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If I take my stopper/airlock out to take a gravity reading

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do i just pop the stopper/airlock back on after the reading if it hasnt reached FG? is there anything I need to do after I take the reading?

thanks!
 

ArcaneXor

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Yes. You might want to sanitize the stopped and the neck of the carboy first, then put it back on.
 
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T
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thanks! i kinda figured i would sanitize everything before and after, but I didnt know if i had to pitch any more yeast or anything like that or if popping the stopper and exposing it to air would contaminate it.
 
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i also wanted to ask, is it absolutely necessary to take the hydrometer readings? i'm taking them, but i was wondering if i just followed the directions without taking the readings how far off the brew will be from its perfect potential.

or would you say readings are an absolute must?
 
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You CAN do whatever you want. It's your beer. To be sure of whats going on in your beer and to avoid exploding bottles you NEED a hydrometer.
Some people will say to just use the 123 method and you don't need a hydrometer. These are the same people posting "Is my Beer ruined", "Is my fermentation stopped, I don't see bubbles", "I heard a loud explosion last night, beer everywhere now, what went wrong".

In short USE THE HYDROMETER :D

As far as just follwoing directions, expecially from most beer kits, this is a bad idea. Most 'instructions' are lacking to say the least. Learn the process, not the steps.

Now this doesn't mean take a reading every day. Take a reading, if it's not reached your FG like several points give it a week or so try again. If it has, check again tomorrow, if it's the same, check again tomorrow, if it's the same you can either bottle it or continue to let it age in pRimary for up to a month or so, or transfer to a secondary or keg for long term aging.
 

SumnerH

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i also wanted to ask, is it absolutely necessary to take the hydrometer readings? i'm taking them, but i was wondering if i just followed the directions without taking the readings how far off the brew will be from its perfect potential.

or would you say readings are an absolute must?
You want to ferment until you get the same reading 3 days in a row.

In practice, you usually only need 2 readings; wait until you're pretty sure it's done (2 weeks is usually decent, maybe 1 for a mild bitter or hefe or 3 for a really big barleywine/BSA/etc), take a reading, wait 2 days, take another reading.

Same? You're ready to rack to secondary or bottle/keg
Different? if the second looks like a reasonable FG, check again in a couple days. If not, consider other options (e.g. leaving it alone if it's still moving, or trying something more advanced if it's stuck).
 
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thanks so much, all this info really really helps. i would never have known to take the readings 3 days in a row, but it makes absolutely perfect sense.

now, I have another stupid question. what is the best way to get the brew out of the carboy and into the test tube? can i just put a sanitized rigid siphon tube down into the brew and thumb off the top to catch the liquid inside then drop it off into the test tube? i dont want to pick it up, move it to a higher counter, and do an actual siphon and risk shaking up the liquid and aerating it, right?

BTW i'm brewing a red ale from true brew kit.
 

Stratotankard

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That will work, or they make a wine thief which is purpose built for the purpose. It's quite a bit wider than the racking cane so you only need one fill up. Some people use a turkey baster and it works well too. Just don't use it for your turkey too. :)

Terje
 
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