Bottling bucket gravity read?

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ricksam

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Has anyone else found that measuring gravity with the hydrometer in the bottling bucket produces a much different reading than taking one with a wine thief?
 

Andrew862

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Did you add priming sugar before testing? Are your values reading higher or lower? I always check before transferring, never after the transfer so I can't comment directly on my experience.
 
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ricksam

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Yes I did add the priming sugar, but the last reading from my wine thief that prompted me to bottle was 1.011 and the reading in the bucket was 1.016. Is that much sugar going to add that much to the gravity??
 

dtsh

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Since gravity is measuring the disolved solids, unless you have introduced more material to change the ratio then the reading should be the same in the bucket, a test cylinder, a vat, or a lake of beer. Check your methods, look for bubbles clinging to the hydrometer, check for carbonation, etc.

How are you testing?

Have you tried drawing off a sample and testing it, then the bucket? Sort of error checking your process?
 
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ricksam

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I have not tried that check and it is a great idea. I have been diligent in making sure there are no bubbles when checking in the wine thief. One thought I had was that the little bit of starsan in the thief is skewing the reading. It would just be the bit that is still sticking to the sides of it, but maybe that is enough to cause this discrepancy.
 

bleme

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Normally priming sugar adds 3 points. Not sure where your other 3 are coming from.
 
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ricksam

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Ok, if priming sugar adds three (good to know), then maybe the other 2 is influenced by that bit of starsan? One way to check that would be to pull 2 samples from the carboy without rinsing the thief out between them and measuring them both I suppose.
 

JLem

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ricksam said:
Yes I did add the priming sugar, but the last reading from my wine thief that prompted me to bottle was 1.011 and the reading in the bucket was 1.016. Is that much sugar going to add that much to the gravity??
How much priming sugar did you use?
 

dtsh

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I don't think the trace amounts of starsan that woulld be left would add any significant reading, though StarSan does have a higher gravity than plain water.

I'm about out of guesses, but I'm curious to see if you track it down. Good luck!
 
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ricksam

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Thanks for the help! I'll update this if I find the culprit.
 

JLem

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ricksam said:
5 oz. of sugar
5oz of sugar would raise 5 gallons of beer by 3 points (a little less considering the added volume of water used to dissolve the sugar). I wonder if you are not getting your priming sugar thoroughly mixed. The sugar solution is more dense and would sit on the bottom of the bottling bucket. If you sample from the bottling spigot you would have pulled off a more sugary portion from the bottom. Just a thought anyway.
 
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ricksam

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I'm just dropping the hydrometer into the bucket. The samples I pull with the wine thief are from the fermenter. Thanks for the input!
 
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