Author Topic: Hydro Readings  (Read 4398 times)

Offline purewest

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Hydro Readings
« on: March 13, 2015, 06:55:34 AM »
I'm pretty new to brewing (on my 4th batch so far), and browsing this site I've seen a lot of mention of taking hydro readings until they are the same for 2 or 3 days, then waiting another 3 or 4 days for the yeast to clean up after itself before bottling. I've also read that you can leave it in the fermenter for weeks if not months without ill effects. So if I'm in no particular hurry, is there anything wrong with just leaving it in the primary for 3 weeks or so and assuming it's good to go? I'm just afraid taking hydro readings for a few days will increase the chance of infection.

Offline Scott Ickes

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Re: Hydro Readings
« Reply #1 on: March 13, 2015, 11:33:40 AM »
At the homebrew level you can leave it in the primary for a month and still be safe.  You shouldn't get autolysis using the types of fermenters we use.

I travel a lot for business and I'm not even home to take hydrometer readings.  I've had beer on the primary for 6 weeks with no ill effects.  They turn out just fine.

Kegs:
 Red IPA
 ESB
 Saison Solera
 Dubel (Aged in Malbec Wine Barrel
Aging:
 80 Shilling (In bourbon barrel)
Bottled
 Peppermint Patty Stout
 Wee Heavy

Scott Ickes
https://creativebrewing.wordpress.com

Offline purewest

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Re: Hydro Readings
« Reply #2 on: March 13, 2015, 11:49:52 AM »
Awesome, thanks!

Offline TAHammerton

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Re: Hydro Readings
« Reply #3 on: March 13, 2015, 04:58:15 PM »
Taking a bunch of hydrometer readings does expose your beer to a higher risk of infection, but if you have good sanitation practices it should not be a problem. But it does however waste a bunch of beer as good practice dictates the sample be thrown out and not returned to the vessel. If you have a refractometer you can reduce that wastage to a few drips each time, but don't forget it will not be accurate in fermenting wort and will need correction - there is a tool in Beersmith for that.

As for leaving it alone for 3 weeks to do it's thing - that is perfectly fine. That is pretty much what I do. I only take gravity readings when I think it is done or when I do a transfer to secondary. As long as the reading is what I expect I don't do any more. These days I only do a secondary if I am going to dry hop as I like to get the beer of the yeast before I add the dry hop.

Now having said that 3 weeks is not always going to be long enough depending on the beer you are brewing and the conditions you are brewing in, such as high gravity beers and the temperature the wort is fermenting at, yeast strain and health etc.

Also if something goes wrong it will take you 3 weeks to notice a stuck fermentation. But as long as you pitched a decent amount of healthy yeast into well oxygenated wort kept at the appropriate temperature you should not have this problem.
In bottles: none
In keg: Asaph IPA
In process: Farmhouse Saison, Supermarine Kentish Ale

Offline Scott Ickes

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Re: Hydro Readings
« Reply #4 on: March 13, 2015, 05:14:42 PM »
I agree with everything TAHammerton said.  Eventually, after you've brewed and fermented enough beer, you will turn into a "yeast whisperer".  Especially, if it's a strain of yeast and a style of beer that you've got a lot of experience with.  You'll learn more and more as you go.
Kegs:
 Red IPA
 ESB
 Saison Solera
 Dubel (Aged in Malbec Wine Barrel
Aging:
 80 Shilling (In bourbon barrel)
Bottled
 Peppermint Patty Stout
 Wee Heavy

Scott Ickes
https://creativebrewing.wordpress.com

Offline purewest

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Re: Hydro Readings
« Reply #5 on: March 14, 2015, 06:20:45 AM »
Sounds good. Thanks for the advise guys!

 

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