From the HBD Archive
From: Kent Dalton <kentd@bach.ftcollinsco.NCR.COM>
Subject: Reading SG from wort in Carboy: SUMMARY
Date: 1992-06-26 19:53:16 GMT

I'd like to give a big "thank you" to all the HBDers who helped me with
suggestions on techniques for reading SG from wort in the carboy. The
response was exceptional! You folks are great!

In appreciation, I've prepared a summary of the ideas I received so
others might benefit...

Summary of SG Reading Techniques:

1. Use a Turkey Baster to remove wort from carboy and take reading-
This was *by far* the most suggested technique. Most folks suggested
trying to hunt down a glass or pyrex baster rather than the garden
variety plastic types for ease of sanitation. Some mentioned that metal
models might also be available.

2. Use a "wine thief" or a large glass pipette to remove some of the
wort for SG readings - This has the advantage of easy sterilization.
Some said that a drawback was that some wine thiefs required a couple
of "thefts" in order to get enough wort to take a reading. They should
be readily available at brewing stores which also carry wine making

3. Use the "BrewCap" - Apparently the brewcap is a commercial product
which has a collection hose which allows one to judge whether
fermentation has completed based on the rate of yeast deposit in the
hose. I would like more information on what exactly this product does
and if any other benefits are gained from its use. If anyone knows
more, please let me know.

4. Measure SG in the carboy itself by lowering the hydrometer into it -
I probably will not use this because of the size of my carboy neck and
the amount of blowoff is usually enough that I wouldn't be able to get
the hydrometer out once it was inserted. Plus I don't sterilize my
hydrometer very often.

5. Siphon some wort out into your graduated cylinder for reading the SG

General SG reading tips:

SG readings from blow off are inaccurate.

Never return wort to carboy after taking an SG reading.

Note that one HBD'er reported different OG's at different sample levels
(depth); this would be a good way of testing whether you shook up the
beer adequately when pitching....

Avoid taking too many samples, watch the airlock and the wort to
determine how far a long you are to avoid having to do SG readings too
often. Many HBDers reported similar experiences to the following:

What you do though is watch the fermentation lock.
If it goes more then 1min between gulps it's done.
Make sure to hang a therometer in the area though
since flucations in temperture can affect CO2.


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