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Method of pulling samples

Just curious as to what everyone else does. I have a wine thief that I use and rinse thoroughly after every sample, spray-sanitizing the inside and out immediately prior to my next sample pull.

No I don’t clean it with dish soap first. Just rinse all the beer out after a sample, sometimes spraying it with some more sanitizer before storing for next time in an out-of-use ale pail.

I have never had a problem with this method before, but am wondering if I might need to intensify my precautions, as I have a possible lacto/pedio infection on my hands.

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I use a turkey baster. I also just rinse and sanitize before and after use. Occasionally I’ll throw it into my dishwasher. Havnt had an issue… Yet…

I have a theif too, but the turkey baster is so much easier

I use a turkey baster, too. I just spray it with StarSan before using.

I use a wine thief also. Immediately after use I rinse it under running warm water. I rinse in both directions to eliminate residue above and below the flap at the bottom. Before use I set it in a pail with StarSan solution. Fill it completely with the solution and spray down the outside of the thief. Before I take the sample I sanitize the carboys lip, neck, and airlock stopper. I pull the airlock with my left sanitized hand and remove the sample with the thief and replace the airlock and stopper.

I use fermenters with a valve at the bottom so I can drain a sample without opening the top. I sanitize the valve before and after each use.

A stainless skewer works well for me since a refractometer only requires a drop or two for a reading.

Thats a good idea. Are you using plastic buckets? Is the level of the valve always above the yeast cake?

I don’t think you need to worry about pedio on your hands. The wine thief is a pretty awesome tool for those that ferment in carboys. Otherwise, if I fermented in a bucket, I’d sanitize a glass or stainless measuring cup to dip out a sample.
If you’re that worried, wash your hands before taking a gravity reading. I just rinse my thief off well after taking a sample/gravity reading.

to be clear, my hands are not literally infected with lacto/pedio, but my link to my other post details how a batch of mine might have picked up a lacto/pedio infection.

Anyone else thirsty?

Pietro, I do basically the same thing you do using a wine thief. Rinse, Star San, store, Star San, take sample, repeat.

Edit: insert “drink” between “take sample” and “repeat”

After pulling a sample for taking a gravity reading, how many people return the sample to the fermenter? I normally don’t, but I’ve been thinking about changing my ways.

[quote=“duncan83865”]After pulling a sample for taking a gravity reading, how many people return the sample to the fermenter? I normally don’t, but I’ve been thinking about changing my ways.[/quote]Risk is high and rewards are low, so I suggest that you not return the sample to the fermenter. Get a refractometer if you want to minimize waste.

Pulling a sample is also about tasting the beer to see how It’s going, do you need more of this or that. I like the few ounces that I take then I have an idea what I need to do next. I always look forward to the next sample just to let me know what the beer taste like. I never return the beer to my fermenter, a few ounces is nothing. By the time I have sampled It adds up to less than a 12oz. beer.

Thats a good idea. Are you using plastic buckets? Is the level of the valve always above the yeast cake?[/quote]

Yes and yes.

As an update, I think what I was perceiving in this APA (other thread I linked to) was primarily the weirdness of Galaxy hops. Could have been some diacetyl getting thrown off from the BRY-75 yeast, as it seems to have subsided, but these hops are weird and awesome at the same time. It could also be the Simcoe/Galaxy combo. Really bright, minimal citrus, but lots of starfruit, melon, maybe even mango.

Going to be a good beer. Took the last sample with a 1/4 cup SS measuring cup, sanitized. Good move.

I use a 60cc syringe with some plastic tubing. Take off the top of the airlock, sanitize with starsan and withdraw a sample out the tube. Works for me- almost no contact and chance for contamination.(Granted I wasn’t that worried about contamination to begin with, but I had the syringe…)

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