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Almost all the yeast has cleared from the top of my “Summer Mild” brew so it is time to start checking the gravity readings. This time I’m trying an idea I saw on the Brew in a Bag forum. It suggested that, rather than draw a fresh sample each time, you keep a portion of the beer in a sanitised and sealed sampling tube and keep that next to the brewing vat. Each sample requires about 200ml of beer, which is approximately a bottle every two and half attempts and, with a short brew length, a fairly significant waste.

This morning’s reading was 1.010 @ 23°C. The little sample I allowed myself tasted promising but the real test is whether the gravity falls any further or stays consistent. When it settles, the yeast has done its work and it is time to rack the beer off into bottles for its final fermentation stage. With Leo coming to visit this weekend, I have a fairly canny idea of what I’ll be getting him to help me with on Friday!

Out of interest, I ran my figures through Dave’s Dreaded Homebrew Calculator. It does require converting from Celsius to Fahrenheit but there is a degree of fuzziness in the readings any way. According to his program, my original gravity was 1.039 and my current result is 1.011, which would give a result of about 3.6% ABV. That is safely between “flavoured water” and “get a hangover from sniffing it” so I’m happy with that. Now to watch the sealed sampling tube (this time round, I’ll take a fresh sample once I think it is ready to confirm that it does run in parallel with the main vat) and hopefully get it bottled this weekend.

  • Phil Cheesman

    Ha! I like your descriptions – the Mr Beer stuff is supposed to come out around 3.5% and it’s pleasant, though I am a strong dark beer man at heart. Downton Brewery did a Roman Imperial Stout which came out like tar at 9% and was delivious. Must get the next batch in the 9-litre mini keg fermenting vessel… :o)