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.995 / .990 / Lower?

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M38A1

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I've been watching my SG on a batch go from .995 to .990 to .988. How low can it go? I've run out of markings on my hydrometer. And to my knowledge, it's not been banged/dropped or anything to jar the paper scale loose inside.

And related to that, when it sits at, say..... .99x for three consecutive days, is that the term "dry" or "ferment to dry"?

Thanks!
 

Johnd

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I've been watching my SG on a batch go from .995 to .990 to .988. How low can it go? I've run out of markings on my hydrometer. And to my knowledge, it's not been banged/dropped or anything to jar the paper scale loose inside.

And related to that, when it sits at, say..... .99x for three consecutive days, is that the term "dry" or "ferment to dry"?

Thanks!
.990 or slightly lower is typically the low end for wine, and when your wine is at .998 or lower for a few days in a row, it’s finished fermenting, though not all wine will get to .990. Wine that has fermented as discussed above is considered a dry wine. You could check the calibration of your hydrometer by filling a test vessel with distilled water and putting it in for a reading. A perfectly calibrated hydrometer will read exactly 1.000 in the distilled water.
 

M38A1

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Thanks John. The calibration is something I'll check tonight. I guessed there was probably a way to verify that but just didn't know how. More "information" for the toolbox!
 

Scooter68

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Also remember temperature has a slight impact as well. At hydrometer calibrated for 68 degrees Fahrenheit would render a reading of .988 instead of .990 with a sample temp of 80 Degrees. Not much variation but some.

So to truly check calibration you need your distilled water at the temp marked on the hydrometer - if it's marked. It's my understanding that most are calibrated at 67 or 68 degrees Fahrenheit.
 

pillswoj

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Mine is calibrated at 60 F :slpit is annoying but there are online calculators that will convert for your temperature.
 

Scooter68

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Mine is calibrated at 60 F :slpit is annoying but there are online calculators that will convert for your temperature.
Yes, but as I mentioned even with a calibration as you mentioned .988 becomes .990

So not a great deal of change unless you are really trying to control the numbers tightly. I can make a .002 error in the blink of an eye and it really means precious little in the long run. BUT to not mention temp is to invite problems some day.
 

garymc

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One reason why a wine will read .988 is that it has a lot of alcohol. Since alcohol is less dense or lighter than water, the more alcohol, the farther below 1.000. If you started your wine at 1.080, it might go to .996 or something. If you started it at 1.110, you have more potential alcohol and if it ferments completely it should go to .990 or lower.
 

M38A1

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Thanks for all the replies!
 

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