Gravity reading questions for my first AG today

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dynobyte

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I'm about to start my first AG batch today but I'm not sure how worried I need to be about multiple pre-boil gravity readings. I do not have a refractometer yet and don't really want to lose several tubes full of beer to take multiple readings, however, I don't know if that is a really bad idea or something I shouldn't worry about at this stage. I was planning to take one reading after the boil and then a FG reading after fermentation. Is this OK? My recipe is a Troegs Hop Back Amber Ale clone that I worked with my LHBS shop on to get the exact amounts of water to mash with and batch sparge with as well as the temps for my mash and sparge. I'm assuming if I hit those temps I shouldn't have to worry about efficiency, etc, right?
 

GinSlinger

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You'll be fine if you just get the OG and FG, but to know if you are getting good efficiency, you'll want to take a pre-boil gravity reading and record your volume (pre-boil).

I just dump my pre-boil reading back in the kettle, so I don't lose that. It's not like I have to worry about an infection at that point in the game.
 

thisoneguy

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GinSlinger said:
I just dump my pre-boil reading back in the kettle, so I don't lose that. It's not like I have to worry about an infection at that point in the game.
I do the same thing. I mix everything together really well to try and avoid pulling only 2nd runnings, take a sample, turn the heat on while I cool the sample, and dump the sample right back in after I measure it.
 
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dynobyte

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Good point about dumping the pre-boil measurement back in as the boil hasn't even happened yet. I wasn't thinking well enough to realize that...too worried I'm going to do something wrong! I guess I need to RDWHAHB. Thanks for your input.
 

frazier

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I batch sparge, and will take a sample from the first runnings, and set it in the freezer to cool while I continue. It usually turns out to be about 1.080. I'll take another sample from the second runnings (1.035 or so). I aim to collect about 7 gallons, so I just do the math to figure out how many gravity points I got from the mash. All this just lets me know if I'm in the ballpark. I take a "real" sample just prior to pitching yeast (this one I don't put back, of course).

Cheers!
 
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