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ClaymoreCharlie

Hydrometer

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I've looked a bit and am still confused (go figure...),

How do I use and read the hydrometer? Would someone mind posting and in-depth guide to correctly using the hydrometer and how to read it? No directions came with mine in my order last night, and knowing me, I would use it incorrectly the first time.

I know it sounds dumb, but I really don't want to mess up any brews!

Prost!

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I just watched this video last night, answered all my questions. I just copied and pasted the link and it put the whole video here.

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Thanks! I will watch and learn!

Edit: Just finished, EXTREMELY informative...I feel so much better!

So do you guys use this thing before pitching the yeast too, or only just before bottling?

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It has been my understanding that you should check your OG before you pitch the yeast. You can check it after,and I have done that, but it is recommended before. Good luck!

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also, FG (final gravity) is checked before bottling.

if the FG reading is the same several days in a row, then it is time to bottle :)

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ClaymoreCharlie wrote:

Oh yeah, I got to check OG before pitching yeast... i was curious how many of you here do that?

I check my OG once it's at my pitching temp and is at the full volume. I check the gravity and then pitch the yeast.

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This guy has a great channel on You Tube called "CraigsTube" He has a bunch of knowledge and entertainment going on at the site. He will also personally respond to a question if you email him. I took a reading after I pitched my yeast but I can't see it making too much a difference since I started in warm water first. We will see

Cheers

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There are also printable instructions on Mr Beer's website. Just go to the hydrometer page and click on "see details".

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Welcome to the BeerBorg Information Center. You will be Assimilated. Resistance is Quite Futile: We have beer.

Might want to read the "simple guide line" in the new brewers FAQ section

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Do you guys pour your sample back into the fermenter after taking the hydrometer readings? (Obviously, I'd make sure that everything was sanitized first.) The batch size is already so small with Mr. Beer that I'd hate to lose a bottle or more due to testing a few times.

Chad

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I don't. I just drink it. That tells alot about how the beer is going too. I will sample at day 14 and day 21.

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chadmaz wrote:

Do you guys pour your sample back into the fermenter after taking the hydrometer readings? (Obviously, I'd make sure that everything was sanitized first.) The batch size is already so small with Mr. Beer that I'd hate to lose a bottle or more due to testing a few times.

Chad

I rarely take a hydrometer reading when brewing a MB recipe. Instead, I usually ferment for 3 weeks. Then give it the old taste test. If it tastes like beer (no sweetness), then I bottle. I haven't had any issues yet. If however, it had any sweet-taste, then I would take a hydrometer reading every-other-day until my reading goes unchanged.

On the rare occasion I take a hydrometer reading (recipes from scratch), I pour my sample into an empty water bottle (10oz I think), poke a small hole in the cap with a sewing needle, and store next to my fermenter to duplicate fermenting conditions (mostly temp) as much as possible. That way, I'm not taking a new sample every time I want to check it. I'm also not dumping the sample back in the keg, risking contamination.

If you sanitize everything very carefully, dumping it back in most likely will not be problematic.

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+1 I have seen his videos a couple of times...I like his stuff sample and to the point ..

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+1 on the satellite fermentor. I usually fill keg over 8.5 qt mark to compensate for sample and trub. I always test with hydrometer. Once in a while you will get an incomplete or stuck ferment.

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I used satellite fermenters on last 3 batches (3 separate brewed @ same time) and I got readings that stalled in the satellites and were much lower in the kegs. I'll probably try it again but definitely recommend doing a final test out of the keg before determining time to bottle.

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chadmaz wrote:

Do you guys pour your sample back into the fermenter after taking the hydrometer readings? (Obviously, I'd make sure that everything was sanitized first.) The batch size is already so small with Mr. Beer that I'd hate to lose a bottle or more due to testing a few times.

Chad

I pour the OG reading back in, but not the FG reading.

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thanks for this thread..I ordered a hydrometer last week...am looking forward to using to better determine bottling time etc.,.. :side:

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