Author Topic: Opening Fermenter to check hydrometer  (Read 1039 times)

Offline robflott

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Opening Fermenter to check hydrometer
« on: September 18, 2015, 03:06:45 AM »
I recently replaced my glass carboy with a 20 liter Spiedel plastic fermenter.  One problem, the unit is opaque so I cannot read the hydrometer.  After one week fermenting at 50 degrees i opened the fermenter and dropped in the hydrometer (sprayed with star san) to get a read.  The container was open a half minute, but now I am concerned if that brief time allowed too much oxygen to enter.  I want to check the hydrometer again but don't want to risk spoiling my lager. 

Does this brief exposure to oxygen pose any risk?

Thanks,
« Last Edit: September 18, 2015, 06:27:55 PM by robflott »

Offline Stevie

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Re: Opening Fermenter to check hydrometer
« Reply #1 on: September 18, 2015, 03:58:39 AM »
Did you position a fan right near your open fermenter? No? You're fine. The beer was most likely still giving off co2. RDWHAHB

Common practice is to pull a sample and measure the gravity in a test jar. If what you are doing works, keep doing it.

Offline erockrph

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Re: Opening Fermenter to check hydrometer
« Reply #2 on: September 18, 2015, 03:59:04 AM »
I'd be more worried about introducing possible contamination by putting your hydrometer right in the fermenter. If there's any active fermentation at all, then the yeast should pick up what little oxygen may be introduced. I've never run into any issues by opening the fermenter to draw a hydrometer sample.
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Re: Opening Fermenter to check hydrometer
« Reply #3 on: September 18, 2015, 04:52:56 AM »
I'm wondering how you can get a gravity reading with krausen on the hydrometer.
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Offline riceral

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Re: Opening Fermenter to check hydrometer
« Reply #4 on: September 18, 2015, 11:52:44 AM »
Why not clean the spigot with some star san and take a sample from there?

This is how I do it.
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Offline BrewBama

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Re: Opening Fermenter to check hydrometer
« Reply #5 on: September 18, 2015, 12:15:51 PM »
Why not clean the spigot with some star san and take a sample from there?

This is how I do it.
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Offline brulosopher

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Re: Opening Fermenter to check hydrometer
« Reply #6 on: September 18, 2015, 12:26:38 PM »

I'm wondering how you can get a gravity reading with krausen on the hydrometer.

Exactly my thought. Do you leave a hydrometer in the beer throughout fermentation? Don't Speidels have spigots?

Beer is probably fine, either way.

Offline robflott

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Re: Opening Fermenter to check hydrometer
« Reply #7 on: September 18, 2015, 06:23:34 PM »
I'd be more worried about introducing possible contamination by putting your hydrometer right in the fermenter. If there's any active fermentation at all, then the yeast should pick up what little oxygen may be introduced. I've never run into any issues by opening the fermenter to draw a hydrometer sample.

I spray the hydrometer with a Star-San solution...

Offline robflott

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Re: Opening Fermenter to check hydrometer
« Reply #8 on: September 18, 2015, 06:26:21 PM »

I'm wondering how you can get a gravity reading with krausen on the hydrometer.

Exactly my thought. Do you leave a hydrometer in the beer throughout fermentation? Don't Speidels have spigots?

Beer is probably fine, either way.

No, I drop the hydrometer in after a week of fermentation.  Also I sprayed the hydrometer with a star san solution before hand.

Offline leejoreilly

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Re: Opening Fermenter to check hydrometer
« Reply #9 on: September 19, 2015, 12:23:36 PM »

I'm wondering how you can get a gravity reading with krausen on the hydrometer.

Exactly my thought. Do you leave a hydrometer in the beer throughout fermentation? Don't Speidels have spigots?

Beer is probably fine, either way.

No, I drop the hydrometer in after a week of fermentation.  Also I sprayed the hydrometer with a star san solution before hand.

To each his own (should be the Homebrewers' mantra). But I think there is a benefit to drawing off a sample that you may be missing; with a sample, you get to taste your beer. I find it instructive to experience how my beer tastes at every reasonable opportunity.

Offline chezteth

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Re: Opening Fermenter to check hydrometer
« Reply #10 on: September 19, 2015, 12:51:01 PM »



To each his own (should be the Homebrewers' mantra). But I think there is a benefit to drawing off a sample that you may be missing; with a sample, you get to taste your beer. I find it instructive to experience how my beer tastes at every reasonable opportunity.

+1   To me, brewing is a lot like cooking. You taste it as you cook / brew it to see how it is progressing.

Offline goschman

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Re: Opening Fermenter to check hydrometer
« Reply #11 on: September 19, 2015, 02:35:59 PM »
I use the spigot to pull samples.
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Offline smkranz

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Re: Opening Fermenter to check hydrometer
« Reply #12 on: September 22, 2015, 04:22:20 AM »
For a mere $200: https://www.thebeerbug.com (Gives you real-time gravity and temperature readings.  Actually works.)

Otherwise, suggest using one of these to pull a sample: http://mdhb.com/product_info.php?products_id=1658
« Last Edit: September 22, 2015, 04:27:32 AM by smkranz »
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