How do you check YOUR Gravity ??

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illnastyimpreza

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I've been brewing my first 3 or 4 batches without even using a hydrometer. But now that I have one, I would like to use it :) I've got 2 beers brewing right now, a Coopers real ale, and a Coopers wheat ale. my OG was about 1.025 and 1.040. does this sound ok ??

They have both been fermenting now since saterday and sunday. SHould I bother checking the gravity yet ?? and What is the best way to do so ? They are both sitting in standard 6.5gallon plastic buckets with lids. Would I just take the lid off and use my turkey baster to suck some up?? this sounds dangerous :p

how do you guys do it ?? (man I wish I had a conical)
 

dataz722

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To me 1.025 seems really low. I could be wrong but that just seems low to me. You can use either a theif or turkey baster. Just make sure that you sanitize whatever you first and you shouldn't have any problems.
 

Beerthoven

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I wait 7 or 8 days before taking my first gravity reading. At that time the SG is within 1 or 2 points of where it's going to finish off at. I'll take another reading before bottling at 3 or 4 weeks (mostly just for the taster :D).

As for the OG's, 1.025 seems too low. Did you measure that yourself with your new hydrometer, or was it given on the recipe sheet? If you measured it, then the wort probably wasn't mixed very well.
 
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illnastyimpreza

illnastyimpreza

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yeah I measured it. this was after I aerated the bucket by shaking the CRAP out of it for 30 seconds. I wonder if I'm doing something wrong...

if your beer is going to stay in bottles @ room temp for another 3 weeks, does it really matter how long it stays in the primary ??
 

dataz722

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yeah I measured it. this was after I aerated the bucket by shaking the CRAP out of it for 30 seconds. I wonder if I'm doing something wrong...
QUOTE]

did you give the hrdro a spin or two and let it sit. If you have just shaken it you may have gotten some air bubbles stuck to it and this would throw off the reading.
 

Stratotankard

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yeah I measured it. this was after I aerated the bucket by shaking the CRAP out of it for 30 seconds. I wonder if I'm doing something wrong...

if your beer is going to stay in bottles @ room temp for another 3 weeks, does it really matter how long it stays in the primary ??
I started out doing the 1-2-3 method (1week primary, 2 weeks secondary, 3 weeks in the bottle) and it works fine. I've since gone to longer in primary and secondary, more like 3-4 weeks (or more when I forget) each and my beers have improved. The biggest thing you want to make sure is that fermentation is complete before you bottle (no bottle bombs!). So in that respect, yes, it does matter how long it stays in the primary. Ultimately you're giving the yeasties more time to clean up after themselves the longer you leave it in primary.

+1 on the 1.025 being low. If you're doing all extract, it's REALLY hard to miss the recipe OG, unless you use 6 gallons instead of 5 or something like that. I would guess you got a bad sample (not stirred enough).

Terje
 

tom777

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I just put the sanitized hydrometer right in the fermenter to check the gravity. I figure either way, something (either a thief/turkey baster/hydrometer) is going to touch the beer.

Note: this assumes you're using a bucket rather than a carboy/better bottle!
 
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illnastyimpreza

illnastyimpreza

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I started out doing the 1-2-3 method (1week primary, 2 weeks secondary, 3 weeks in the bottle) and it works fine. I've since gone to longer in primary and secondary, more like 3-4 weeks (or more when I forget) each and my beers have improved. The biggest thing you want to make sure is that fermentation is complete before you bottle (no bottle bombs!). So in that respect, yes, it does matter how long it stays in the primary. Ultimately you're giving the yeasties more time to clean up after themselves the longer you leave it in primary.

+1 on the 1.025 being low. If you're doing all extract, it's REALLY hard to miss the recipe OG, unless you use 6 gallons instead of 5 or something like that. I would guess you got a bad sample (not stirred enough).

Terje

ok so the only reason you can't keep bottle right away is because of excess Co2 being produced. BUT what about kegging ??? would kegging my beer have any ill effects(other than the slow temps slowing down continuing fermentation) ??
 

BarleyWater

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ok so the only reason you can't keep bottle right away is because of excess Co2 being produced. BUT what about kegging ??? would kegging my beer have any ill effects(other than the slow temps slowing down continuing fermentation) ??
If you move your beer out of the primary before it is done fermenting, then it may never finish fermenting. Moving away from the bulk of the yeast will make it hard for what's left to finish the job, and if you lower the temps, then you guarantee yourself a stuck fermentation.
 
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illnastyimpreza

illnastyimpreza

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ahh ha ok good I understand now. thanks. I know I should be checking gravity. But is there any normal style beer that would NOT be done after a couple weeks ?? or even a week for that matter ?
 

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ahh ha ok good I understand now. thanks. I know I should be checking gravity. But is there any normal style beer that would NOT be done after a couple weeks ?? or even a week for that matter ?
Generally, all "regular" beers would be done in a couple of weeks at the latest. Of course, higher gravity beers and lagers would take longer.

A couple of things, though, to be aware of. If the fermentation appears done- looks finished, not actively fermenting, etc- it doesn't mean it's done. That's why you have a hydrometer. It will PROBABLY be done, and you PROBABLY won't have bottle bombs. But you won't know if you don't use the hydrometer.

Also, even if fermentation is done, you shouldn't rush to bottle or keg. After the bulk of fermentation is finished is an important part of the process. When there is no more fermentable sugar for the yeast, they then begin to eat their own waste products, like diacetyl. That actually "cleans up" the flavor, and gets rid of some off-flavors. This won't happen if you rack the beer away from the bulk of the yeast.

That's why many of us has started leaving the beer in the primary for 2-3 weeks. Can't hurt, and will probably help.
 
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illnastyimpreza

illnastyimpreza

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Generally, all "regular" beers would be done in a couple of weeks at the latest. Of course, higher gravity beers and lagers would take longer.

A couple of things, though, to be aware of. If the fermentation appears done- looks finished, not actively fermenting, etc- it doesn't mean it's done. That's why you have a hydrometer. It will PROBABLY be done, and you PROBABLY won't have bottle bombs. But you won't know if you don't use the hydrometer.

Also, even if fermentation is done, you shouldn't rush to bottle or keg. After the bulk of fermentation is finished is an important part of the process. When there is no more fermentable sugar for the yeast, they then begin to eat their own waste products, like diacetyl. That actually "cleans up" the flavor, and gets rid of some off-flavors. This won't happen if you rack the beer away from the bulk of the yeast.

That's why many of us has started leaving the beer in the primary for 2-3 weeks. Can't hurt, and will probably help.
really? cool didn't know that. I guess I will start leaving them in the primary for a few weeks now.

I am currently OUT of homebrew, so I'm sorta in a rush to keg a batch real quick. But luckily I've got 3 batches fermentin away right now :) I will hopefully savor the first batch long enough for the other 2 to age and clear, and in the meantime, brew some more beer ! :tank:
 
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