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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Techniques > Hydrometers stink!
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Old 08-24-2008, 05:57 PM   #11
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Old 08-24-2008, 05:58 PM   #12
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The only reason I use a hydrometer these days is so that I have an excuse to use some of the beer and taste a bit more afterwards.

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Old 08-24-2008, 08:50 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Seawolfe View Post
What problems are you having? I will say - buying a clear cylinder to float the hydrometer in has helped a lot (rather than using the tube that the hydrometer came in). Heck - Ive been using an el cheapo $0.99 hydrometer that only measures brix and potential alcohol with a big red "bottle here" line It does the trick with the right on-line calculators.
I guess the biggest problem is that it seems to always stick to the side of the thief. I've tried using various amounts of a sample, I spin it, etc. etc. but the readings seem to bounce all over the place. Now the hydrometers have wider bases which seem to only increase the problem.
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Old 08-24-2008, 09:00 PM   #14
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Hey Bobby!

Great video!!! Did I miss the part where you explained how you come up with the calibration temperature??

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Old 08-24-2008, 09:44 PM   #15
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I guess the biggest problem is that it seems to always stick to the side of the thief. I've tried using various amounts of a sample, I spin it, etc. etc. but the readings seem to bounce all over the place. Now the hydrometers have wider bases which seem to only increase the problem.
Try to find a dead level surface, or adjust the base by putting card under it on one side until you find a level.
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Old 08-24-2008, 10:08 PM   #16
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I've never tried it in a thief. You might have better luck with a cylinder.

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Old 08-24-2008, 10:12 PM   #17
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Actually, if all you want to know is the Specific Gravity of your sample, then the volume is irrelevant. If you want to use that value to calculate efficiency or to figure out how much water to use to dilute to a certain SG, then, yes, you need an accurate volume.
+1 on this...volume is NOT necessary for specific gravity simply to know where your wort is at and the ABV...
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Old 08-24-2008, 10:24 PM   #18
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Just stick a thermometer in there to find the temp. Google search for "hydrometer temperature calibration" for the actual numbers to add(/subtract) if your hydrometer didn't come with a chart.

Btw, I picked up a great hydrometer test cylinder a week or so ago for three bucks. I was helping some friends pick up some furniture from Ikea, and they had flower vases there that are just about perfect, other than not being deep enough for my hydrometer to read below about 1.009.

http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/10067655

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Old 08-24-2008, 10:34 PM   #19
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And as always, not all Hydrometers are calibrated at 68F, a good deal are at 60F.

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Old 08-24-2008, 10:50 PM   #20
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And not all hydrometers are calibrated to read at the bottom of the meniscus. Mine is calibrated to 68F and to be read at the upper meniscus.

Moral of the story---Read the instructions that came with the hydrometer.

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