How to Properly Take a Sample from your LBK

The taste test lets you know when your brew is done fermenting. We discuss the proper way to take your sample and make sure you keep your batch free from infections.

So after the holidays we always get a lot of new brewers and some of the questions we get quite often is about tasting your beer to see if it is done and ready to bottle. So we wanted to give some tips and best practices for how to do this.

In our instructions, we talk about the taste test. Take a sample from your fermenter and if it tastes like flat beer then your good to bottle. There are probably a few things we should note about how to take that sample and then how to sanitize after.

So make sure you are using a small clean cup or even a shot glass. You will want to pull a small amount out of the spigot at first. Then you will want to discard that amount as it will contain a large about of trub which will not taste well. Then pour a little more into your glass to taste.

Remember you will want this to taste like beer just flat. If you have a flat beer then you are good to bottle. If your beer tastes a little sweet then let it go for longer.

Always go by the instructions that are on the website that corresponds with your brew. Refills test at 10 days if sweet then let it go to 14 days. Recipes are either tested at 14 or 21 days then if sweet you let them go another 3 days.

The part we don’t talk about a lot is if your beer is not ready what you should do now. You must sanitize your spigot. If you do your taste test and your beer is not ready to bottle you should sanitize your spigot. There are a few different ways you can do this.

If you have some extra No-Rinse cleanser or Start San you can use that. You can mix some up and either use a spray bottle to spray it into the opening of the spigot or mix it in a cup and kind up-dip it up into the spigot. You can also use a cue tip and dip it into the solution and then run that few the inside of the spigot a few times.

If you don’t have either of those things you can use Vodka or peroxide using the same method. An upside if you use vodka you can take a shot afterward!

Besides the taste test, you can also use a Hydrometer. When checking for end of fermentation if you get the same reading 24hrs apart then your beer is done, and you are good to bottle. Again, you will want to sanitize your spigot afterward.

You can also use things like a refractor meter and a tilt. We will have to do a sperate episode on detecting end of fermentation in your beer and how to use the tools.

A pro tip I got from Ashley was that she recommends putting something under the front of your fermenter to prop it up a little bit. This will help all the trub settle to the back to prevent it from collecting around your spigot.