Wine Thief/SG Reading

Winemaking Talk - Winemaking Forum

Help Support Winemaking Talk - Winemaking Forum:

mrs.erinss

Member
Joined
Apr 6, 2009
Messages
35
Reaction score
0
I will be taking my first SG reading today on my first batch. I have a Fermtech Wine Thief, which I think can be used without a test jar (hydrometer goes directly in wine thief for reading). My question is, should I even bother using the wine thief while my wine is in the primary? Should I just stick the hydrometer right in? (That's what I did for my initial SG reading.)

My second question is, and sorry if it's a dumb one, but if/when I use my wine thief to take a reading, do I put the wine back when I'm done?

Thanks!
 

Tom

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 6, 2006
Messages
11,356
Reaction score
99
1st thing you must do is sanitize the hydrometer and wine thief.
I would remove the wine from the fermentor as there is probably fermentation still going on. Spin the hydrometer in the thief to get the bubbles off (they nay give a false reading). Yes you can put the wine back in or later you can "taste" as it goes.
 

Malkore

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 16, 2009
Messages
371
Reaction score
1
I always take hydro readings right from the bucket. sanitize the hydro, spin it to dislodge any co2 bubbles.

I've compared it to hydro readings done with a graduated cylinder...they're the same.
 

arcticsid

Arctic Contributor
Joined
Oct 26, 2008
Messages
4,203
Reaction score
59
I spin it and "dunk it" by tapping on the top of the hydro. The bubbles wil indeed make it float giving a false reading
 

smurfe

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 20, 2005
Messages
3,625
Reaction score
13
You can get an estimate reading putting it in the bucket but you can't get an exact reading. You need to be able to look at the surface of the wine at a horizontal plane to read the gravity. The wine will kind of curve up on the hydrometer. The top of that is the correct gravity reading.

I have a love hate relationship with the Wine Thief. It is a test jar in itself. You sanitize it and dip it in the wine with your sanitized hydrometer in it or you can drop it in after the sample is drawn. After you obtain your reading you can return the sample back into the fermenter. My issue is it can be hard to see thorough if the wine clings to the inside of it or if the wine is cloudy. Mine is getting wore out I guess. Sometime the trigger on the bottom will stick open or it will just drip like crazy when I remove it from the carboy. It is a nice tool though. I use it as well as a regular test jar. Depending if I am going to taste sample the wine or not.
 

St Allie

Tech Administrator
Joined
Mar 6, 2009
Messages
2,879
Reaction score
14
I don't have a wine thief.. I use an old tall pasta jar, I scald it first.

Allie
 

Boozehag

NZ Artist
Joined
Feb 28, 2009
Messages
320
Reaction score
0
Can you show us a picture of this wine thief used as a testing jar? It sounds interesting.

I have two different wine thiefs as my first one was too big to go into the smaller carboys,I also have a hydrometer testing jar but couldnt use either thief as a testing jar on their own. Interested to see what you are talking about.

Oh and Wade, I broke my glass siphon! :re Dont ask me how, it just happened ok!:(
 

Sacalait

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 30, 2006
Messages
804
Reaction score
8
I've got one like that but can't get it to seal...it leaks.

Nice to be able to put a face to a name. You young folks sure make me feel old.
 
Last edited:

smurfe

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 20, 2005
Messages
3,625
Reaction score
13
I've got one like that but can't get it to seal...it leaks.

Nice to be able to put a face to a name. You young folks sure make me feel old.
You must be a really old fart them casue I am an old fart. I am very close to the half century mark.
 

smurfe

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 20, 2005
Messages
3,625
Reaction score
13
I forgot to add, mine drips a lot to but I attributed that to dipping it in boiling wort during beer making to check the progress gravity of the boil. It didn't before I started doing that.
 

smurfe

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 20, 2005
Messages
3,625
Reaction score
13
God, I forgot how fat I was then to. That pic is like 3-4 years old. I am still big but not THAT big. Jeez beer and wine along with good Louisiana cooking goes right to the gut. I weighed like 150 10 years ago when I moved here.
 

Boozehag

NZ Artist
Joined
Feb 28, 2009
Messages
320
Reaction score
0
lol Smurfe I had a giggle over your photo in that you looked like you were makng drugs! I was only just talking to the guy at my local home brew shop about how Im sure my neighbours think Ive got a P lab going on as i work on my wine in the bay window in my kitchen when testing etc etc. He told me some poor innocent guy had a police raid happen to him only for them to find him busy making ginger beer!!!

That looks like my auto siphon that wine thief, I like the concept of it having the hydrometer in it. Shall see if I can huny one down. I got a de-fizz thing so Im slowly building up my equipment!
 

St Allie

Tech Administrator
Joined
Mar 6, 2009
Messages
2,879
Reaction score
14
Collette is nearly at the half century mark too...

she has cardigans older than me..

hehehehe
 

Boozehag

NZ Artist
Joined
Feb 28, 2009
Messages
320
Reaction score
0
and this has to do with what???

Im 40 not 50 yet!!! And my oldest cardy is only as old your best kaftan Allie, the floor length one with the lampshade fringe on it!:b
 

St Allie

Tech Administrator
Joined
Mar 6, 2009
Messages
2,879
Reaction score
14
40 is CLOSE to 50...

lol Coll!!
 
Last edited:

Boozehag

NZ Artist
Joined
Feb 28, 2009
Messages
320
Reaction score
0
Allie is just being mean cause it was her birthday yesterday and wants all the attention! So can you all wish her happy birthday and take the focus off me being 40!!!! Allie how old did you turn? ;)
 

Latest posts

Top