Hydrometer usage

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LovesMeSomeBeer

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I'm brewing my very first batch ever, from a kit. I recorded an initial hygrometer reading of 1.42 last Friday and I am figuring that must be me reading it incorrectly.

Next ... I recorded 1.014 on Tuesday (4 days in), and now 1.016 (6 days in).

Does that sound right?
 

macabra11

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No. It doesn't. BUT I did have a similar experience happen to me where the gravity went down, then back up a little and stayed there. I figured it was because I just took a sample off the very top of the beer, and not a sample from the middle of the batch. I don't know if it really matters WHERE you take the sample from, but it is worth a discussion here.

Also check to make sure you account for the temperature of the sample at the time you read the hydrometer. Most hydrometers are set for 60 degrees Fahrenheit.
 

HOP-HEAD

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1.042 is low on average for the ales I brew, but perfectly fine for some... need more specifics on the recipe itself.

1.014 and 1.016 also sound perfectly possible after 4 days, though the increase doesn't. You should anticipate the reading to decrease or level off, not increase if you don't add anything. But, it could be as simple as a missed reading if you're talking .002... The readings themselves (1.014 and 1.016) do not sound all that odd.
 
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LovesMeSomeBeer

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Thanks for the help....

The recipe kit contained:
6 lb. Gold liquid malt extract
12 oz. Caramel 40°L
2 oz. Special B
2 oz. Roasted Barley specialty grains
1 oz Cascade
1 oz Fuggles
6gm Munton's dry yeast

(Shew! I don't even know what some of that stuff is!)

What kind of value should I be shooting for?
 

HOP-HEAD

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Promash gives an OG of about 1.042 with 6 lbs of Breiss gold LME... so depending on your specific specialty grains, your reading seems about right.
 

Kickass

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Thanks for the help....

The recipe kit contained:
6 lb. Gold liquid malt extract
12 oz. Caramel 40°L
2 oz. Special B
2 oz. Roasted Barley specialty grains
1 oz Cascade
1 oz Fuggles
6gm Munton's dry yeast

(Shew! I don't even know what some of that stuff is!)

What kind of value should I be shooting for?
If you’re brewing with stuff you’re not familiar there is a lot of good brewing books that can help you along your brewing journey. You don’t need them but fully understanding what you’re using tilts the scales in your favor. For an extract brewer like yourself (I have yet to make the all grain leap myself) The Complete Joy of Homebrewing, Brewmasters Bible, and Brewing for Dummies are all a wealth of knowledge. I can almost always find an answer to my questions in one, if not all of these.

Regarding the value of your brew, unless you paid way too much for your kit, homebrewing is always a value.
 

ajf

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If you made exactly 5g, you should have had an OG of about 1.044. If you collect an extra qt, the gravity would drop to about 1.042. Adding the 0 after the decimal point, your gravity seems perfectly reasonable. As for the increasing gravity between days 4 and 6, this is probably because of CO2 trapped on the hydrometer, or the hydrometer touching the side of the jar, either of which can cause a few points inaccuracy.

Sounds like you're well on your way.

-a.
 
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LovesMeSomeBeer

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I bought a sample-taking device (called the Thief). Readings yesterday and today were 1.014.

1) Is it time to move it to the bottling bucket? (8-days in the fermenter so far)

2) Is is supposed to taste this bad at this point? I took a sip of the retrieved sample, and man -- that is not something I'd want to drink :)
 
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LovesMeSomeBeer

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I just did some more reading and found that that reading should be lower before the move. This has been in my basement at probably 60-65 degrees, so maybe it's just too cool?

The tip I found said to tip the bucket & give it a whirl, or add more yeast.

Any thoughts about that?
 

david_42

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The increase between 4 and 6 are probably due to CO2. Shake a sample for 3-4 minutes, then let it settle before measuring.

2) Is is supposed to taste this bad at this point?
Not unusual. Green (unconditioned) beer can be really strange.
 

Kickass

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The increase between 4 and 6 are probably due to CO2. Shake a sample for 3-4 minutes, then let it settle before measuring.



Not unusual. Green (unconditioned) beer can be really strange.

It shouldn't taste bad though, it should taste not fully developed and uncarbonated. It's not a long or complex list of ingredients.
 
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LovesMeSomeBeer

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I'm figuring that maybe (hopefully) I just don't know what 8 day old uncarbonated beer should taste like. :)
 
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LovesMeSomeBeer

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Bad compared to the same beer at 8 weeks. the poor flavor was probably a result of the yeast. Thats why we let the yeast settle, then pour off the top of the bottle and leave the yeast behind.
I like this thought, a lot.
 
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