From the HBD Archive
From: Dances with Workstations <buchman@marva1.ENET.DEC.COM>
Subject: Re: Specific gravity readings
Date: 1992-06-19 16:42:36 GMT

Ken Dalton writes:

> 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.

So am I. Don't trust SG readings based on blowoff.

> So, does anyone have any sure fire methods for measuring SG when
> brewing malt extract recipes with glass?

Why is it any more difficult to take SG readings in a glass carboy?
Did you formerly put the guage straight into the wort, and now can't
do that because of the narrow opening on a glass carboy?

We take readings by sanitizing our siphon tube and siphoning out enough
wort to fill a 100ml graduated cylinder, into which one of those SG guages
fits very neatly. We don't even have to formally start the siphon, because
one tube's worth fills the cylinder enough to take a reading (don't need to
fill it all the way, since the guage itself displaces some). Any tall,
thin container should work.

Other ideas:
- Avoid taking SG readings without reason, since it is just another
opportunity for infection. We only take SG readings at pitching time,
whenever we transfer to secondary or bottle, or if we suspect something
is wrong.
- Go ahead and drop the SG guage into the carboy anyway! In this,
the glass carboy is better than the plastic because you can monitor the
SG throughout the ferment without opening the carboy again! The only
problem is getting it out again, but a) you can wait until after bottling,
at which time the carboy will be empty; or b) we have had good luck fishing
it with a bottling wand. As your guage bobs proudly in five gallons of
fermented beer, push the wand over the tip of the guage, tilt sideways,
and gently pull the guage out.

Jim Buchman

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