View Full Version : Getting a sample from a carboy...

07-18-2013, 08:14 PM
What's the best way to get a sample from a tiny one gallon carboy and not mess everything else up? Wine thief? Siphon?

07-18-2013, 08:18 PM
Never mind, ordered a glass wine thief. That should do it. Plus when I have barrels I'll already have a thief!

07-18-2013, 11:17 PM
Personally I just rinse my turkey baster, give it a good spray of sanitiser and use that......

Works fine for me !

07-19-2013, 03:31 PM
NOW you tell me...:)

Well, honestly, I don't have a turkey baster, so I would have had to get one...and as long as I'm going out, well, there you go. Wine thief.

07-19-2013, 05:06 PM
I have always used a length of aquarium airline tubing. I find it less messy that the turkey baster. It gives me a slow-ish stream that is easy enough to stop with a hemostat. Personal preference, I guess.

07-19-2013, 06:27 PM
Yeah. Another reason I can't wait to taste something I like and move to bucket fermenters with a handy dandy faucet on the bottom!

Chevette Girl
07-20-2013, 12:56 AM
I like my wine thief, mine's plastic so I can just drop my glass hydrometer right into it and sanitize both when I need to take a SG reading. I always found the turkey baster let too much out while I was removing it from the carboy and trying to get it over the hydrometer test tube.

I had one of those bottom-faucet buckets, I used it twice... the first time it leaked all over the floor and I always had trouble getting all the faucet parts clean... now I mostly use that bucket for fruit picking... But ifi t works for you, go for it.

07-20-2013, 01:21 AM
I picked up a 6.5 gallon bucket with a hole in it for a spigot/faucet... faucet sold separately, of course.

The spigot attaches easily enough, and as long as I'm careful it seals perfectly.

I do have two issues with it though: The spigot ends below the bottom of the bucket, so I have to be careful about putting it down, and there's a 'spill valve' hole in the spigot so that when you shut the flow down, it lets air through to let the tube (also sold separately) drain, resulting in a minor mess while you are trying to take the tubing out of the freshly filled carboy.

I've used it once so far to make a 6.5 gallon batch of traditional.

Two minor points: Its tough to get the smell of the must out of the darned thing no matter how long I soak it or with what. The other thing is that, since its less rigid than a glass carboy, the airlock tends to not bubble 'normally'. It'll do nothing for 20 seconds, then let out a stream of bubbles for 3 or 4 seconds.

The next big batch I make will start out in the bucket then move to the carboy again. But 20 lbs of honey is a little bit too much cash at the moment.

See ya,


07-20-2013, 03:22 AM
Hum ? I'm not a fan of fermenters and taps..... unless absolutely necessary, like a stainless fermenter of some sort, where the amount of liquid precludes much else.

They're another location for spoilage organisms to live i.e. large fermenters with taps or other valve types can be dismantled or even just loosened so that they can be correctly sanitised with whatever (steam, hot running acid like with the dairy industry, or other chemicals etc etc).

Whereas small home brew fermenters aren't designed for that so for the initial cleansing to make sure that they're free of all contaminants etc, or to confirm that they don't or won't leak is difficult.

Leaky ones may be replaceable, but why bother if it's just a case of using some tubing, a wine thief, small pump, whatever ?

Hence my alluding to them not really being cost effective......

S'up to you........

07-20-2013, 10:53 AM
The brew bucket I've got (I'm assuming there that all/most buckets are pretty much the same in shape and composition, and have similar lids) worked out fairly well. As fatbloke said, the real problem is the extra parts that may be hard to clean. The spigot I chose is easily disassembled so that it can be sanitized completely and put back together. The FIRST time it causes me issues though, this puppy gets used for watering the flowers or something. <G>


07-20-2013, 02:50 PM
I guess it's getting used to it. I rarely have a leak issue and the spigots are very easy to disassemble and clean.

But hey, if you like tubing and auto-siphons, those work too.

I have the hole placed about a finger above where the yeast gathers so I can usually rack clear beer (haven't tried mead yet) right off the trub.

Is it lees or trub in mead-speak?