Checking FG in your secondary fermentor?

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Feb 28, 2009
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I am still working on my first batch and have had the wort in the secondary fermentor for 7 days, after 7 in primary. I have a wine thief/hydrometor and want to know when it is ok to check for FG for 3 days in a row. I was planning on keeping it in the secondary for 14 days. Do you take the plug out of the carboy and check? Yeah....I'm a new guy with stupid questions....but you have to start somewhere. :fro:
Usually you check to see if you've reached FG before transferring to the secondary. You take the sample with a wine thief and drop the hydrometer in there, or you can use a sanitized turkey baster and pour the sample into a hydrometer test jar.
I did check FG prior to secondary. It was 1.020 and was supposed to be 1.010 - 1.012. It is a Irish Red Ale from Midwest.....I hope I didn't screw it up too bad. I'm taking the advice from the board that 'time heals all ales'.:D
Your fermentation should be finished in the primary. In theory. whatever reading you got when you transferred to the secondary should be the final gravity.

Beyond that, if you've transferred to a secondary, follow the 1-2-3 rule. 1 week primary, 2 weeks secondary (clearing), and 3 weeks in bottles (conditioning) before trying it. I only transfer to a secondary if I need another primary to start another batch and I've reached where I want to be as far as gravity.

Everything I've read on here I've tried to disprove on my own, and have lost every time so far (with the exception of Munton's yeast). This is definitely the best place on the internet for questions and sincere/honest answers.
Thanks....I made a couple rookie mistakes. I forget to get my SG and didn't check my FG for 3 days in a row. I will follow the 1-2-3 rule. I agree...this place is definetly great for finding the answers you need. I don't know why I decided to brew my own beer...but it is amazing to see how many people do it and do it with passion.
For the future, though, don't do 1-2-3. Leave it in the primary at least until it's read the same gravity for 3 days in a row. If anything, 2-2-3 is a better general rule, but honestly the yeast sets the schedule and in some beers it takes longer.

Personally I'm in favor of leaving things in the primary for a week after the gravity settles, to give the yeast a chance to clean things up a bit.
I check three times.

Just before I add yeast
Just before I transfer into a secondary 3 weeks later
Just after bottling 1 week later