View Full Version : Periodic readings

01-06-2015, 11:07 PM
OK, I read a lot about periodic gravity reading which to me says, peel off the lid or pull out the bung (that sounds sick, "Mabel, pull out the bung, will ya, it hurts...") to get a gravity reading. Now, I've also read where you're not supposed to introduce oxygen to the must, hence the airlock. Please explain while I go find Mabel. Thanks.

01-07-2015, 04:04 AM
Most of the readings are early during the making of the must and while its in the primary stages of fermentation when there is a lot of CO2 and so there is little danger of oxidation, you should also stir the must up in the primary to keep the yeast suspended a couple of times a day. Later while its in a carboy with a bung and airlock it also has a greatly reduced surface area, you take some SG readings a different points to tell when its done, there is not set time interval, that is between you and the yeast. If you get a wine thief that has an opening big enough to allow you to drop in your hydrometer you can slip it thru the opening of the carboy without making a big disturbance and get your reading and then let it trickle back out. THis all is much less an issue than racking. I think the greatest issue is not having a good seal on the bung or letting the airlock run dry for a long time. You can also help the mead fight oxidation by adding some insurance like sulfites. Some people think mead cant oxidize, they are very wrong, I have tasted others oxidized mead before so its a good idea to treat it like a wine and protect it from oxidation. WVMJ

01-07-2015, 03:31 PM
I don't even seal the lid for the primary, or put anything in the airlock. I leave it on loose. I've read that a lot of people just use a towel to keep the dust out, but that seems too risky for me. There's a cat involved.
I'm a very green noob, but for me, I put vodka in the airlock once it gets down to about 1.005 and I rack to the secondary. I then take measurements in the carboy by using a trick ChevetteGirl taught me (dental floss tied to the hydrometer).

Medsen Fey
01-07-2015, 07:06 PM
Taking readings during active fermentation does no harm, and in fact, the yeast need oxygen added during early fermentation to develop strong cell membranes. After fermentation is over, minimizing the oxygen exposure is wise, but it is OK take a reading when needed to confirm stability or when making additions.