how to use a hydrometer for newbies

Discussion in 'Beginners Wine Making Forum' started by jdrum, Dec 3, 2011.

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  1. Dec 26, 2018 #161

    barryjo

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    I could have been more specific. Dissolved solids (sugars, etc) do affect SG. Suspended solids (yeast,etc) may affect SG. There would be a slight change when the suspended solids settle out. Solid solids wouldn't affect the SG.
     
  2. Dec 27, 2018 #162

    bstnh1

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    $135???

    Starting SG minus final SG; multiply answer by 131.25.
     
  3. Dec 27, 2018 #163

    barryjo

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    Smart phone?????????
     
  4. Dec 27, 2018 #164

    bstnh1

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    When my wine is finished, whether it's 12.3%, 12.7% or 13.1 % ABV really doesn't matter to me. It sure doesn't matter enough for me to invest over $100 in a hydrometer. :)
     
  5. Dec 27, 2018 #165

    barryjo

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    Personally , if I should happen to forget to take a beginning SG check, I revert to the Honneyman method at Fermcalc. As the saying goes, close enough for state work. And if I do have both readings, I use my Flip phone calculator. SG - FG X 133. Or 131. Still close enough. As bstnh1 says, no big deal.
     
  6. Dec 28, 2018 #166

    KAndr97

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    Holy heck, that's more expensive than almost all of my equipment put together. It's a cool concept, definitely something I'd buy if I was a professional or had a money tree in my backyard.
     
  7. Dec 28, 2018 #167

    SethF

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    Curious why so many in this forum appear to prefer the SG scale over Brix?

    Professional winemakers tend to speak in Brix, as far as I can tell.

    Thanks
    Seth
     
  8. Dec 29, 2018 #168

    cmason1957

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    I think it had to do with the ease to determine the Potential Alcohol given the Brix. As in 22 Brix gives about 11% abv. Slight higher, I think the factor is 0.555 not 0.5 (which gives about 12.1%abv), but close enough. Most (maybe I should say many) start with kids, which tell you the expected sg is 1.090 or so. Either works.
     
  9. Dec 29, 2018 #169

    Newine

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    Refractometer gives you a quick brix while checking juice or must prior to fermentation, but will not be accurate after fermentation starts, alcohol throws it off. So using a hydometer to measure starting and finishing SG is needed for accuracy.
     
  10. Dec 29, 2018 #170

    SethF

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    thank you, I'm very much aware of the limitations of a refractometer. Most hydrometers have both the specific gravity as well as Brix scale.
     
  11. Dec 30, 2018 #171

    heatherd

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    Hydrometers are not $100. They're $8-10 bucks and essential to have. http://www.keystonehomebrew.com/shop/hydrometer-3-scale.html
     
  12. Dec 30, 2018 #172

    bstnh1

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  13. Jan 22, 2019 #173

    barryjo

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    But if I were to place a neutrally buoyant marble into the solution, would that affect the SG?
     
  14. Jan 22, 2019 #174

    sour_grapes

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    No, it would not. (I assume by "neutrally buoyant," you mean that the marble has a SG that matches the SG of the solution?)
     
  15. Jan 22, 2019 #175

    Ajmassa5983

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    “Suspended solids” that come in contact with the hydrometer , even bubbles, will affect the reading, like skins and seeds.
    At least that’s what I read this to mean initially.
     
  16. Jan 22, 2019 #176

    sour_grapes

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    I was speaking about a liquid that has solid particles in suspension. In my example, these solid particles could be denser than the liquid. They will eventually settle out, but may not fall out of suspension quickly. (Think muddy water, for example.)

    In this case, even though the particles are not dissolved, they do raise the density of the liquid. Look at it this way: If you want to insert a hydrometer into this liquid, you will need to raise the average height of some of the liquid and suspended solids. This will cost energy that depends on the density of the liquid, irrespective of whether the particles are dissolved or merely suspended. Further, it does not matter if said particles touch the hydrometer or not.

    Here is a useful Wiki page: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suspension_(chemistry)
     
  17. Aug 13, 2019 at 2:55 PM #177

    Gerry Congleton

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    I'm trying a 1 gal. kit of Pinot Grigio.
    I'm hoping I didn't measure the first SG correctly, I recorded it as 1.020. I started a 1 gal. kit for my first attempt and I am 6 days in.
    Could this SG measurement be correct? If so, what will the wine probably taste like?
    Thanks for any comments.
     
  18. Aug 13, 2019 at 3:18 PM #178

    sour_grapes

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    That does seem exceedingly low. Take a look at this video and see if it jibes with your measurement technique:
     

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