I just purchased this wine/beer thief so that I can take more regular samples over the course of fermentation. I plan to float my hydrometer directly in the tube of the thief, which requires me to draw off about an 8 oz sample. If I do this a few times a week over the course of fermentation, plus every day at the end to be sure FG has stabilized, this could add up to a lot of beer! So, I would like to return my samples to my carboy (maybe less a shot glass to taste).
If I were brewing in a bucket, I assume I would just press the tip of the thief against the side of the bucket just at the surface of the liquid. However, I don't think I can tilt the thief at enough of an angle through the neck of the carboy to hit the side. I don't want to release the sample straight into the neck of the carboy either, because that would allow it to splash and risk oxygenation. I suppose I could siphon from the thief back to the carboy... but that seems like a lot of trouble.
Does anyone else who brews in a carboy and uses this thief know of any simple tricks that I'm missing here?
And as a side note, I realize that I increase my risk of infection by returning samples, so I of course will be carefully sanitizing everything.
Edit for clarification: this particular thief has a one-way valve at the tip, allowing liquid to flow into the tube when it is submerged and stay in when it is withdrawn. As far as I can tell, the only way to release liquid from the thief is to press the tip against something, which "unlocks" the valve.