Author Topic: new to brewing but not to cider, mead or wine making  (Read 350 times)

Offline bernardsmith

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new to brewing but not to cider, mead or wine making
« on: July 27, 2014, 03:11:20 PM »
Wine -makers typically sanitize with K-meta and as hobbyists (making 5 gallons or less) we have no real anxiety about returning samples of wine to the carboy after we have measured the gravity with an hydrometer just as long as everything has been suitably sanitized. Beer makers seem to be very averse to this practice. IF good sanitization practices are in place is there a  good scientific basis for this reluctance to return the sample? By that I mean there is ALWAYS a possibility of contamination - but has this possibility in fact been measured so that in fact we know it occurs half the time someone with good practices adds the sample back, or 1 time in 1000 or every time? Or is this brewer behavior simply based on superstition and received opinion rather than experimentation and observation.
« Last Edit: July 27, 2014, 03:14:06 PM by bernardsmith »

Offline denny

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Re: new to brewing but not to cider, mead or wine making
« Reply #1 on: July 27, 2014, 03:19:37 PM »
Wine has a loewer pH and higher alcohol content than beer, so you can do that with wine but not beer.
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Offline fmader

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Re: new to brewing but not to cider, mead or wine making
« Reply #2 on: July 27, 2014, 06:01:32 PM »
+1 to what Denny said.

I usually taste my hydrometer samples to see where the beer's at. That reduces my sample by half. Also, my lips have then introduced contamination.

But all that aside. The remaining sample is such a minuscule amount, that it isn't worth trying to keep. If I take three readings, I still haven't lost a beer's worth of wort/beer. Losing a 1/2 a beer is better than losing 52 beers.
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Offline morticaixavier

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Re: new to brewing but not to cider, mead or wine making
« Reply #3 on: July 27, 2014, 06:55:51 PM »
I've always just drank the sample. didn't really think about it. I suppose if I were sampling 10-20 times it might make a difference.

but even if you are careful with sanitation you are still adding o2 to your beer at a time when you likely don't want to by pouring it back in.
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Online kramerog

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Re: new to brewing but not to cider, mead or wine making
« Reply #4 on: July 27, 2014, 07:27:51 PM »
Wine has a loewer pH and higher alcohol content than beer, so you can do that with wine but not beer.
Beer doesn't contain anything nearly as powerful as metabisulfite.  Hops are helpful though. 
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Offline Jimmy K

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Re: new to brewing but not to cider, mead or wine making
« Reply #5 on: July 28, 2014, 06:01:34 AM »
I think another reason is the K-meta you mentioned which brewers don't use. K-meta is sometimes added at multiple points through the process - both 're-sanitizing' the must/wine and preventing oxidation. Brewers don't use K-meta, and I think beer's pH is too high for it to be effective if they did, so they don't get those benefits.  I've noticed that winemakers are far less concerned with oxidation.
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Offline Joe T

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Re: new to brewing but not to cider, mead or wine making
« Reply #6 on: July 28, 2014, 07:13:11 AM »
There's a small chance that dumping the sample back in will introduce an infection. My hydrometer sample is only 3 ounces. That's just not worth the risk. Also, tasting the samples throughout the process, batch after batch, helps me monitor the progress, educates my palette, and helps me make better beer, wine, mead, and cider.