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Old 11-13-2011, 04:01 PM   #1
Craigweiser
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Default Inaccurate hydrometer??

Brewed an ESB yesterday. I checked the gravity just before the boil at 7.7 gallons wort and it was 1.041 (adjusted for temperature). I was aiming for a 90-minute boil to get to 5.5 gallons. Overshot and boiled down to 5.25 gallons. I was figuring for 316 total points with my initial reading but finished at 278 with an OG of 1.053 (adjusted for temp again). My grain bill consisted of 10.6# Maris otter and 0.6# Simpsons medium crystal. Beersmith was projecting an OG of 1.058 at 5.5 gallons. The only thing i can think is that either the site glass that came with my boilermaker brewpot or the the hydrometer is not accurate. Anyone have thoughts?

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Old 11-13-2011, 04:21 PM   #2
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I have heard lots of people say they don't trust hydrometers... I am becoming one of them.

have you checked it with distilled water?

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Old 11-13-2011, 04:29 PM   #3
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You check your hydrometer in water, it should be 1.000 @ 60F. If its off by any you can just adjust your readings accordingly.

I have noticed one thing with temp adjustments, the further you are for 60F the larger the margin or error is with the corrections.

What efficiency was beersmith calculating, it my just be a simple as you need to adjust your efficiency in beersmith.

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Old 11-13-2011, 04:35 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jtsims21
I have heard lots of people say they don't trust hydrometers... I am becoming one of them.
I've had the paper that's rolled up inside the hydrometer slip noticeably, and can't help but wonder how often it slips WITHOUT being noticed.
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Old 11-13-2011, 04:38 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by emjay View Post
I've had the paper that's rolled up inside the hydrometer slip noticeably, and can't help but wonder how often it slips WITHOUT being noticed.
Thats one of the reasons i check with H2O every time i brew, it only takes a few seconds
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Old 11-13-2011, 04:52 PM   #6
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Thanks for the insight. I'll be checking my hydrometer later for accuracy and reply to the post. I suppose the greater the hardness of the water will cause greater values in the level of gravity?

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Old 11-13-2011, 05:09 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Craigweiser View Post
Thanks for the insight. I'll be checking my hydrometer later for accuracy and reply to the post. I suppose the greater the hardness of the water will cause greater values in the level of gravity?
No. Distilled water will read 1.000, while even the hardest tap water might read 1.001 or 1.002 or so.

One thing to keep in mind is that you several times mentioned "adjusted for temperature". You do need to adjust for temperature, but even so the readings must be cooled to under 100 degrees before reading and then adjusting for the temperature. If any readings were done above 100 degrees or so, they are pretty inaccurate and therefore worthless.
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Old 11-13-2011, 05:43 PM   #8
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Right. I understand that taking a reading at excessive temperatures produces inaccurate measures. The temps I took readings at were within 60-75 degrees and then adjusted by 1-2 gravity points at most.

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Old 11-13-2011, 06:00 PM   #9
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Right. I understand that taking a reading at excessive temperatures produces inaccurate measures. The temps I took readings at were within 60-75 degrees and then adjusted by 1-2 gravity points at most.
That's why I asked! Your way is fine, of course.
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Old 11-13-2011, 10:05 PM   #10
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I consider my Hydrometer to be the most accurate tool in my brew day. Proper reading temp (mine 68F), along with filling the test jar to the correct level gives me an accurate reading every time. Make sure the Hydro isn't hanging up on the side of the glass/plastic and has no hop/trub attached to it. My Refractometer on the other hand is finicky.

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