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Easiest Way to Take a sample???

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acesb422

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I am about a week and a half in to my first batch it is an amber ale. It has been in since last saturday. I haven't done anything with it except leave it alone. the bubbling went for like 3 or 4 days then quit. I have been reading a lot about people taking samples for their hydrometers? I thought you were not suppose to disturb your beer. I want to take a sample reading to see if I am going to be ready to bottle this weekend. But what is the best procedure in doing this. I don't want to mix a full batch of star san to sanitize my hydrometer or baster and tube what or i guess how do you do this.
Also i have messed with my hydrometer and when it is in water it is not exactly to 1.000 should i adjust the reading to compensate??? and how worried do i have to be when i have my primary open to not contaminate the beer???

thanks for the help
 

Soulive

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First, forget the airlock bubbling and take the hydrometer sample. Taking the sample is very important and won't disturb the beer. If you don't want to sanitize your hydrometer, you won't be able to take the readings. Start using sanitizer solution from a spray bottle so you can just spray the equipment you need. Yes you should compensate for the hydrometer readings. However much below or over 1.000 it reads in water, add or subtract that amount from your sample readings. Make sure your water temp is @ 60F as well or adjust for temp differences. Do not bottle it unless you get two consistant hydrometer readings on back to back days. If you don't want to run through the sampling process twice, send me your equipment to dispose of properly :D
 

ShortSnoutBrewing

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Wine thief or turkey baster will work for gathering samples. You aren't disturbing it enough to be an issue, unless of course you don't sanitize.

As for your water not being at 1.000...You have to adjust for temperature. I forget what they are calibrated at...60º, 62º. The paper work that came with it should say.
 

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acesb422 said:
I am about a week and a half in to my first batch it is an amber ale. It has been in since last saturday. I haven't done anything with it except leave it alone. the bubbling went for like 3 or 4 days then quit. I have been reading a lot about people taking samples for their hydrometers? I thought you were not suppose to disturb your beer. I want to take a sample reading to see if I am going to be ready to bottle this weekend. But what is the best procedure in doing this. I don't want to mix a full batch of star san to sanitize my hydrometer or baster and tube what or i guess how do you do this.
Also i have messed with my hydrometer and when it is in water it is not exactly to 1.000 should i adjust the reading to compensate??? and how worried do i have to be when i have my primary open to not contaminate the beer???

thanks for the help
A plastic wine thief is great for taking samples and they only cost $8.

When you take a sample from the fermenter you only have to sanitize the thief. Don't put the sampled beer back into the fermenter. Drink it instead. It is intructional to taste your beer as it is coming along.

Its ok to open the beer to take a sample or two. You are not going to hurt anything by doing this.

As for your hydrometer not reading 1.000 in water, did you make the appropriate temperature correction?

With StarSan, you can mix up a batch in a bucket with a lid and keep it around for few months without any problems. Then you don't have to mix up a new batch everytime you need to sanitize something. This is what I do.
 
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acesb422

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Ok if i were to make up a batch of Star San and by the way i don't have a problem doing that because I am curious to see how it works. And i am wanting to take a sample now and then maybe friday to see where i am at. Plus, I was thinking about starting my second brew tomorrow night, so here is my question. If i mix up some star san let's say 2.5 gals worth and i just use my tap water, and sanitize what i am going to use for the sample can i keep it until tomorrow or thursday night and use it again to sanitize for my brew??? The reason I am asking is because people say they use distilled water when they plan on keeping it so i didn't know what regular unboiled tap water does to it. If i have to make to batches that is fine, but i am just being curious.... Thanks!
 

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acesb422 said:
Ok if i were to make up a batch of Star San and by the way i don't have a problem doing that because I am curious to see how it works. And i am wanting to take a sample now and then maybe friday to see where i am at. Plus, I was thinking about starting my second brew tomorrow night, so here is my question. If i mix up some star san let's say 2.5 gals worth and i just use my tap water, and sanitize what i am going to use for the sample can i keep it until tomorrow or thursday night and use it again to sanitize for my brew??? The reason I am asking is because people say they use distilled water when they plan on keeping it so i didn't know what regular unboiled tap water does to it. If i have to make to batches that is fine, but i am just being curious.... Thanks!
Yes, that's fine. Now, go test (and taste!) your beer!
 

