Author Topic: Hydrometer reading for first extract  (Read 3249 times)

Offline FLbrewer

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Hydrometer reading for first extract
« on: May 05, 2013, 07:00:14 AM »
Is it necessary to take a hydrometer reading for my first batch of beer prior to fermentation? Didn't see this in the rookie video included.

Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Hydrometer reading for first extract
« Reply #1 on: May 05, 2013, 07:03:42 AM »
Not to the point that you should throw it away, but ya it's pretty important. It tells you where your gravity is at the start so you can compare to ending and figure out alcohol level. And so you can know how well your yeast did.

Offline SecondRow_Sean

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Re: Hydrometer reading for first extract
« Reply #2 on: May 05, 2013, 07:04:06 AM »
Yes, you should take a gravity reading BEFORE you pitch the yeast. This way you can compare it with another gravity reading taken 10-14 days from now. You'll also know if you came close to the estimated OG.

Offline FLbrewer

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Re: Hydrometer reading for first extract
« Reply #3 on: May 05, 2013, 07:11:12 AM »
You guys...this forum is awesome. Lightning quick responses here. Sorry, getting all nervous before my first batch today. Putting together burner now.

Offline Mark G

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Re: Hydrometer reading for first extract
« Reply #4 on: May 05, 2013, 07:30:01 AM »
Yes, you should, but it's not completely necessary if you're trying to keep your first brew day simple. With an extract kit, as long as your volume measurements are accurate, your OG will be on target since all you're doing is dissolving a known quantity of sugars in a know quantity of water.
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Offline In The Sand

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Hydrometer reading for first extract
« Reply #5 on: May 05, 2013, 02:08:37 PM »
Yes, you should, but it's not completely necessary if you're trying to keep your first brew day simple. With an extract kit, as long as your volume measurements are accurate, your OG will be on target since all you're doing is dissolving a known quantity of sugars in a know quantity of water.

+1 But if you plan on continuing to homebrew, get in the habit now.
Trey W.

Offline FLbrewer

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Hydrometer reading for first extract
« Reply #6 on: May 05, 2013, 02:37:38 PM »
I have my hydrometer sitting in a test batch but the temp is still around 80. Can I take a reading or should I let it cool further?

Offline FLbrewer

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Re: Hydrometer reading for first extract
« Reply #7 on: May 05, 2013, 03:23:47 PM »
It's reading 1.10 at 75 degrees. Does this sound right? Should I force the temp down in the test tube with an ice bath or let it settle naturally?

Offline duboman

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Hydrometer reading for first extract
« Reply #8 on: May 05, 2013, 04:47:29 PM »
Ideally  you want the reading taken at the calibrated temp of the hydrometer-usually 60F

If the reading is off which 1.10 is its because you got a poor mix of wort and top off water which is common.

See above post: with extract its pretty impossible to miss the OG unless you really mess up the volumes:)
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Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Hydrometer reading for first extract
« Reply #9 on: May 05, 2013, 04:56:09 PM »
Ideally  you want the reading taken at the calibrated temp of the hydrometer-usually 60F

If the reading is off which 1.10 is its because you got a poor mix of wort and top off water which is common.

See above post: with extract its pretty impossible to miss the OG unless you really mess up the volumes:)
+1.  Mix up your wort thoroughly, then try another reading. Like Duboman said though, if you got your kettle volume correct, the gravity takes care of itself with extract.
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Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Hydrometer reading for first extract
« Reply #10 on: May 05, 2013, 05:02:49 PM »
Still a good idea to get in the habit of taking gravity readings, so that you can track your yeast attenuation. 
Jon H.

Offline FLbrewer

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Hydrometer reading for first extract
« Reply #11 on: May 05, 2013, 05:07:47 PM »
Ideally  you want the reading taken at the calibrated temp of the hydrometer-usually 60F

If the reading is off which 1.10 is its because you got a poor mix of wort and top off water which is common.

See above post: with extract its pretty impossible to miss the OG unless you really mess up the volumes:)
That's it! I took the reading from the wort with only 2.5 gallons of water mixed in (initial boil). Should I bother taking off plug and airlock to take again now that the full 5 gallons is in the carboy?

Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Hydrometer reading for first extract
« Reply #12 on: May 05, 2013, 05:15:57 PM »

That's it! I took the reading from the wort with only 2.5 gallons of water mixed in (initial boil). Should I bother taking off plug and airlock to take again now that the full 5 gallons is in the carboy?
[/quote]
If you have a hydrometer thief (wine thief) and want to, go for it. But truthfully, if you topped off to the right volume, you hit your gravity since you're using extract. Be sure to aerate thoroughly, let it ferment, and take an accurate final gravity reading, so you can gauge attenuation.
Jon H.

Offline denny

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Re: Hydrometer reading for first extract
« Reply #13 on: May 06, 2013, 09:17:27 AM »
When you do an extract batch with a partial boil and top up, it's very difficult (read "almost impossible") to get the wort and top up water mixed thoroughly enough to get an accurate reading.  If you use all the ingredients and end up with the volume the recipe is meant for, you will hit the intended OG.  You can just skip taking a reading.
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Offline euge

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Re: Hydrometer reading for first extract
« Reply #14 on: May 06, 2013, 09:29:06 AM »
One thing that I do is use a cheap paint-stirrer and a drill to fully incorporate the chilled wort prior to pitching yeast. This also helps add oxygen to the wort.
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman