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Complete Fermentation

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hiphophead:
I know they say take readings durning your fermentaion and if the stay the same for 3 days or so then its complete and ready to rack.  but how am i supposed to take reading 3 days in a row.  alll i have is my filled carboy.  is it safe to uncork the recork like that.  or is there something i can do like have a smaller fermentaion bottle going too?   

a10t2:
Once the krausen drops take a reading, then take another three days later. If they aren't identical, take another three days after that, etc.

The small sample idea (fast ferment test) is a good one to ensure you don't have a stuck fermentation. IMHO, though, if you're pitching an adequate quantity of yeast it isn't always necessary.

hiphophead:
so it would be ok to pop the air lock off to take a reading then place it back on.  that wouldnt taint it.

tygo:
Nope, just use good sanitation.  Sanitize whatever you use to get the sample (I use a turkey baster) and whatever else will come in contact with the beer.

corkybstewart:
But keep in mind that if you're expecting an FG of 1.012 and you get 1.020 for 3 days the beer may not be done.  You may have to warm it or take other measures.  Hydrometer readings are not the absolute indicator of a beer that is completely fermented.  I've had beers stall at a particular gravity for a week until I warmed it, shook it or added more yeast. 

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