Gammon N Beer

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Kilted Brewer said:
Wine thief or turkey baster will work for gathering samples. You aren't disturbing it enough to be an issue, unless of course you don't sanitize.

As for your water not being at 1.000...You have to adjust for temperature. I forget what they are calibrated at...60º, 62º. The paper work that came with it should say.
Distilled water at 60F should read 1.000.
 

Joker

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I have started to use my auto-siphon to get samples. Got tired of dripping brew all over using a baster.
 
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acesb422

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Well i just took my sample. I think i might of did something bad though when i went to take the lid off i forgot to loosen the airlock and I think i might have sucked a couple drops into my brew??? that shouldn't hurt anything right??

Well I looked at my beer kit and it says the og should have been 1.044 which i didn't check.... but when i took the reading just now after checking the calibration of my hydrometer, it read 1.016 after adjusting the reading. I also took a pull from the tube and it tasted pretty damn good for my first time, if i do say so myself! So what exactly does that mean am i ready to bottle or not quite yet. By the way this is an amber ale... Thanks!
 

Gammon N Beer

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acesb422 said:
Well i just took my sample. I think i might of did something bad though when i went to take the lid off i forgot to loosen the airlock and I think i might have sucked a couple drops into my brew??? that shouldn't hurt anything right??

Well I looked at my beer kit and it says the og should have been 1.044 which i didn't check.... but when i took the reading just now after checking the calibration of my hydrometer, it read 1.016 after adjusting the reading. I also took a pull from the tube and it tasted pretty damn good for my first time, if i do say so myself! So what exactly does that mean am i ready to bottle or not quite yet. By the way this is an amber ale... Thanks!
Congratulations on your first beer. They only get better.

OK....You took a hydrometer reading. Great. That will tell you when your beer has completed fermentation. To determine that, you will wait 24 hours and take a second reading. If it reads out at 1.016 you are ready for your next decision.

Some people may want a third reading. I tend to wait about 10 days after I brew to check it the first time. I then will check again and if the readings are the same, I will then move the beer to another carboy.

I will let the beer settle out in that carboy for a week or two then bottle. Once bottled, I will wait 3-4 weeks before drinking.
 

splat

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My primary has a spigot on it like a bottling bucket...So I just use that for my samples that way I dont have to take the lid off...
 
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acesb422

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I am going to take another reading tonight after i get done brewing my second batch. I was getting things ready for it last night and with this kit i got from AHS it cam with liquid yeast which will be a first for me. I think i am going to like it though because it takes out a lot of steps in the brewing process!! But, if my reading is the same since i am not going to a secondary I haven't decided if i am going to wait a week to bottle or if i am going to just bottle it this weekend and see how it comes out after it has been bottled for a couple weeks....
 

Dextersmom

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splat said:
My primary has a spigot on it like a bottling bucket...So I just use that for my samples that way I dont have to take the lid off...


that makes sense...!!! i have that and might try it...only question i have tho..is it definitely safe?


+9 to this thread answered a BUNCH of questions for me.
 

splat

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Dextersmom said:
that makes sense...!!! i have that and might try it...only question i have tho..is it definitely safe?


+9 to this thread answered a BUNCH of questions for me.
I always clean/sanitize my bucket really well, and I also clean the spigot...AND run 5 gallons of sanitizer through it when I empty it... Never had any problems yet...Works great.... The only thing I did different is that I put the spigot up a little higher than a bottling bucket, that way you dont get any trub out when you pull a sample... I think if you were going to use as a bottling bucket you would want the spigot as close to the bottom as you could get it, that way you wouldnt have to tip your bucket as much when you are filling bottles....

Good luck...
 
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