- Dec 11, 2007
- Reaction score
- "Detroitish" Michigan
If the trub (the gunk at the bottom of the fermenter) is higher than the spigot (which it usually is if you have fruit in your fermenter). It's really hard to pull a clean sample...but if you're brewing a pretty straight forward beer, then if you can fill your testube with a clean sample from your spigot go for it...Thwizzit said:I saw where you had replied to another question from someone with an older model MRB by saying Since you have an older model, you could consider actually getting a hydrometer to test fermentation so I figured using a hydrometer would help figure out when it was done fermenting. Should I not use it and just wait 14 days?
Can't I just fill the test jar with a little beer from the spigot? Why would I need to open the top?
I wasn't planning on taking repeated samples.I figured if I took one after 14 days of fermenting that would let me know if it was ready and I figured it had to be better than just guessing.
With larger volume fermentors you usually take 4 hydrometer readings...When you put the wort in the fermenter...and usually after a week, you take 3 consequetive reading on 3 conseq. days...if they haven't changed fermentation is complete and you can rack to secondary pr bottle...The larger volume of beer produces more c02 which protects the beer from oxydation (which results in a wet cardboard taste in beer) And the airlock helps release both any air oxygen pushed out by the co2 after you open it, and enough co2 is vented out to hopefully keep from blowing the lid off the fermenter...
The problem to me with the new mr beers, is that the newer lids don't effectively work as well, and with opening the lid repeatedly if you were to take multiple readings, you really don't know if it is effectively venting out the O2 and excess CO2....
The problem is, if you didn't get to take an original gravity reading in the mr beer....you'd still have to take 3 readings (or 2 readings in 3 days skipping the middle reading) to see if there's any change...
14 days will pretty much gaurentee that fermentation is complete...
a lot of people making larger batches don't even bother with hydro reading, and let the beer set longer to make sure...
The hydrometer does let us know asap when fermentation is complete.
I do different things depending on the situation. For example I have a 5 gal. batch of amber ale in my fermenter. On Sunday it will be 2 weeks since I brewed it...I haven't touched it all since I took my OG and pitched the yeast. Normally I would check it after a week...But I am planning on sunday to brew a brown ale recipe right on top of the yeast cake, after I rack the amber to secondary (as well as make a batch of pretzels with some of the same yeast cake- the recipe is on this forum somewhere if anyone's interested.)
Since I knew it was going to be 2 weeks I didn't bother taking any more readings, pretty much believing that after 2 weeks in the fermentor it would be done.
I have a target final gravity for what the beer should finish at... On Sunday I'll take a reading to see how close I was to it, and also to figure out the alcohol content of the beer.....
Hope this helped!