Whats your method to measure OG from fermenter

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Imx3

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Soon I will pull a reading from my fermenter to see if its done, I am trying to decide how I will do this.

I don't have a test tube to fill and put hydrometer in and would rather not lose a whole 12oz or more filling a big glass.

Is it wise to sanitize the hydrometer, pull the lid off bucket and do it in there.
Should I buy a inexpensive refractometer off amazon and hope its close to accurate?

Also don't have a thief, could a new and sanitized turkey baster work if I need to fill a large vessel, for a small sample I would use maybe a straw to pull some out.

Ideas are appreciated,
Ed
 

Qhrumphf

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You can float the hydrometer in there if your sanitation is good. It's harder to properly read it that way.

Refractometers aren't good for reading gravity after you've pitched yeast. Alcohol disrupts the reading. There are online calculators to correct it, and some folks swear by them, but your better bet is using a hydrometer.

Again, as long as your cleaning and sanitation are good, an unused turkey baster will work just fine.
 

Sailingeric

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Get a wine thief. I do find it does not get enough to float the hydrometer when I fermenting 5 gallon batch in a Brewcraft 8 gallon bucket so I will drain some in a glass, refill the thief, pour the beer in the glass into the thief, take a reading, put beer back in glass and sample it. I think it is 4 or 6 oz of beer so you are not losing too much.
 

jdanderson1449

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I have done this both with a thief and by floating a hydrometer in the fermenter. I keep a spray bottle of premixed sanitizer on hand in my fermenting area all the time. I hose down my thief, inside and out. Spray the hydrometer. Then take the sample, float the hydrometer and return it. No infections yet. I've made over a half dozen batches so far with no issues except that the hydrometer is a little difficult to read.
 

Qhrumphf

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I have done this both with a thief and by floating a hydrometer in the fermenter. I keep a spray bottle of premixed sanitizer on hand in my fermenting area all the time. I hose down my thief, inside and out. Spray the hydrometer. Then take the sample, float the hydrometer and return it. No infections yet. I've made over a half dozen batches so far with no issues except that the hydrometer is a little difficult to read.
I would advise against returning the sample. A) needless infection risk. Even if your cleaning and sanitation are good, not worth risking a batch to save a couple ounces of beer. If you're dealing with one gallon batches or something, where a hydrometer sample's worth is a little more significant loss, then it might be worth going via refractomter and correcting the reading. B) Sensory evaluation. Once you've done it enough even if the beer doesn't taste like the FINAL beer will, you'll get a pretty good idea what you're in for. You'll also be able to tell whether or not it's conditioned (if you still taste diacetyl or acetaldehyde or what not). Or if you need to adjust something (dry hopping, iso extract, hop tea, backsweetening, blending, etc).
 

Psylocide

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Did you get any of these for Christmas?



Would work in a pinch... turkey baster, fill it up, drop hydrometer in the tube.
 
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Imx3

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Thanks all,
I want to make sure I follow good practice, it's all new to me and I don't want to make a mistake.
 

ruger988

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I use a turkey baster, never could get wine thieves to cooperate without making a mess. Straw would take FOREVER.
 

doug293cz

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I use a refractometer to determine when fermentation is done. You don't even have to do the correction for alcohol presence to know if it's done. If you get the same reading two or three days apart, then fermentation is done (although you may want to leave it longer for the yeast to clean up more.) You only have to do the correction calculation on the final reading after everything is stable. I like the calculator here. In order to get an accurate calculation of FG and ABV, you need to know the SG, so don't forget to take a reading before pitching the yeast.

Brew on :mug:
 

WayFrae

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I love my wine thief for my final gravity readings. I also don't return the sample because I like to drink it to see how the beer is going to taste.
 

beergolf

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The tube the hydrometer came in will work in a pinch. It is easier to just get a test tube. I use a turkey baster and a test tube.
 

Foosier

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Just sanitize the hydrometer properly and lower it gently into the bucket. Works like a champ and eliminates lot of steps. You have to put something into your beer to pull a sample, why not just avoid the fuss. As long as your sanitation is good, I just drop my hydrometer into my jug of starsan for a minute, there is really no more issue than any other method of checking FG.
 

emyers

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I ferment in pails with spigots installed. To take a sample I just tap open the spigot into my graduated cylinder. When I'm done I spray star San up the spigot. The spigots also make kegging easy because all I need is a 1/2 silicone hose off the spigot, no siphon.
 

Braufessor

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I ferment in pails with spigots installed. To take a sample I just tap open the spigot into my graduated cylinder. When I'm done I spray star San up the spigot. The spigots also make kegging easy because all I need is a 1/2 silicone hose off the spigot, no siphon.
yep - this is what i do too. Make sure to take the air lock out before opening the spigots though.
 

jbb3

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Get a wine thief and a hydrometer test tube. Basic tools you need to have.
 

MattyIce

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The last few batches, I just drop the hydrometer in the bucket after the krausen has been down for a couple days. I'll do it again at packaging. No problems to speak of.
 

brewbama

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When I first started brewing in the '90(s), I'd float the hydrometer in the fermenter. It worked at the time.
 

C-Rider

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I get a small glass and put about 2" of star san in it.
I remove the air lock and put it in the glass.
I then get my test tube and hydrometer out of the star san bucket.
And w/a turkey baster I remove enough beer to float the hydrometer
Since I do 2 gallon batches I place the test beer into the bottling bucket
Never had an infection in 2 years.
 
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Soon I will pull a reading from my fermenter to see if its done, I am trying to decide how I will do this.



I don't have a test tube to fill and put hydrometer in and would rather not lose a whole 12oz or more filling a big glass.



Is it wise to sanitize the hydrometer, pull the lid off bucket and do it in there.

Should I buy a inexpensive refractometer off amazon and hope its close to accurate?



Also don't have a thief, could a new and sanitized turkey baster work if I need to fill a large vessel, for a small sample I would use maybe a straw to pull some out.



Ideas are appreciated,

Ed

Fermentech makes a thief that you can sanitize then take a reading in the thief w/ a sanitized hydrometer & return the sample to your fermentor.
 

hunter_le five

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I usually just drop the (sanitized) hydrometer right in the bucket. Not necessarily the best idea for carboys though.

If you do take a sample out of the fermenter to measure SG, make sure you drink it when your done, or risk being smote by Beer Lord.
 

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