Take the 2-minute tour ×
Homebrewing Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for dedicated home brewers and serious enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

When taking hydrometer readings, is it acceptable to return liquid to the fermenting vessel after taking a reading in a vial? Must the vial/measuring cylinder and hydrometer have been sterilised to make this an acceptable practice?

share|improve this question

2 Answers 2

up vote 8 down vote accepted

I don't re-introduce from the hydrometer vial, the four books I've read on homebrewing (Papazian, Miller etc...) suggest that you don't because this is a place where you can contaminate your beer.

I doubt that there is a large risk because you've sanitized it all, but, I prefer to not take risks I only take a couple hydrometer readings so I don't lose that much beer.

I also take this time to enjoy the flavour of the product.

share|improve this answer
2  
Agreed on tasting the sample, it's interesting to see how the taste changes as it ferments. –  benr Nov 8 '10 at 21:38
    
@benr I usually find it tastes completely awful until it's had enough time to mature! The one exception was a blackberry port which tasted amazing right from the off. –  fearoffours Nov 9 '10 at 10:55

I put the liquid back in, just because I don't want to lose a pint or more across all the readings. To do this I sanitize the hydrometer and the thief, inside and out, before taking the sample.

share|improve this answer
    
How many readings are you taking? –  spoulson Nov 8 '10 at 21:52
1  
Not many, but the thief holds maybe 4-6 oz, so even three readings puts you down a pint. –  benr Nov 8 '10 at 21:56
1  
Not if you drink the samples. –  Denny Conn Sep 23 '11 at 0:42

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.