General Category > Extract/Partial Mash Brewing

Attention! The Kraeusen is falling.

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quattlebaum:

--- Quote from: paul on May 09, 2013, 07:15:19 PM ---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.

--- End quote ---

I agree wait. It's cool and all to taste at different points in the process but there isnt anything you can do if you dont like that sample anyway. It can be disappointing sometimes if tasted to early just because the flavors are not rounded out per say.  It will have a yeasty taste/characteristic with some flavors more prominent that others. It is better to wait just because the more you touch that beer the more chance for nastys to be introduced.
All that said once upon a time ago i just couldnt wait either and tasted at many different stages. Now i wait at least a 7 to 10 days, check the gravity at my calibrated temp for my hydrometer (60F) and taste at that temp. Then i cool it for a few days  and rack to keg with force carb x 2 weeks and enjoy. It does get better every week after that. It seems mine peek at around 7weeks. Meaning nice lacy head, carbonation and well rounded flavors.   

a10t2:

--- Quote from: zimaclone on May 09, 2013, 08:01:28 PM ---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.
--- End quote ---

Well said.

FLbrewer:

--- Quote from: quattlebaum on May 09, 2013, 08:20:01 PM ---
--- Quote from: paul on May 09, 2013, 07:15:19 PM ---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.

--- End quote ---

I agree wait. It's cool and all to taste at different points in the process but there isnt anything you can do if you dont like that sample anyway. It can be disappointing sometimes if tasted to early just because the flavors are not rounded out per say.  It will have a yeasty taste/characteristic with some flavors more prominent that others. It is better to wait just because the more you touch that beer the more chance for nastys to be introduced.
All that said once upon a time ago i just couldnt wait either and tasted at many different stages. Now i wait at least a 7 to 10 days, check the gravity at my calibrated temp for my hydrometer (60F) and taste at that temp. Then i cool it for a few days  and rack to keg with force carb x 2 weeks and enjoy. It does get better every week after that. It seems mine peek at around 7weeks. Meaning nice lacy head, carbonation and well rounded flavors.

--- End quote ---
How cool do you drop the temp at the end of fermentation? And secondly, do you cool your sample to 60 for testing?

morticaixavier:
you don't really need to cool the sample to 60, the correction tables included with your hydro are plenty accurate for the 5-10 degree difference you are talking about (add about .001 at 70 by the way).

sample it what the heck, it's your first brew. sample it every day if you want. just sanitize everything that touches the beer in the fermenter.

FLbrewer:
Is there any need to start to increase the temp of the beer when you near the end of fermentation?

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