Hydrometer readings (Going up during fermentation)

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Jan 16, 2023
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Hello all!

First, I'm new to wine making. I started my first ever kit on 1/13/23. It's RJS Orchard Breeze Strawberry. When I measured the S.G. at the beginning (before yeast), it measured 1.060 which I believe is about what it should be at. The first couple days, the top of must was pretty foamy and bubbly but airlock wasn't bubbling all that much. Today (1/13/23), I wanted to check the S.G. to check the progress. When I went to the bucket, I noticed the airlock was bubbling like crazy (good sign I assume). I took the top off the bucket and notice the foaming was done but it was still producing small bubbles floating to surface (think Champaign or beer like bubbles). Put the wine in the cylinder and measured the S.G. at 1.080. The specific gravity went up! What would cause this?

When I looked at the cylinder, again, it was bubbling like crazy in the cylinder. Could the bubbling (CO rising) be causing the hydrometer to float more, giving me a wrong reading? I will retest in a few days when the airlock starts calming down.

Lastly, I noticed a rim of gunk on the inside of bucket above the must line. I'm guessing it's left over just from when the surface was foaming? Do I need to worry about this?

Thanks all! I'm sure this won't be the last question I have. I'm excited for my first wine batch and hopefully it turns out well!

Welcome to WMT!

A thought on SG -- the initial SG and final SG matter, as they are used to calculate ABV, and the final SG helps determine when fermentation is complete. In between, the exact reading doesn't really matter -- think of it as an indicator or barometer of where the wine is in the fermentation process.
Hello all! Thanks for the reply’s.

Just checked it yesterday and it’s at 1.030 so it’s for sure going down.

I also tasted it and I feel like the taste was pretty good.

I’m going to test it every other day now and when the S.G. Gets below 1, I’ll rack it into secondary to clear it up. I’m guessing 7 days or so but won’t rush it.

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