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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > Can a hydrometer become un-calibrated?
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Old 02-09-2012, 04:28 AM   #1
nasmeyer
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Default Can a hydrometer become un-calibrated?

I just checked my hydrometer in 60 degree distilled water, and got a reading of 1.004. I would have to believe I calibrated it when it was new but don't remember doing so. Can a hydrometer become un-calibrated without actually breaking the glass? I would have to think that anything that would dislodge the paper would also break the glass.

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Old 02-09-2012, 04:34 AM   #2
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Just playing the devils advocate here but why is the hydrometer incorrect, and not the thermometer that told you the water was 60?

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Old 02-09-2012, 06:19 AM   #3
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The themometer would have to be way off to give me a reading 4 points off. I use three different digital thermometers that are only about .3* off from one another so I can rule that out.

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Old 02-09-2012, 06:27 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nasmeyer
I just checked my hydrometer in 60 degree distilled water, and got a reading of 1.004. I would have to believe I calibrated it when it was new but don't remember doing so. Can a hydrometer become un-calibrated without actually breaking the glass? I would have to think that anything that would dislodge the paper would also break the glass.
Well, many hydrometers are calibrated to 68°, but you're right that 4 points is too big a difference.

Short answer is, yes, the paper inside isn't secured (in any hydrometer I've used), and CAN slip. I wasn't even aware of it until I noticed one of mine slipped drastically.

Luckily it's all linear, and you can just subtract 4 points from any reading.
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