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Hydrometer readings.

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Orfy

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Does anyone take gravity readings after racking to secondary?
In theory it should be finished fermenting especially if you've it target FG. At that point so that should be in the OG but I know sometimes it wakes the yeast a little and there's more activity, is it going to change enough to warrant anothe sg reading whilst racking to the bottling bucket?
 

HomerT

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I take a reading before pitching. I take before racking to secondary. ANd I take one at bottling time fromt the secondary. Compare all three and list in my brew notes. I have seen an additional drop in the secondary (1.017 > 1.015), but nothing great.
 

Dude

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I've been making an effort to take more readings--I went for a while without taking ANY kind of reading. Now I designed this spreadsheet with all of this nice info so I figured I better be taking hydro readings more frequently. :D

I hate hydrometers though. I've broken 3 already.
 

Genghis77

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I would like to find a hydrometer made of a virtually unbreakable plastic instead of glass. Automotive battery hydrometers come to mind, but lack the precision and range to apply to brewing.
 
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Yep, what homer said. Unless I got a stubborn bugger where the gravity wasn't what I expected at rack time. Like this stinkin Belgium Wit! Don't know if I'll make this again for 1+ years. Takes too long in my carboys but it tastes pretty good when I finally get to drink it ;)
 

Dude

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Genghis77 said:
I would like to find a hydrometer made of a virtually unbreakable plastic instead of glass. Automotive battery hydrometers come to mind, but lack the precision and range to apply to brewing.

Save up and get a refractometer. That's what I'm doing. :)
 

tnlandsailor

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ORRELSE said:
Save up and get a refractometer. That's what I'm doing. :)
I don't think you can use a refractometer after fermentation has started. I think the alcohol screws up the reading. You can check it against a hydrometer, but I'm pretty sure that is the case.

My only problem with refractometers is, and by all means- correct me if this is irrational, that with such a small sample (basically, one drop), I'm afraid that the margin of error would be really high compared to the larger sample taken for a hydrometer reading. I'm thinking statistically here. A smaller sample means that the whole thing must be completely homogenous to get an accurate representation of the whole. Maybe if you took 3 or 4 readings in a row to see if there is any variation? Just fishing.
 

woodstone

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Sorry to jump in the middle of this but I too have broken many hydrometers and simply don't use them anymore. Unless it is a mead or some type of special lager, I typically primary my ales for a week or two and then secondary for two or more, which should be sufficient. I've only recently ran into an issue where fermentation was not complete...tried to prime my corny of AmeriLite and found it to be partially carbonated already! Guess I should have left the air lock on the corny secondary longer!

Anyway, I suppose the only reason to take a reading is to confirm fermentation is over and to determine excact alcohol content, which is not important to me (I know its full of alcohol). Me = Lazy! :p I've, however, been thinking of brewing up my first all grain batch recently...are there any other real reasons to take readings (I know its relatively important to determine when sparging is complete)? Cheers.
 

david_42

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The really important gravities are the sparge & OG when you are doing all grain. I've been thinking about a refractometer, it would certainly make it easier to know how the sparge is going.

I've made a policy: the hydrometer is used, rinsed, dried and put back in the box. Then the box goes back on the shelf before I do anything else.
 

DeRoux's Broux

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tnlandsailor said:
I don't think you can use a refractometer after fermentation has started. I think the alcohol screws up the reading. You can check it against a hydrometer, but I'm pretty sure that is the case.

My only problem with refractometers is, and by all means- correct me if this is irrational, that with such a small sample (basically, one drop), I'm afraid that the margin of error would be really high compared to the larger sample taken for a hydrometer reading. I'm thinking statistically here. A smaller sample means that the whole thing must be completely homogenous to get an accurate representation of the whole. Maybe if you took 3 or 4 readings in a row to see if there is any variation? Just fishing.
my wife bought me one for my birthday today! it's accuracy is + or - 0.20%. it takes 1-2 drops of solution (wort) on the cover slip screen. and you can take a reading after fermentation (according to the little booklet). i hope to test it in a week or two, but i know two pro brewers in Houston that use 'em, and love 'em. according to Northern Brewer, only used for unfermented wort......
but, to each his own. that's the great thing about homebrewing :D
i take one before i aerate and pitch, and when i keg. i never remeber to when i rack to secondary. :rolleyes:
 

tnlandsailor

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No offense guys, but......

woodstone said:
Sorry to jump in the middle of this but I too have broken many hydrometers and simply don't use them anymore.
Genghis77 said:
I would like to find a hydrometer made of a virtually unbreakable plastic instead of glass. Automotive battery hydrometers come to mind, but lack the precision and range to apply to brewing.
Sudster said:
Me 2! Glass objects have been a real problem with me this year.
.......what the hell are you doing with these things? Perhaps if hydrometers cost $20 a shot we'd all be a bit more careful? You won't be treating your brandy new refractomer like this I hope?
 

DeRoux's Broux

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oh no! i've never broke a hydrometer (knock's on wood). i didn't even ask for the refractometer. she's just cool like that :~)
 
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