From the HBD Archive
From: Kent Dalton <kentd@bach.ftcollinsco.NCR.COM>
Subject: Reading SG from wort after it's in the Carboy?
Date: 1992-06-18 21:12:22 GMT

A while back I started having problems with contaminated batches, so
I switched from dry to liquid yeast and also recently switched
from a plastic primary fermenter to a glass carboy... The difference
has been phenomenal! I've brewed four straight batches with this
setup that have all had superb results!

But there is one problem with this setup over the plastic setup: How
do I take SG readings?

I've tried using the blow off to read my OG but I'm convinced the
stuff that's blown off is not representative of the whole batch.
(i.e. I've gotten results that must be incorrect: Stuff like <1.030
for a 5 gallon batch with 8lbs of amber extract, 3lbs of specialty
grains, etc. and a very large variance (somtimes down, sometimes up
(!)) over short periods of time in SG readings.)

And for FG, the blow off has stopped so I don't even have that to
work with.

I can measure FG at bottling time but by that time I've already
siphoned it out of the carboy so if it has not actually reached its
FG I have to bottle anyway. This happened to me recently on an
otherwise great Bitter, the result was a very over-carbonated beer
since it had to finish fermenting in the bottle (fortunately none
blew up)! If the beer isn't ice-cold it will gush and even if poured
carefully it has mega-head which takes a while to dissipate to a
drinkable level.

So, does anyone have any sure fire methods for measuring SG when
brewing malt extract recipes with glass? I want to minimize the risk
of ruining a batch since that's why went to the trouble of
switching, but I still want to know when I can bottle and how
much alcohol my beers contain (seeing as how this is *invariably*
the first question a non-brewer asks when sampling one of my beers.
sigh).

/**************************************************************************/
/* Kent Dalton * EMail: Kent.Dalton@FtCollinsCO.NCR.COM */
/* NCR Microelectronics * Phone: (303) 223-5100 X-319 */
/* 2001 Danfield Ct. MS470A * FAX: (303) 226-9556 */
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