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OK to pour hydro samples back into fermenter?

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ghart999

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Have a huge beer that I am constantly monitoring the gravity. Problem is I boiled off too much and only have 4.75G in primary. I hate to waste any with hydro samples.

Can I sanitize my hydro and cylinder, take my reading and pour it back in? Nervous of infection. But don't want to lose too much from readings either.

Thanks all.
 

Bigsnake

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I've done it before without problem but don't do it anymore. Really don't want to risk it and usually end up tasting it. How often are you monitoring it though?
 
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ghart999

ghart999

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Huge beer with a SG of 1.103 where I am adding champagne yeast to get it to drop more. Kind of died at 1.040 and I would really like to get into the 1.020's.
 
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+1...Leve it alone!

Every time you sample it...you are risking an infection. And every sample you don't drink...makes you more and more into a girl.

Lessons learned.
1. Don't dink with your beer any more than you have to!
2. ALWAYS drink your samples!
 

Special Hops

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Unless I suspect a problem like stuck fermentation I only pull a sample prior to fermentation, and prior to bottling (to assure it's done). No need to go messing around with it all the time.
 

Revvy

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You don't need to baby it..even though it is a big beer...you said you hit it with some more yeast so walk away from it...then take another grav reading in a couple weeks...AND DRINK THE SAMPLES

It's not really wasting it if you are crafting a beer...honestly to me, it's better to end up with 4 gallons of fantastic beer then 5 gallons of mediocre beer, and it sounds like you are striving for an excellant beer, so considering the hydro samples a sacrifice to ninkasi (and your tastebuds) for excellant beer...
 

jonwolgamuth

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If you have a beer thief, it is easy to take a hydrometer reading like a paratrooper. Swoop in, grab some wort, check your gravity, quickly return wort to fermenter.

Of course there's nothing wrong with drinking the sample either, but I don't very often.
 

redneckbeagle

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I have never returned it, I always drink it!!! Plus I do not test/sample until I think it is time to keg it. Just trying to eliminate the possibility of infection.
 

TeleTwanger

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Is it worth potentially ruining 5 gallons of beer to save 1/2 cup? Not for me...That works out to 32 samples per gallon.
 

moger777

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A hydro sample looks much bigger than it actually is. It takes less than a cup to fill up the hydromothingy. Not worth the risk.
 

menschmaschine

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Apart from risking infection, which is somewhat unlikely if everything is sanitized real well, by pouring a sample back into a fermenter, you're introducing oxygen into the beer. This could cause some oxidation.
 
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