How do you check S.G.

Winemaking Talk - Winemaking Forum

Help Support Winemaking Talk - Winemaking Forum:

PAwinedude

Seed Separator
Joined
Oct 24, 2009
Messages
156
Reaction score
0
Ladies/Gents,

Just curious as to how each of you takes your S.G. readings? I know that a hydrometer is required, but do you take your measurements from...

1. the must directly
2. a wine thief (fill the thief and then drop the hydrometer inside)
3. Other testing equipment (beaker, test jar, etc)

Also, what are your specific techniques

1. Do you stir the must each time prior to taking your measurements


Thanks for your input....looking to see if I can better my techniques and therefore my readings
 

summersolstice

Drunken Friar Cellars
Joined
Nov 4, 2005
Messages
220
Reaction score
1
My primaries are pails with spigots. I fill the hydrometer tube full and dump it back in the must since yeast has settled in the spigot. I refill and float the hydrometer. I don't normally take a measurement from a secondary since I usually bulk age in the secondary without an additional racking.
 

Bailey

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2009
Messages
123
Reaction score
3
Primary: I drop the hydrometer right in

Secondary: wine thief or if I'm racking I'll siphon into container to measure
 

djrockinsteve

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 2, 2010
Messages
4,911
Reaction score
144
I give my hydrometer a little spin in my primary so the bubbles don't stick to it. This is just for my own curiosity as I'll let my musts ferment all the way down so checking while it is still fermenting is irrelevent at this time for me. As it slows down is when I'll pay more attention to it.
 

AlFulchino

Winemaker of 30+ years
Joined
Jul 7, 2008
Messages
3,035
Reaction score
4
i just taste the must...and on thru the process...i have what is described as a very sensititve palate....i can usually detect the SG down to a tolerance of .01

so if the actual sg is 1.12, i can usually come up w a 1.11 or maybe a 1.13


:se just kidding
 

cpfan

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 5, 2006
Messages
4,867
Reaction score
193
Process:

1. Place clean hydrometer in clean wine thief.
2. Sanitize.
3. Take sample.
4. Read hydrometer.
5. Either allow sample to return to the original vessel or to a wine glass.

BTW...if you "fill the thief and then drop the hydrometer inside", wine will splash out of the thief and be wasted.

Steve
 

deboard

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 30, 2009
Messages
807
Reaction score
26
I have a test jar that I fill with a wine thief, I've never seen a thief that could be used as a test jar! I need one of those.

Now if I could get my hydrometer to stay still while I try to read it. The SG scale always seems to be on the opposite side of where I'm looking.
 

Bailey

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2009
Messages
123
Reaction score
3
debord - you must have the same hydrometer I do. Apparently mine can only be read from the south facing north. My 'wine making room' has the counter oriented facing south. I'm always spinning my hydrometer trying to read the back side.
 

deboard

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 30, 2009
Messages
807
Reaction score
26
My counter is facing south as well. There may be something to that.

Steve: Thanks for the link, I would love to support my local decent homebrew store, maybe someone could come here and open one! I do support my local "large liquor store chain with token amount of homebrew supplies", but they don't have much really.
 

cpfan

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 5, 2006
Messages
4,867
Reaction score
193
Well if we decide to drop in on a Lexington Legends game this summer (probably on the way to a Louisville Bats game), I'll try to bring you one. Meanwhile, there's always mail-order.

BTW, we were thinking about doing that trip last August but ended up doing a shorter trip to Auburn/Syracuse NY, and one game got rained out, but we got free ball caps!

Steve
 

Green Mountains

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 29, 2009
Messages
879
Reaction score
2
We just pop the sanitized hydrometer into the primary. In carboys I've attached a piece of thread to my hydrometer so I can retrieve it.

After that the hydrometer and thread go into a sanitizer bucket until needed again.
 

deboard

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 30, 2009
Messages
807
Reaction score
26
Thanks, I see midwest has them, and I assume other places will too.

I'd stay away from lexington in September and October of this year, the FEI World Equestrian Games are coming to town, and the estimates I've seen are from 500,000 to 1 million people in addition to our approximately 500,000 residents. The traffic can get pretty bad now, so I can't even imagine what it will be like. I'm sure the local wineries are looking forward to it though, lots of Europeans coming, so hopefully they will do well.
 
Last edited:

Dugger

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 17, 2008
Messages
1,337
Reaction score
75
I leave my hydrometer (and floating thermometer) in the primary during fermentation and read it there - it saves me having to sanitize everything each time.
 

cpfan

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 5, 2006
Messages
4,867
Reaction score
193
I'd stay away from lexington in September and October of this year, the FEI World Equestrian Games are coming to town,
Hmmm that means a couple of acquaintances from some time ago will probably be there. But it's after baseball season, so I won't have any trouble avoiding it.

Steve
 

Luc

Dutch Winemaker
Joined
Nov 5, 2006
Messages
1,615
Reaction score
40
When starting my wine I stir my must and then pour some must in a testing tube and do the measurement with my hydrometer.

Or

I stir my must and take a small drop out and test with my refractometer.

It depends on the wine I am making, wether it will be on my web-log etc. etc.

That is the only time I take a measurement.

I never measure when it is finished, unless it is for a specific experiment for a web-log entry. I have one coming up in the future.

For my regular wines I only measure when I start a wine. I will KNOW when it is finished. Never had a miss.

Luc
 

rawlus

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 3, 2009
Messages
349
Reaction score
2
i use a refractometer now, but when i used a hydrometer, the best investment i made was in a set of narrow-range hydrometers, so much easier to take precise and accurate measurements. i used a test jar.
 
Joined
Aug 22, 2009
Messages
1,146
Reaction score
20
When starting my wine I stir my must and then pour some must in a testing tube and do the measurement with my hydrometer.

That is the only time I take a measurement.

For my regular wines I only measure when I start a wine. I will KNOW when it is finished. Never had a miss.

Luc
same here. just checking my tastebuds lately with how i like it and where the actual sg ends up. last 2 wines were 1.011 and 1.013, so i guess semi-dry to semi-sweet is where i like them. depends on the wine though too. got quite a few batches to bottle soon, so will continue to monitor where i end up on sweetness for my own knowledge.
 
Top