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How To Read Hydrometer

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djrockinsteve

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How To Read A Hydrometer.

By taking a specific gravity reading before the introduction of your yeast to the must, then again when fermentation is complete can you determine the alcohol percentage by volume. Subtract the final reading from the beginning to get your answer.

When your hydrometer stops declining for 3 days in a row can you be certain that fermentation has ceased.

Hydrometers can contain any or all of the following scales, specific gravity, % of alcohol by vol., pounds/ounces of sugar per gallon and temperature.

 
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socialdougal

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I just got my first set of hydrometers. There are three, they are made of glass, measure alcohol percentage, and have scales of 0-40, 40-70, and 70-100, respectively.

I've done a little home brewing from kits in the distant past, and recently decided on a whim I'd get back into it. No kits, but I have three batches of country wine and one of beer in progress. The fermentation of two appeared complete and have been racked.

Never used a hydrometer before. Can someone please advise on a minimal-mess, sanitary, efficient methodology?
 

sour_grapes

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Here is a good video to give a visual:

[ame="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ty7PAJaBsts"]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ty7PAJaBsts[/ame]
 

salcoco

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yes buy a digital refractometer only one drop required. adjustment spread sheets available to correct for alcohol distortion,easy peasy just read the digits.
 

cmason1957

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That looks like it might be one of the plastic hydrometers. A word, not sure why, but the one I bought has now been thrown away. After about 5 or 6 batches, it started giving a very different reading than any of my glass ones, I forget now if it was reading high or low, but it was consistent, at least.
 

Tnawal

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Thanks, first time I am making my own wine. I did a second rack today and the kit said it should be between 1.015 - 1.025 to bottle it. I am not sure if that will be accurate because I added half the f pack at the beginning to bump up the alcohol.

I know I definitely need a longer siphon hose for the next time.
 

travelnutt

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So if my initial reading on the must is 1.060 and the final reading after fermentation is below 1, what is my percentage of alcohol?
 

travelnutt

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Can I increase the % of alcohol by slowly adding sugar during the fermentation process?
 

Johnd

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Can I increase the % of alcohol by slowly adding sugar during the fermentation process?
Yes, you just need to determine what you want the final ABV to be, and add the appropriate amount of sugar. It’s best to start off with the SG required to reach your ABV, but if your fermentation is already going, it can be done.
 

ZAF

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I know you are not supposed to use it for wine, but has anyone used Proof and Tralle Hydrometer with wine?
 

cmason1957

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I know you are not supposed to use it for wine, but has anyone used Proof and Tralle Hydrometer with wine?
This came from the great god amazon, where someone asked that exact question:

The scale on the hydrometer reads from 0 to 100% of alcohol by volume and 0-200 percent Proof of Spirit. The hydrometer is for distilled alcohol only. It cannot be used for beer, wine or any other fermented beverage according to the label. There is also a temperature correction chart for temperatures reading below and above 60 degrees F.
And also
For liquors of about 40% ABV or above, this tool works fine. Below that, forget it. For instance, I bought this mainly to gauge my homemade limoncello. I make it at about 30% ABV, but when testing it this hygrometer shows a reading of less than 0% alcohol. I also tried it on a bottle of commercial butterscotch schnapps with an ABV of 20%. Same result: less than 0% alcohol.
 

ZAF

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Thanks @cmason1957 . I have one, so I'll report back after using it on my wine (just out of curiosity to see what happens).
 

Alexey

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yes buy a digital refractometer only one drop required. adjustment spread sheets available to correct for alcohol distortion,easy peasy just read the digits.
How well does the digital one work? Have you compared to hydrometer?
 

Lukaswine

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