybe I'm not the only one? (on second thought, I really am that dumb and am probably the only one. )
 

WenValley

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Greetings: I'm not going to give you any advice, but I will share what I've learned over the past week with my first two batches. I discovered that the hydrometer beaker needs to be full to the top so that the hydrometer will float in the center of the beaker without touching the sidewalls. I filled the beaker to the top with the hydrometer floating, then took out the hydrometer and marked the liquid level with a sharpie.

Now I can fill the beaker to the sharpie mark, and when I float the hydrometer the liquid is at the top of the beaker. Give the hydrometer a spin when you first float it to knock off any bubbles that my cling to the surface.

You can tilt the beaker to get the hydrometer to float in the center of the beaker, my counter top is a out of level, so I have to tip the beaker a tad.

It's getting easier to get an accurate reading with a little practice. Good Luck.

I use a wine thief that comes apart into three pieces for easy cleaning.
 

annasdadhockey

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Yoop, I too use a sterilized turkey baster. Side note...you're not the only one who has blown bubbles into their wort with with said turkey baster(you can't see me now, but I'm raising my hand in admission)
 

Thumper

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You know, for as long as I've been brewing, you'd think I'd have a wine thief. I do have a dollar store (new) turkey baster that I sanitize and use to pull out my samples. A wine thief is great, but in lieu of one, you can use a clean and sanitized turkey baster. Just make sure you squeeze the bulb before you stick it in the wort, so you don't blow air bubbles through the beer. I did that once, and felt so dumb but maybe I'm not the only one? (on second thought, I really am that dumb and am probably the only one. )
Yooper,
You are not the only one who has done that! You are just the only one who will admit it! :D

Oh all right. I have done it too:eek:
 

jamesnsw

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I use my autosiphon- sanitize it, and give a couple pumps into my hydro tube- it's not the most effective, but it works with the tools I already have.
 

davesrose

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You know, for as long as I've been brewing, you'd think I'd have a wine thief.
Why mess with something that works? I too just use a baster...I always squirt some of the beer in a shot glass to taste how it's progressing while I'm sampling. I haven't run into any problems with the 2 dollar baster. I've caught myself not emptying the sanitizer from the baster before pushing it in my wort (but have always caught it before the probe reaches the carboy)....that's been my main goof:D
 

captianoats

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My wife got mad because her Pampered Chef turkey baster has now been moved into the "Brew Room" in the basement.

I see the benefit of the wine thief, but as far as I'm concerned in the world of brewing, ingenuity is king!
 

Thumper

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My wife got mad because her Pampered Chef turkey baster has now been moved into the "Brew Room" in the basement.

I see the benefit of the wine thief, but as far as I'm concerned in the world of brewing, ingenuity is king!
I tend to avoid this type of situation, and go buy my own small things for brewing only. It is usually money well spent. Just my .02 cents. YMMV.
 

JacobInIndy

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I use my Auto-siphon outer tube. Remove the racking cane and just stick it into the beer. When you pull it out, it will have beer in it. Also, it's perfect because it's about the same diameter as my test tube, so I can eyeball how much I need easily.
 

Minky

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+1 on turkey baster. And it can be taken apart for easy cleaning. Works great for taking samples preboil and during boil without the fear of thermal shock breaking a glass thief in the boil.
While you have that turkey baster apart, the stem makes a great siphon starter, too. Put your siphon hose on your racking cane and push the stem of the baster in the other end of the hose to use as a mouthpiece. Sucking lightly on the mouthpiece will fill the hose with beer. Then remove the mouthpiece and put the hose in your secondary, bottling bucket, etc. It's a lot cheaper than an autosiphon and much less cumbersome than filling the hose with water.

As for hydrometer readings, I have a wine thief with a valve in the bottom that I believe is either a Ferm-Tech or Fermentap product. When it's withdrawn from the fermenter, the valve holds the beer in allowing it to double as the hydrometer test jar.
 
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