Am I reading this hydrometer wrong??

Discussion in 'General Wine Making Forum' started by CK55, Jun 3, 2018.

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  1. CK55

    CK55 Senior Member

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    So i think my hydrometer is full of shi$ because I took a gravity sample after a very active fermentation thats reading 1.100 yet, i can smell the alcohol and the foam has dropped off completely. Is it possibly that my hydrometer is wrong or am i just misreading it. I can post a picture. Because Ive only used my hydrometer for beer and just decided to check my wine kit. Wine smells fine.

    What the heck is going on? am i just reading it wrong????? Maybe i am. but its floating all the way as far up as possible.

    Sorry about the picture being a bit blurry my phone wouldnt focus when i took the pics.

    https://imgur.com/a/HwBBNPK

    Kit says it should read 1.020 to 0.995
     
  2. Ajmassa5983

    Ajmassa5983 Member Supporting Member

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    Tube doesn’t look that filled up. Are u sure it’s floating and not touching the bottom? I need to fill it about 3/4 of the way to get post fermentation reading.
     
  3. CK55

    CK55 Senior Member

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    its floating way off the bottom. ill add more though and try it
     
  4. Ajmassa5983

    Ajmassa5983 Member Supporting Member

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    If it’s def floating then no need to add more.
    You can check it in water to see if it’s still good. Should read 1.000 in water or very close to it.
     
  5. CK55

    CK55 Senior Member

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    So what do you think about the wine, did it even ferment what should i do???
     
  6. Ajmassa5983

    Ajmassa5983 Member Supporting Member

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    Hit us with the details. Starting SG. How long it looked active for?
    Type of wine. If it looked like it fermented and smells and tastes like alcohol your instincts are probably right
     
  7. Ajmassa5983

    Ajmassa5983 Member Supporting Member

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    Check hydrometer in water. Make sure it’s not way off. Being glass, and also so cheap- it’s good to have a backup on hand. Never know when the wine gods will throw you a curveball.
     
  8. CK55

    CK55 Senior Member

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    I forgot to check starting but kit says it should be 1.092-1.110 and It was active since the day after pitching and i can see the line inside where it went up to it was active at least 6-7 days.
    IT was a Grenache/Syrah kit 6 gallon. Cellar Classic WInery Series.

    It smelled strongly like fruit in the first few days, now it has nearly no aroma, slight stink and slight bit of green plant like aroma sort of like bell pepper or you know part of a flower stem when you cut it if that makes sense.
     
  9. CK55

    CK55 Senior Member

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    I think it might have gone bust, sigh. If this happened the place i bought it would replace it since i did have issues with the yeast being dead, so i went and they gave me a free pack of EC-1118 that i repitched a second time and within a few hours it was actively bubbling. So could that have done it?>
     
  10. Ajmassa5983

    Ajmassa5983 Member Supporting Member

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    Transfer to glass. Sounds like all is good aside from busted hydrometer.
     
  11. CK55

    CK55 Senior Member

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    Even the aroma of slight plant matter? like it smells strongly of the aroma of green plants after you cut them or whatnot? is that normal?
     
  12. CK55

    CK55 Senior Member

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    Its a smell that is slightly woody almost geranium like but i doubt it as it doesnt really come off as being spoiled
     
  13. Ajmassa5983

    Ajmassa5983 Member Supporting Member

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    I’m not sure about all that. But regardless you wanna get it in glass off the lees. And racking letting splash also introduces o2 - which can blow off some odd odors going on.
     
  14. Johnd

    Johnd Large Member Supporting Member

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    Sure would like to hear the results of the hydrometer reading in water, if you go to glass, at 1.090 and it is still fermenting, or starts back up, you’re going to have a problem.
     
    Scooter68 likes this.
  15. pillswoj

    pillswoj Canadian Member

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    6-7 days "active" ferment on a kit, how about you just taste it. You will be able to tell very easily whether or not it has fermented
     
  16. CK55

    CK55 Senior Member

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    I didnt taste it because the smell is very very very strong, and sort of like really strong alcohol with a bit of a smell that i might be perceiving as bad but isnt bad. I took a sample to the guy at my local wine shop he smelled it and tasted it and said it smells fine but that he thinks i didnt dilute it enough so he recommeded adding a half a gallon of distilled water to it to dilute it beecause it might have been to dense for hte yeast to convert, and then told me to add more yeast, since i had another packet of EC-1118.

    I did just that and punched back down the bag that i forgot to punch down with skins. I hope it ends up just being young wine taste.
     
  17. CK55

    CK55 Senior Member

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    I just dont know what to think about it tbh, i took enough taht he tested it at the store with a hydrometer told me that the reading was strange, even he didnt even know what to think as it reads as if it hasnt done any ferment yet it smells like alcohol. Almost strong enough alcohol smell to be like rubbing alcohol but a good alcohol smell not a off smell. So im wondering like he said if it didnt start fermenting then fizzle out. Due to not being diluted enough.
     
  18. CK55

    CK55 Senior Member

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    After adding distilled water and stirring it and adding more yeast, it went from having nothing on the surface to big dense gas bubbles and a fizzy sound and had no carbonation before that, so i think thats kind of weird.
     
  19. Ajmassa5983

    Ajmassa5983 Member Supporting Member

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    Don’t dilute it! Don’t do anything yet. Fill us in a lil more if u can.
    1.Did u test your hydrometer in water yet?
    2.Did he test it at the store with a different hydrometer? 2a. What was that reading?
    3. Did u add water as per kit instructions ? If so don’t dilute
    4. What vessel are you fermenting in? A bucket? Is it sealed under airlock or lid left loose?
    5. You have beer brewing experience. How many wine ferments have you done before? Is this your 1st wine kit?
     
  20. CK55

    CK55 Senior Member

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    I am close to calling it a lost cause and just eating the loss in the wine.
    He used a nice glass hydrometer, and he got the same reading i did. 1.100 which was the max, im thinking it might be higher but since you cant measure higher on a hydrometer i wouldnt know.

    I did add water but might have been half a gallon less than the kit wanted.

    Im fermenting in a Speidel Fermenter. With the top just sitting on it not latched on because i wanted to let the fermentation get air while it needed it.
    I have done 3 wines before. I have brewed beer for around 3 years and am somewhat of a expert at beer brewing so wine is not that much harder just a lot different steps. Im not used to some of the off smells in wine.
     

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