Quantcast

Newbie Question: Checking Fg And Cold Crashing

Aussie Home Brewer

Help Support Aussie Home Brewer:

zarniwoop

Well-Known Member
Joined
30/12/11
Messages
264
Reaction score
52
Hi All,

Well my first brew (APA) has been fermenting away in my temperature controlled chest freezer for a couple of weeks now and it's time to start checking the FG and then hopefully cold crash it, after doing some reading I still have a couple of questions that I'm unsure about. (apologies I'm sure these have been asked before):

Q1: What is the best way to check the FG without contaminating the beer? Can I just sanitize the hydrometer and measure directly for a couple of days or is it better to take a sample then measure that over a period of days? If the sample is the best method how do you take it and and how do you store it during the measurement period?

Q2: Looks like I can cold crash the beer to help reduce sediment in the primary. Is this just as easy as turning down the temp. to 1C (?) and leaving for a week before bottling? I'm concerned about sucking in the sanitized solution that is in my airlock as the temp. drops and the air volume shrinks in the top of the fermenter, is this an issue and what can I do about it?

Thanks for all the help :)


Cheers

Zarniwoop
 

Pennywise

Brewin' Beer for Crazy Clowns & Juggalo's
Joined
11/5/08
Messages
4,311
Reaction score
14
Are you fermenting in a plastic bucked/drum type (with tap) or a demijon with no tap? If you have a tap just draw a bit off and discard, then draw a sample and measure it. If in a demijon then you'll need something like a turkey baster thingy to get the sample out from the top. In either circumstances sanitation is, as always a must so spray the tap with sanitizer before and after using it, or use a clean sanitized baster thingy.
I don't fill my airlocks up that much so when I CC I don't have the issue you're concerned about. All you need to put in the airlock is enough water/sanitized solution to form a seal. Or do as others do and use gladwrap and do away with the lid completely.
 

bum

Not entitled to an opinion
Joined
19/2/09
Messages
11,585
Reaction score
909
measure directly for a couple of days...snip...then measure that over a period of days...snip...how do you store it during the measurement period?
It is best to take an individual sample for each reading rather than test one sample over a given period. Not really an issue if fermentation is complete, I guess, but if it still has a ways to go the sample will ferment out more quickly than the brew and give you a false reading. Well, the reading will be accurate but only for the sample, not the batch.
 

zarniwoop

Well-Known Member
Joined
30/12/11
Messages
264
Reaction score
52
Are you fermenting in a plastic bucked/drum type (with tap) or a demijon with no tap? If you have a tap just draw a bit off and discard, then draw a sample and measure it. If in a demijon then you'll need something like a turkey baster thingy to get the sample out from the top. In either circumstances sanitation is, as always a must so spray the tap with sanitizer before and after using it, or use a clean sanitized baster thingy.
I don't fill my airlocks up that much so when I CC I don't have the issue you're concerned about. All you need to put in the airlock is enough water/sanitized solution to form a seal. Or do as others do and use gladwrap and do away with the lid completely.
Thanks. Drum with tap.

I only have enough to form a seal, tricky to answer I know but how far would it normally suck the liquid in the airlock back towards the wort? (Just trying to gauge the risk)

Do you store the beer you draw off and measure each day or do you take a new sample each time?
 

zarniwoop

Well-Known Member
Joined
30/12/11
Messages
264
Reaction score
52
It is best to take an individual sample for each reading rather than test one sample over a given period. Not really an issue if fermentation is complete, I guess, but if it still has a ways to go the sample will ferment out more quickly than the brew and give you a false reading. Well, the reading will be accurate but only for the sample, not the batch.
Thanks, seems a reasonable approach.
 

