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I see stories all the time about broken hydrometers. They are fairly fragile devices. Why risk contaminating a batch of beer you worked so hard on (and is worth more than the hydrometer even) with thin shards of broken glass that would be the result of breaking the hydrometer inside your carboy? Especially in a narrow-necked glass carboy, I could see this ...


I dropped mine into the glass carboy and left it in (wasn't an easy way to get it out). It was a bit difficult to read but I managed. Removed it carefully after bottling. No disasters.


I've tried several variations, including putting the hydrometer into the fermenting vessel and also a mini fermentation in a sample tube kept alongside the fermenting vessel. The former is hard to read; the latter may not ferment at the same rate as the main brew. In both cases, you get sediment settling on the hydrometer potentially weighing it down and ...


The biggest issue in doing that is that krausen will get stuck to both your hydrometer and your carboy walls. Even if you wait for the krausen to die off before dumping your hydrometer in, you will still have a bit of a hard time reading it through the krausened carboy walls... But hey, go ahead and try! That is the essence of homebrewing.


For the benefit you'd gain from leaving your hydro in there (maybe saving some volume as you won't take samples) I think it wouldn't really be worth your time as I imagine it would be pretty difficult to read without having to clean it off. Also having to open up your fermentor each time to take a reading exposes the wort to possible infection. I usually ...


tl;dr: If the thief is properly sanitized there's little reason that the sample can't be safely returned to the fermenter. Longer answer: There's not really any reason to be checking the gravity until all visible fermentation has stopped (i.e. the kraeusen has dropped and the airlock isn't making any more noise). Generally, the idea is to wait for a few ...


I like the taste of sweet wort, so I just drink my thief contents, but if you really don't want to waste your future beer, set up a one gallon sanitized carboy with its own airlock and put it next to your larger carboy. Keep your testing leftovers in this second bottle so that if contamination does occur, it won't ruin the whole batch. If you are using a ...

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