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-   -   Please tell me my hydrometer reading is wrong? (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f30/please-tell-me-my-hydrometer-reading-wrong-345151/)

msarro 08-02-2012 01:01 AM

Please tell me my hydrometer reading is wrong?
 
So, I finally put together my first batch of mead. Here is the recipe I used:

1 gallon orange blossom honey
5 lbs of wildflower honey
1/4 tsp potassium metabisulfite
1 lb raisins soaked in water to rehydrate
fresh orange peel from 1/2 a medium naval orange
5.5 tbsp bee pollen
2 packets (10g) Lalvin 71B yeast (will be fermenting around 76-78 degrees F.)

I put everything together, except the yeast, and added the potassium Metabisulfite (more to sanitize the the orange peel and raisins and bee pollen -i'm sadly a bit nuts about cleanliness and sanitation). I filled the fermenter up to 5.5 gal, put the lid and airlock on and left it sit overnight. This evening I boiled 1.25 cup water, let it cool to room temp, and let the yeast soak for about 20 minutes. I stirred the heck out of the must, took and OG reading by plunking the sanitized hydrometer in the must, spun it, took note of the reading, and pulled it out. Then added the yeast.

Then I thought about the hydrometer - the reading was at 1.2. I'm hoping as much as I can that I just suck at reading the thing because 1.2, in a 77 degree kitchen gives me an OG of 1.202. Can that strain of yeast even start if the OG is that high? I can't seem to find anything on the spec sheet.

I really need to man up and buy a refractometer.

Any thoughts or feedback?

Curtis2010 08-02-2012 01:21 AM

"......took and OG reading by plunking the sanitized hydrometer in the must...".

Solids floating on the top of your must could be effecting the reading. Draw off a sample of just liquid must and try that (like with a wine thief from below the surface).

What OG were you expecting? Do you have a calculated OG for this recipe?

msarro 08-02-2012 01:39 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Curtis2010 (Post 4298869)
"......took and OG reading by plunking the sanitized hydrometer in the must...".

Solids floating on the top of your must could be effecting the reading. Draw off a sample of just liquid must and try that (like with a wine thief from below the surface).

What OG were you expecting? Do you have a calculated OG for this recipe?

When I tried my brew calculator it showed ~1.13, so I think you may be on to something. It just seems absurdly high.

msarro 08-02-2012 01:55 AM

Figured it out - in my excitement i misread the hydrometer. 1.122 is correct.

Curtis2010 08-02-2012 02:36 AM

Close enough!

scottyg354 08-08-2012 03:12 AM

well I just took an FG reading on my mead and I'm getting 1.20? I hope I'm wrong with that because I can taste alcohol in it. Damn thing fermented for like 4 months. It is sweet as hell but tastes like mead. This is my first mean. Maybe I am looking at the wrong part of the hydrometer? It's one that cam with a kit. It is reading 1.20 in the Desert Wine Section.

biochemedic 08-08-2012 03:26 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by scottyg354 (Post 4313849)
well I just took an FG reading on my mead and I'm getting 1.20? I hope I'm wrong with that because I can taste alcohol in it. Damn thing fermented for like 4 months. It is sweet as hell but tastes like mead. This is my first mean. Maybe I am looking at the wrong part of the hydrometer? It's one that cam with a kit. It is reading 1.20 in the Desert Wine Section.

Could this be another misread hydrometer? Sounds like it could be 1.020?

scottyg354 08-08-2012 03:34 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by biochemedic (Post 4313888)
Could this be another misread hydrometer? Sounds like it could be 1.020?

definetelty, did not see a zero there. I don't know. I can taste the alcohol in it. I must be reading something wrong. Thats all I can think

Insomniac 08-08-2012 08:06 AM

If all else fails, find a pic of the hydrometer and draw an arrow on it.

GinKings 08-08-2012 03:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by scottyg354 (Post 4313911)
definetelty, did not see a zero there. I don't know. I can taste the alcohol in it. I must be reading something wrong. Thats all I can think


Hydrometers are read to three decimal places. Water is considered 1.000. A hydrometer that reads "20" is 20 points higher or 1.020. A reading of "5" is 1.005, not 1.5.


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