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Mirakk
09-13-2013, 01:39 AM
Got a stupid question, but one I could never find the answer to.


I see a lot of sites and sources say never to put a hydrometer sample back into your must.

If you sanitized your tools properly before taking the reading, what's the big deal? You're putting must back where you got it, and it should be unchanged as far as I can tell?


FIRE AWAY

Chevette Girl
09-13-2013, 01:42 AM
I stick my sanitized hydrometer into my sanitized wine thief, suck up enough must to get a reading, then let it all back out into the carboy. If you're at all good about sanitation, you should be fine.

Midnight Sun
09-13-2013, 02:07 AM
Like CG, I always return the sample to the must. Between the alcohol levels and vigorous fermentation with hardy wine yeasts, the chance of infection or contamination from a returned sample is small so long as your tools were sanitized.

Most of the folks advising not to return the sample are probably coming from a beer brewing background. Beer is far more easily infected than mead. If I were to take measurements during fermentation I would not return that sample to the wort. During beer ferments, I see no reason to monitor the progress like with mead, so I don't bother with samples except in extraordinary cases.

fatbloke
09-13-2013, 02:28 AM
Concur......

Sanitised kit etc, and most of it goes back in, save for maybe 10 mls to taste so I understand the progression of flavour change through the ferment process and/or decide what I need to do or change for finishing it prior to bulk storage.....

WVMJack
09-13-2013, 03:08 AM
The reason they say not to return it is so they can DRANK IT!! :) WVMJ

mannye
09-13-2013, 09:41 AM
The reason they say not to return it is so they can DRANK IT!! :) WVMJ

I never liked a half made beer wort half as much as I luuuuv my half made mead must. nom nom nom!

BBBF
09-13-2013, 01:24 PM
Half the time I just stir the bucket to degas and drop the hydrometer right in.

Chevette Girl
09-13-2013, 03:18 PM
Half the time I just stir the bucket to degas and drop the hydrometer right in.

I do this with larger batches sometimes, but anything less than 3 gallons bottoms out if it's done in my buckets... and fruit bags get in the way. Wine thief, wonderful invention.

mannye
09-13-2013, 04:18 PM
To the OP. the ire and outrage you were expecting would only happen in a beer forum. Lol!

kudapucat
09-14-2013, 07:07 AM
Yah. I do it all the time, if I don't 'taste' it.

ambloplites
09-17-2013, 07:53 PM
I believe a lot of the hoopla does come from a beer brewing perspective ... but it's also a good chemistry practice (and brewers are basically chemists) ... you try not to remove more than you think you need, and you never return anything back to it's original container because of the potential for any kind of contamination ... but, as in many things, we're talking purists vs. realists. I sometimes put the "test" sample back into the original must ... but mostly I just drink it!

joemirando
09-17-2013, 08:12 PM
I believe a lot of the hoopla does come from a beer brewing perspective ... but it's also a good chemistry practice (and brewers are basically chemists) ... you try not to remove more than you think you need, and you never return anything back to it's original container because of the potential for any kind of contamination ... but, as in many things, we're talking purists vs. realists. I sometimes put the "test" sample back into the original must ... but mostly I just drink it!

Yep. To paraphrase, the chemist sees the carboy as half empty (because he won't return the sample), the pragmatist sees the carboy as half full (because he DOES return some of the samples), but the realist DRINKS IT! <g>


Joe

Matrix4b
09-18-2013, 11:03 AM
I return the reading sample too. I do pour out about 1/4 shot to taste it from the sample into a shot glass. I figure as long as you keep things sanitary you are fine.

Mead seems a LOT less finiky than beer.

The only reason I can think of for the warnings conserning mead: Oxyidation. The mead will oxidize a little from pouring the sample and pouring it back. But I shouldn't think that it's more than your normal racking. I usually take my readings when I rack. So it's no problem for me.

You know, many people have a lot of misconceptions on brewing mead. People think it's hard and finiky for some reason. Maybe it's because of the beer brewers caution and tales of a bad or skunky beer. I think that these tales are also why many are afraid to home brew. Same thing with the false tales of the "Home brew will make you go blind." myth that comes from more the home distillery going wrong type of stuff. If proper processes are followed as well as sanitation, nobody should have problems that would give creedence to these Myths.

Matrix

ambloplites
09-20-2013, 03:04 AM
"... but the realist DRINKS IT!"

Amen, brother Joe! :cool: