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Old 11-03-2009, 05:24 PM   #1
jakeshivers
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Default Are there better hydrometers?

Are there better hydrometers than the ones that come in the noob kits? The one I have is a simple floating hydrometer that comes with a plastic tube that you put the liquid in.

I don't like it because a small layer of foam accumulates at the surface which kinda prevents me from taking an accurate reading. Also, I keep forgetting to do the temperature conversion so i have to retake my reading. I suppose I should write this down anyhow. Still new at brewing...

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Old 11-03-2009, 05:29 PM   #2
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Yes, there are. You can get a precision hydrometer, which is basically the same thing but covers a narrower range and so a larger scale, easier to read, etc.

Also, just let the foam dissipate (it will do this on its own if you wait), or do what I do and overfill your tube a bit then drop in your hydrometer so any foam is forced out before you measure.

Can't help you with the temperature measurement. That's just something you need to keep track of as part of using one. Also, it's best to try to keep it in a narrow temperature range, like room temperature or maybe up to 80 F or so, because the correction factors can get pretty wildly wrong as you get to higher temps.

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Old 11-03-2009, 05:37 PM   #3
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Don't think there are. That I know of, at least. If you wait a few minutes and twirl the hydrometer, the foam goes away. Or you can just take a piece of paper towel or whatever and wipe it away - it's not like you're worried about the hydro sample getting infected or anything.

The real PITA in the ass with hydrometers is how easily they break. I'm on #3 right now. Can't anyone out there design a shatter-proof plastic one?

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Old 11-03-2009, 05:39 PM   #4
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Oh, and after doing it a few times, taking the temp of your sample and converting the result will become second-nature. Though +1 on getting it to room temp.

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Old 11-03-2009, 05:41 PM   #5
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I don't get how people always break their hydrometers. Just treat it like you would a champagne flute. You don't go around breaking glasses all the time, do you?

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Old 11-03-2009, 05:42 PM   #6
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So how much did Forrest pay you to ask this question today, of all days?

Just kidding...

Austin Homebrew is having a one-day sale today on precision hydrometers. I have NO idea if it will cure the issues you're looking to resolve (for that, you may want to look at refractometers), but at least take a look.

http://www.austinhomebrew.com/produc...roducts_id=802

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Old 11-03-2009, 06:18 PM   #7
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i found the one piece glass test jar is way better and can be sanitized compared to the cheapie plastic. williams brewing has them for like $5.

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Old 11-03-2009, 06:35 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mordantly View Post
i found the one piece glass test jar is way better and can be sanitized compared to the cheapie plastic. williams brewing has them for like $5.

Why do you need to sanitize? You aren't putting the sample back into the fermenter are you????
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Old 11-03-2009, 06:37 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jakeshivers View Post
Are there better hydrometers than the ones that come in the noob kits? The one I have is a simple floating hydrometer that comes with a plastic tube that you put the liquid in.

I don't like it because a small layer of foam accumulates at the surface which kinda prevents me from taking an accurate reading. Also, I keep forgetting to do the temperature conversion so i have to retake my reading. I suppose I should write this down anyhow. Still new at brewing...

Instead of a hydrometer, you could buy a refractometer. Uses less sample (a few drops), does not need temp correction,
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Old 11-03-2009, 06:41 PM   #10
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I use this graph, very quick and accurate.

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