Specific Gravity And When Do You Know It Correct?

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macr

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Hey guys, it is coming to that time to start looking at racking my first beer. I used the Coopers Lager that has come with the kit. Now my question is, that when I go to measure the final gravity, I am getting a lot of bubbles forming and spinning hydrometer only creates more bubbles. Is this because I have not sanitised the hydrometer or should I wait until the bubbles disapate? When I do this it sits about 1012 and the next day 1011. Today is about 1010/1011.
Also should I rack the beer today or leave it another day or two?
Thanx in advance

Macr
 

GMK

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I usually rack to the secondary at day 10....

i dry hop and lager the secondary in the fridge for 2 weeks....

Hope this helps
 

dicko

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Macr,
The bubbles are trapped CO2 in the beer and if left to settle in the test tube will eventually dissapate.
When you take a sample try to just trickle the sample into the tube rather than splash it in with your hydrometer allready in the tube.
Let it settle for about a minute then take the reading.
Cheers
 

Plastic Man

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I read somewhere you can pour the sample from one vessel to another 4 or 5 times and the CO2 should come out of solution. Haven't tried it though but maybe worth a shot..??
 

kitkat

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it's not exact reading, but just try to remember where it was the day before. If it's at about the same spot, you should be able to rack.
I rack in a fermenter anyway, so if fermenting is not completely finished in primary, it'll finish in secondary, it doesn't really matter.

If you rack to a container that doesn't have an airlock, maybe leave it longer in primary.
 

macr

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Thanx guys, looks I will be racking it today in the second fermentor.
 

pint of lager

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There is dissolved carbon dioxide in your beer. When you put in the hydrometer, some of this comes out of solution. Some will stick to the hydrometer and give false readings by making the hydrometer float higher.

Tap your sample into test jar, use a teaspoon, give the sample a good stir, scoop the froth out, lower the hydrometer in, and take the reading. If the hydrometer is still tending to rise up, pull the hydrometer out, put it somewhere safe, stir the sample with the spoon again, rinse the hydrometer with water (this always seemed to help by removing any bubbles that had formed and stop them forming) and take another reading.

The ultimate is to buy a refractometer. These are a bit pricey, around $80-90 shipped from the states, but only need a few drops to take a reading. Just think of all that beer you will save by using only a few drops each time. Quite a few of the all grain brewers have gone down this path and swear by them.
 

macr

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Maybe I will wait a few beer batches, before I consider one of those :). I really want a fridge and thermostat so I can brew at lower temps. Thanx.
 

pint of lager

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A refractometer is definitely not part of the standard start-up kit for brewers.

You never know what contacts different brewers may have, someone may offer you one, grab it if at all possible.

There was a very funny thread a while back that included a poll on how many hydrometers each brewer had managed to break. Well worth having a read of and chuckle over.
 

wee stu

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I love my refractometer :)

there have been a couple of bulk buys organised through this forum, that's how i got mine.
with a fair few next generation brewers joining AHB lately, someone might eventually get a group together for another bulk buy.

This winemaking suppler in Adelaide stocks them, but at $135 plus GST, it would pay to shop around.
 

warrenlw63

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Ditto for me Wee Stu :wub:

Got mine gratis. Mate of mine used to work for Coke setting up post-mix stations. He got out of the trade and basically had no use for his refractometer.

All it took was a couple of pints of beer and a bit of begging. :blink:

Best thing since sliced bread for grain brewers. Makes measuring the final runnings a breeze.

Only downside with the things is measuring final gravity. Still keep my hydrometer handy for this.

Warren -
 

macr

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So how does it vary from this Hydrometer. The only thing is it says salinity
 

kitkat

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pint of lager said:
The ultimate is to buy a refractometer. These are a bit pricey, around $80-90 shipped from the states, but only need a few drops to take a reading.
where's the fun in that? Part of the daily gravity reading fun is to taste the sample and see how your beer progresses. A few drops? No way :beerbang:
 

warrenlw63

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macr said:
So how does it vary from this Hydrometer. The only thing is it says salinity
[post="49485"][/post]​
Macr,

Don't think it measures in %brix. Measures salinity rendering it useless.

Could be wrong.

Warren -
 

warrenlw63

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Sorry macr,

Jumped in too quickly there. Measures S.G. as well. Goes up to 1.070 by looks of things. Rules out the Barley Wine brewers. :(

Warren -
 

macr

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And it is battery powered.
 

FrostyOnes

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So how does it vary from this Hydrometer. The only thing is it says salinity
Looks to me like it has a specific gravity scale and a salinity scale. According to the specs it should do the job unless you want to do some real big OGs > 1.070.

Product Specs


* Ranges: 0-100 ppt of NaCl and 1.000 to 1.070 Specific Gravity
* Accuracy: +/- 1 ppt / 0.001 Specific Gravity
* Divisions: 1 ppt / 0.001 Specific Gravity
* Automatic Temperature Compensation (ATC)
* Sturdy design, made of sturdy Aluminum

For what it's worth (I'm only new at this brewing caper myself), I've been racking at day 7 into another fermenter and then bottling 7 days later with very nice results so far. :party:
Honestly I'm not paying much attention to sg's until bottling after all there's not much I can do other than make sure the dead yeasties don't spoil the brew. :ph34r:
 

PeterS

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pint of lager said:
The ultimate is to buy a refractometer. These are a bit pricey, around $80-90 shipped from the states, but only need a few drops to take a reading. Just think of all that beer you will save by using only a few drops each time. Quite a few of the all grain brewers have gone down this path and swear by them.
[post="49451"][/post]​
Each to their own. I do happen to agree with you accept I also like tasting my sample to see how it is developing and to detect any off flavours god forbit. Since I like tasting my sample I will not be saving any beer making the cost of the reflectometer even more costlier.

Just as a side line, I made the mistake the other day of not allowing for temperature adjustment and got quite an alarming wrong reading. one or two degrees are negligible but four or five certainly is not.

Also get into the habbit of reading the same line each time, e.g the top of the meniscus and not the water line. (This is harder to explain than actually doing it, I hope it makes sence)

Keep on Brewin'
:chug:
 

macr

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Makes perfect sense, just hard to see the top of the miniscus. Anyhow, I have racked my brew now and will probably bulk prime on Monday.
 
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