Questions tagged [hydrometer]

A device used to the measure the specific gravity of a liquid.

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24 votes
10 answers
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Alternatives to a hydrometer?

I can't seem to keep a hydrometer for more than a few brewing sessions. They either break from dropping them, going from hot to cold, or I've had the wax holding all of the lead pellets to the bottom ...
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18 votes
3 answers
12k views

How Does a Hydrometer Work?

I know how to use my hydrometer, and I know what numbers to look at and write down on my brewing sheets, but I'm not sure what those numbers actually represent, or even what units I should use to ...
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9 votes
7 answers
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Cure for foamy hydrometer?

Whenever I take a SG reading with my hydrometer I have a hard time getting an accurate reading because of a few mm of foam at the surface. Does anyone have any suggestions on how to get rid of the ...
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8 votes
5 answers
8k views

Refractometer vs. Hydrometer

For years, I've always taken my gravity readings with the hydrometer that came with my original homebrew kit. There's nothing wrong with it, but I've been thinking lately about switching over to a ...
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8 votes
5 answers
7k views

Can I leave my hydrometer in the carboy to tell when fermentation is complete?

I was wondering if anyone leaves a glass hydrometer in their carboy during primary fermentation so that you don't have to take samples. I figured it would be an easy way to tell that the SG has ...
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8 votes
2 answers
355 views

Sterilisation processes when taking hydrometer readings

When taking hydrometer readings, is it acceptable to return liquid to the fermenting vessel after taking a reading in a vial? Must the vial/measuring cylinder and hydrometer have been sterilised to ...
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8 votes
1 answer
553 views

Calculating the exact alcohol volume

Using a hydrometer is great for most people, but the geek in me would like to know the exact alcohol content of my brew. What would be the process, titration? And what chemicals would I need?
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7 votes
3 answers
255 views

Why shouldn't we just use scales?

New on homebrew.SE, great forum here. Just a quick question - why shouldn't we just use weight scales to determine the OG and FG? My Hydrometer has broken and I can't be stuffed really buying a new ...
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7 votes
1 answer
242 views

Can the final gravity be multiplied by the ratio of beer to water?

If one ends-up with, say, half as much beer as needed to float the hydrometer, is dilution a viable way to get a measurement? For instance, if one carefully measured the volume of available beer ...
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6 votes
2 answers
494 views

Why measure gravities?

I've brewed a good dozen batches of beer from kits, extract, extract+grain, and now all-grain, and I've never measured gravities. Why measure gravity, besides to know what you're getting? Is there any ...
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  • 1,302
6 votes
3 answers
3k views

Hydrometer Temperature Limit

I am about to do my first all-grain batch. After (batch) sparging is it safe to drop the hydrometer right in or do I need to let the wort cool to a specific temperature first? I realize I will have to ...
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6 votes
6 answers
397 views

First batch tragedies?

Brewed my very first batch today. It is a stout and is sitting in my basement as I type. I would call the day a success--a whole lot more work than I thought. Hopefully only two things went wrong: ...
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5 votes
2 answers
458 views

Hydrometer reading

I am getting ready to dry hop and transfer a Double IPA to a secondary Better Bottle. If I want to take a hydrometer reading at this time is it better to use a thief or just put the hydrometer in the ...
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5 votes
2 answers
83 views

What is the name for this gigantic dropper or pipe that a person use to suck liquid out of a container?

I saw it in a video about hydrometer, and I can't find anywhere where to buy this gigantic dropper. what are its name and size? It seems about 250ml which is what I need. Thanks! The tube in the ...
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5 votes
1 answer
466 views

How might trub effect taking original gravity?

For the beer that I brewed this past weekend, I finally remembered to take an Original Gravity reading. Unlike my previous last three attempts, I actually had a little more than my target 1 gallon, ...
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4 votes
4 answers
307 views

How did people know whether their brews were done before the hydrometer was invented?