Pennywise

Brewin' Beer for Crazy Clowns & Juggalo's
Joined
11/5/08
Messages
4,311
Reaction score
14
Don't keep the sample, it'll go funky in a day or two if left to it's own. Measure it, smell it, taste it and discard the rest. I personally don't often taste samples as my hydrometer tube is pretty rank. But tasting it at different stages is good as you'll soon be able to pick any issues, if any, sooner rather than later
 

zarniwoop

Well-Known Member
Joined
30/12/11
Messages
264
Reaction score
52
Don't keep the sample, it'll go funky in a day or two if left to it's own. Measure it, smell it, taste it and discard the rest. I personally don't often taste samples as my hydrometer tube is pretty rank. But tasting it at different stages is good as you'll soon be able to pick any issues, if any, sooner rather than later
I just tested it and the FG is nice and low, smells good, had a taste and it's very yeasty and bitter (I'm still very new to this so I may be describing it incorrectly). My wife described it as mead without the sugar and slightly fizzy. (she's not a big beer drinker though) Now I'm really hoping that the taste improves dramatically with bottle conditioning?
 

Pennywise

Brewin' Beer for Crazy Clowns & Juggalo's
Joined
11/5/08
Messages
4,311
Reaction score
14
It should be fine, beer from the fermenter, IMO, never smells that crash hot, and usually tastes like ass. Not that I'd know what ass tastes like but you get the jist. Main things are to be sanitary and ferment as you are, in temp control. Which for a new brewer your doing better than most of us when we started :lol:
 

Truman42

Well-Known Member
Joined
31/7/11
Messages
3,966
Reaction score
605
I just crack my tap a little bit to draw off into my tube. It sucks air into the fermenter through the airlock but has never drawn any of the starsan solution into my wort.

Then I taste it, or sometimes chill it and then taste it, then tip it out and take another sample two days later.
Works for me.
 

Yob

Hop to it
Joined
14/11/09
Messages
15,036
Reaction score
6,410
Location
Ringwood, Melbourne
Nothing to add to this, just gotta say I got a chuckle from the username... Love Douglas Adams :lol:
 

zarniwoop

Well-Known Member
Joined
30/12/11
Messages
264
Reaction score
52
It should be fine, beer from the fermenter, IMO, never smells that crash hot, and usually tastes like ass. Not that I'd know what ass tastes like but you get the jist. Main things are to be sanitary and ferment as you are, in temp control. Which for a new brewer your doing better than most of us when we started :lol:
Thanks that's what I need to hear.

Being an engineer I couldn't help myself with the temp. control. Having said that I fear I may be about to loose the chest freezer as the vegies from the garden start to come in and are deemed more important than brewing at the correct temperature by SWMBO. Ebay time...
 

pk.sax

RIP bum
Joined
19/8/10
Messages
4,362
Reaction score
415
Having said that I fear I may be about to loose the chest freezer as the vegies from the garden start to come in and are deemed more important than brewing at the correct temperature by SWMBO. Ebay time...
Would you rather drink or she eat carrot?
 

Camo1234

Well-Known Member
Joined
15/1/11
Messages
473
Reaction score
51
Thanks that's what I need to hear.

Being an engineer I couldn't help myself with the temp. control. Having said that I fear I may be about to loose the chest freezer as the vegies from the garden start to come in and are deemed more important than brewing at the correct temperature by SWMBO. Ebay time...
I give you 6 months and you'll have a new fridge for fermenting, an extra fridge for cold conditioning, a new chest freezer for your keg system and an extra fridge because someone was throwing it out and you convinced yourself that you needed it!
 

freezkat

Well-Known Member
Joined
16/8/11
Messages
651
Reaction score
2
I give you 6 months and you'll have a new fridge for fermenting, an extra fridge for cold conditioning, a new chest freezer for your keg system and an extra fridge because someone was throwing it out and you convinced yourself that you needed it!
"S" -locks are noisier but less prone to being sucked back into the beer.

or fill them with scotch ,vodka, etc... then who cares if they spill in.

Don't set your locks that deep. It doesn't take much to seal.

Ferment till it wont ferment no more...ergo, gravity the same over 3 days.

Everybody says don't test gravity in the fermenter, but I always do. I wipe my hydro down with rubbing alcohol right before dipping it in. Don't sneeze or lean over the fermenter, sanitize your hands too.
 
Top