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Attention! The Kraeusen is falling.

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It's been 4 full days since my first beer has been fermenting. I've noticed today that the kraeuaen has fallen below the highest line where the kraeusen was. Is it time to start taking hydro measurements? If you tell me I should wait two weeks I will ignore you.

Go ahead! You don't need to at this point but why not? Be sure to spin your hydrometer to dislodge any air bubbles. Note the measurement. Calculate you abv. Good practice! Then taste it, or course! Enjoy!

I don't need to, as in it's too early?
Also, does anyone bother cooling the sample before sampling?

Wait two weeks.    :)

It's tempting to want to check gravity early and often, but you're wasting good beer.

The goal when you check gravity is to determine when the yeast is essentially done fermenting so you can move on to the next step, whether it be lowering the temperature to age it for a while or simply to bottle if it's a beer style that's best to drink without aging.  There's no way your beer is close to done at 4 days with krausen still on top.  I would at least wait until the krausen drops and the beer clears a little.  Then take your first gravity reading.  Three days later, take another.  If there's no change, and it's reasonably close to your expected final gravity, it's probably done.

Oh, I do sometimes cool the sample when I taste it.  I usually first taste it warm, since it's easier to pick up off flavors when it's warm.  But I sometimes taste it cold to get a better idea of what it will taste like at normal serving temperatures.  But at four days, I can just about guarantee you it will taste weird.

I brewed a 1.052 pale ale 4 days ago and pitched wlp008. Activity slowed to a crawl but it still had a thick, meringue-like krausen. A gravity reading showed 1.012 and it tasted great- although it won't see the inside of a keg for at least another week. Because I sample the grain, the wort, and the beer throughout the brewing, fermentation and conditioning process, I can understand the whole process much better than if I just waited 2 weeks. A 3 ounce sample is not a waste as long as you can learn from it and grow as a brewer.


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