All advice I've seen given here and on other brew sites relies heavily on the use of a hydrometer, which I assume is a somewhat recent invention. However, people have been brewing and drinking for ...
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  • 183
4 votes
4 answers
749 views

Correct temperature effect on Specific gravity

Is there an equation that corrects specific gravity while considering temperature effect in Celsius, which does not presupposes a set hydrometer calibration temperature? A direct relation, not tables ...
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4 votes
3 answers
1k views

Any reason not to lower a hydrometer into my secondary?

Is there any reason not to simply lower a hydrometer into my carboy during secondary fermentation, so that I can monitor gravity just by peeking in with a flashlight? I'm thinking about doing this ...
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4 votes
1 answer
524 views

Hydrometer correction equation

Can you identify the constants in your hydrometer correction equation? I know that 2.6X10-6 is the coefficient of thermal expansion for the hydrometer glass; what are the others (not related to ...
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  • 41
3 votes
3 answers
5k views

What unit does my hydrometer show?

My hydrometer shows units I can't conciliate with whatever I read on the internet. It shows from top to down: 00 10 20 30 40 50 On Internet however,the gravity should be measured in floats of ...
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3 votes
2 answers
246 views

Hydrometer Calibration and its effect on OG

I tested my hydrometer in distilled water at 68F and it reads 0.994. If I have an original gravity reading of 1.050 do I simply add .006 to this reading or is there a more advanced formula to ...
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  • 1,167
3 votes
3 answers
2k views

Hydrometer reading interference

When brewing an IPA about a week ago, my starting gravity reading came out to be 1.12 - significantly higher than the listed target of 1.07 on the recipe. I had suspicions of error at the time which I ...
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  • 85
3 votes
2 answers
956 views

Potential causes of unreliable pre-boil gravity measurement

I usually take a hydrometer reading immediately after sparge so that I can calculate total points of gravity (i.e. gravity reading * volume), and from there calculate what volume of wort I should ...
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  • 141
3 votes
1 answer
8k views

My first homebrew has a very low alcohol content

I just finished my first homebrew (yay!), but my hydrometer is reading a very low alcohol content. I brewed an Edme bitter (pre-made wort and I bought the malt extract) and it tastes great, but it's ...
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  • 301
3 votes
1 answer
221 views

What does a gravity reading really mean?

The simple/short version of the question: What does a hydrometer gravity reading of 1.036 really mean? Does it mean the density of the liquid is 3.6% greater than that of distilled water (ignoring ...
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  • 133
3 votes
2 answers
2k views

How to predict ABV in cider?

I am new to cider brewing (my first batch has just started fermenting). As I'm new and just want to trial the process before getting into something more involved, I used store bought juice (no ...
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  • 57
3 votes
3 answers
166 views

Temperature calibration of ºBrix to SG conversion

I recently purchase a digital refractometer and use an online calculator to convert the ºBrix value to SG. My question is, at what temperature is the resultant SG calibrated?
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3 votes
1 answer
913 views

Does trub effect your gravity reading?

took a gravity reading today at the end of the transfer from the kettle and there was quite a bit of trub in the cylinder, like the whole flip'n tube. so would the trub hold the hydrometer up and give ...
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3 votes
3 answers
1k views

Measuring SG on small (3.5l / 1g) batches

I do small batch brewing (3.5l-4l) and using hydrometer is a big pain for them, as I need to take very big amount of beer out to test it. I've learned to do OG readings with refractometer, but I get ...
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3 votes
1 answer
472 views

Reading a 3 scale hydrometer

My dad bought me a hydrometer and then left the country. Now I don't know how to read all measurements. 1st scale: 1-13% (I presume this is the potential alc scale) 2nd scale: 1-26 3rd scale: 1-28 (...
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  • 31
2 votes
2 answers
180 views

Still struggling to read my Hydrometer

I’m struggling (again) to make sense of my Hydrometer. I am brewing an American IPA from a kit. I started on Sunday and before pitching the yeast I took a reading (photo 1), I had 24 hours crazy ...
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2 votes
2 answers
85 views

Fruit making hydrometer readings unreliable

I brew hedgerow wines, but am unable to get reliable measurements from a hydrometer. Given that measuring ABV requires me to take one of the hydrometer measurements right at the point of pitching the ...
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2 votes
1 answer
4k views

Measure remaining sugar in kombucha brew w/ hydrometer?

