How do YOU check your sg after primary...

Homebrew Talk - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Forum

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

Turner_Brown

Active Member
Joined
Nov 18, 2008
Messages
36
Reaction score
0
I'm getting ready to rack a pretty big beer to the secondary but I want to check the sg before I commit to the transfer. It's in a 6.5 gallon carboy now. I don't think my turkey baster is long enough to get a sample and I would rather not bust out the auto siphon to collect a 4 oz sample.

How do you do it?
 

Clonefarmer

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 10, 2008
Messages
1,328
Reaction score
9
Location
Springfield, MA
With a wine thief.

You may be able to attach a length of hose to the turkey baster to make it long enough
 

Evets

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 29, 2006
Messages
1,982
Reaction score
307
Location
Lancaster County, Pa.
If you tilt the carboy at about a 45 degree angle, you may well reach with the baster, as long as you have about 5g in there.
 

conpewter

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 2, 2007
Messages
5,076
Reaction score
59
Location
East Dundee, Illinois
I use a turkey baster. I had to break off all the little fins around the outside to allow me to put it fully down in the carboy. It also came with an injection needle which I use as a 2 inch extension. I've also been known to slip a little bit of tubing on the end of the baster to get some more height.
 
Joined
Nov 6, 2007
Messages
62,016
Reaction score
6,921
With a wine thief.

You may be able to attach a length of hose to the turkey baster to make it long enough
Never had luck with this on my turkey baster
If you tilt the carboy at about a 45 degree angle, you may well reach with the baster, as long as you have about 5g in there.
My method as well if baster won't reach.
I plan on ordering a 3piece thief with my next order from NB
 

Pharmguy

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 28, 2008
Messages
253
Reaction score
0
Location
Michigan
I just put my hydrometer in the fermenting bucket and get a fast reading. Of course it is sanitized first.
 

macabra11

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 19, 2009
Messages
320
Reaction score
5
Location
Boise, ID
I use a sanitized racking cane, dip it in, cover the open hole with my thumb and repeat until I have enough for a sample. This way I am getting a sample from throughout the beer and not just the top (where I have gotten off readings before). Tubing on the turkey baster would work great too.
 
OP
Turner_Brown

Turner_Brown

Active Member
Joined
Nov 18, 2008
Messages
36
Reaction score
0
Pt. 2 -

I'm getting a bubble from the airlock about once every 6 seconds. I put it in there about 8pm cst Sunday night (yeast went to work within a couple hours).

It was 1.093 when I put it in...I'm looking to get down to about 1.020-22 range. What are the benefits of racking to the secondary early/later.

I plan on letting it sit for awhile in the secondary and dry hop the hell out of it.

I just wonder if I would be hurting anything by moving it to the secondary sooner than later.
 

Clonefarmer

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 10, 2008
Messages
1,328
Reaction score
9
Location
Springfield, MA
Pt. 2 -

I'm getting a bubble from the airlock about once every 6 seconds. I put it in there about 8pm cst Sunday night (yeast went to work within a couple hours).

It was 1.093 when I put it in...I'm looking to get down to about 1.020-22 range. What are the benefits of racking to the secondary early/later.

I plan on letting it sit for awhile in the secondary and dry hop the hell out of it.

I just wonder if I would be hurting anything by moving it to the secondary sooner than later.
You want to be sure it is done fermenting before racking to secondary. Racking too soon can stall it.
 
OP
Turner_Brown

Turner_Brown

Active Member
Joined
Nov 18, 2008
Messages
36
Reaction score
0
You want to be sure it is done fermenting before racking to secondary. Racking too soon can stall it.
So about 2 days in a row of the same sg reading would be enough evidence that the primary is finished?
 

Clonefarmer

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 10, 2008
Messages
1,328
Reaction score
9
Location
Springfield, MA
So about 2 days in a row of the same sg reading would be enough evidence that the primary is finished?
A big beer like that could use a few weeks on the yeast cake to allow the yeast time to clean up. The end product will be greatly improved.

The same gravity over 3 days usually means fermentation is finish. It should be near the estimated FG.
 
OP
Turner_Brown

Turner_Brown

Active Member
Joined
Nov 18, 2008
Messages
36
Reaction score
0
A big beer like that could use a few weeks on the yeast cake to allow the yeast time to clean up. The end product will be greatly improved.

The same gravity over 3 days usually means fermentation is finish. It should be near the estimated FG.

Say I get 3 days of the same readings after only a week in the primary...you're saying it's okay (even better) to leave it on the cake for another 2 weeks?

I thought that the cake (dead/dying yeast) can leach a bad taste into the beer and one of the benefits of racking to the secondary (aside from clearing up the beer) was the absence of the pile of dead soldiers.
 

Clonefarmer

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 10, 2008
Messages
1,328
Reaction score
9
Location
Springfield, MA
Say I get 3 days of the same readings after only a week in the primary...you're saying it's okay (even better) to leave it on the cake for another 2 weeks?

I thought that the cake (dead/dying yeast) can leach a bad taste into the beer and one of the benefits of racking to the secondary (aside from clearing up the beer) was the absence of the pile of dead soldiers.
The yeast doesn't die right away. It will eat up some of it's by products than drop out of the beer and go dormant.
 

tedski

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 6, 2008
Messages
148
Reaction score
0
Location
San Francisco, CA
The yeast doesn't die right away. It will eat up some of it's by products than drop out of the beer and go dormant.
This is a diacetyl rest. It allows the yeast to remain active and remove some diacetyl before you rack to secondary.
 

SpanishCastleAle

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 5, 2009
Messages
4,339
Reaction score
45
Location
Central Florida
I would leave a beer that big in the primary for at least 3 weeks. Yeast autolysis is vastly over-blown...people leave beer in the primary for 4 weeks and more all the time with no adverse effects. But it's a big beer so I wouldn't push it too far.

Usually I don't measure FG until I'm actually racking it to a keg or secondary...but I always let it go 2 weeks minimum in the primary. It's never not been done fermenting (and when...not if...I do come across a batch that hasn't finished I'll just krausen the secondary or something).

It's similar to 'testing for conversion' imo. After you've 'tested for conversion' a bazillion times and it's NEVER not been converted...you just stop testing for conversion. If the beer was not finished fermenting I'm pretty sure I'd have noticed something during the fermentation so I almost never measure FG until I'm already racking it (exceptions are high gravity beers...gravities I've never done before).

I'm just not a fan of mucking around in it...I put it in the carboy and just leave it alone until I'm ready to rack it.
 

Beezer94

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 26, 2009
Messages
637
Reaction score
30
Location
Harmony
I just put my hydrometer in the fermenting bucket and get a fast reading. Of course it is sanitized first.
With how easy these break I would never stick it in 5+gallons no matter how careful I thought I could be. $25-50 for 5 or more gallons of ingredients or 4oz of beer that I'll just drink to taste anyways....
 

Pharmguy

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 28, 2008
Messages
253
Reaction score
0
Location
Michigan
Break, are you throwing it against a wall before you use it? Put it gently in the liquid and spin.
 

double_e5

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 24, 2008
Messages
900
Reaction score
2
Location
Kansas City
Break, are you throwing it against a wall before you use it? Put it gently in the liquid and spin.
It's just not the smartest thing to do. Plus, I'd like to know how you are getting an accurate reading with it in the bucket. I have a hard enough time reading mine in a tube and inch away from my face.
 

Pharmguy

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 28, 2008
Messages
253
Reaction score
0
Location
Michigan
Smartest thing to do? Why? Is putting a sanitized turkey baster in the wort more sanitary? The angle I read it at may be a bit off...a tiny bit. In the end its beer:off:
 
Top