I'm brewing kombucha and would like to figure out when the best time to bottle it to build up some carbonation. I'm also interested in figuring out how much sugar is remaining so I can calculate the ...
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2 votes
2 answers
2k views

Beer Bug - How does this work and how can I replicate it?

"The BeerBugTM is a cloud connected digital hydrometer" I already have a RaspberryPi that records the temperature of wort and stabilizes wort temperatures via a relay and a Fermwrap. The pain is that ...
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2 votes
1 answer
13k views

How to tell if a cider is finished without hydrometer

EDITED I have a cider that I have made following the steps on CraigTube for his Hard Apple Cider. The only difference is that I have used Champagne yeast and the batch is 22L. I know you are all ...
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2 votes
2 answers
590 views

Fermentation Issues???

Fermentation Help I have need some thoughts on what I should do with this batch of beer. I am brewing a clone kit which is called Belgium Wit. The directions were a little off based on the equipment ...
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2 votes
2 answers
377 views

should I/how do I account for temperature differences for gravity readings?

I've taken my OG at the start, and another reading last night. Only last night did I register that my OG seemed slightly low according to what the brew can suggested as typical. My OG was 1.037 (can ...
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2 votes
1 answer
25 views

Is the gravity reading from a Tilt Hydrometer adjusted for temperature?

The reason I ask is threefold. I watched my gravity readings go up from 1.039 to 1.043 as I cooled my wort before I pitched. I noticed in the System page of my TiltPI, it says SG 15C/59F (default) ...
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1 vote
4 answers
1k views

Hydrometer broke, no original gravity

on brew day of my first batch, when i was ready to take OG reading, i dropped my hydrometer so no OG. Is there a way to get a rough estimate of the OG. Thanks
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1 vote
4 answers
4k views

I didn't know I had to take a reading before fermentation. I crushed my own fruit so no kit to use for calculation

This is my first time brewing and I didn't know that I had to take an initial reading prior to fermentation. I used my own apples to make cider. Can I still get an estimate on alcohol content? I ...
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1 vote
2 answers
77 views

Urgent help for a new beginner

I'm about to brew a 5lb batch, I don't really know exactly the step when should we add corn sugar though. Also, I'm wondering that once I'm done boiling and adding DME, yeast, hop, etc.. then shall I ...
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1 vote
2 answers
690 views

Expected Hydrometer Reading for White House Honey Ale?

A bit of background: This is my second beer batch. My first beer batch turned out well as an Irish Stout, using the Midwest Brewing kit and recipie I just started a White House Honey Ale I'm ...
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  • 113
1 vote
1 answer
2k views

Hydrometer exploded

I'm really worry, I made a wort some hours ago, and right now I see that my hydrometer is broken in the bottom, the last time I used it was in the hot wort previous to boiling, and it seems like some ...
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  • 293
1 vote
3 answers
130 views

Hydrometer reading - should I discard or reintroduce the sample?

I'm new to brewing beer and want to keep a close eye on SG, but I'm mindful of the potential cost when taking several hydrometer readings. Assuming all my equipment is sterilised, is it OK to return ...
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1 vote
1 answer
389 views

Can I retroactively deterimine my OG with a refractometer?

Brewed a big Belgian beer last week. And using my refractometer (poorly, as it turns out), I wasn't able to get a solid reading of the OG. Now a week later I've taken a sample of the beer and want to ...
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1 vote
2 answers
1k views

Use aquarium hydrometer for brewing

I am currently looking for a better way to monitor brewing progress than to have to pop out my syphon every few days and syphon it out for a hydrometer reading. Now I am currently looking at using a ...
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0 votes
1 answer
63 views

High final Brix reading, 1.00 SG

I recently received a refractometer and tried it out on a batch of mead that has been in secondary for about 3 months. I took a reading of some distilled water, both read 1.00. I then dissolved 30g of ...
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0 votes
1 answer
104 views

Hydrometer measures and possible corrections

In my first batch I was very worried about not being able to end it by not having certaing equipment at the right time. The thing is by following strictly the instructions my hydrometer reading was ...
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