Get your HBT Growlers, Shirts and Membership before the Rush!


Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > Help Me Use My Hydrometer!
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 04-11-2012, 08:22 AM   #1
cannman
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
cannman's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Owens Valley, CA
Posts: 802
Liked 94 Times on 76 Posts
Likes Given: 341

Default Help Me Use My Hydrometer!

I just realized that I've omitted using my Hydrometer!!!

SO I don't have an official OG measure. So can everyone pitch in and give me/us a 101?

When should I use it? At start? at each transfer? at bottling? when drinking?

How do I use it?? Pull out some fermenting beer and measure?

Thanks for the help! Amazing that the kit I ordered did not come with Hydrometer instructions. Your help appreciated!

-C

__________________
cannman is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 04-11-2012, 08:52 AM   #2
aidan
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Nelson, New Zealand
Posts: 402
Liked 9 Times on 8 Posts
Likes Given: 1

Default

Most important time to use the hydrometer is to check if your beer is finished fermenting and ready for bottling - this is usually a week or 2 from the start of fermentation. Leaving it longer is not a problem but bottling before fermentation is finished can be a big problem, so it's important to check for a consistant reading for 2 or 3 days in a row.

To measure, you need to take a sample from your fermenter (observing proper sanitation practices) and place the sample into the measuring tube that came with your hydrometer, stick the hydrometer in and take a reading. Do not return the sample to the fermenter.

Here's how to read a hydrometer: http://www.stevenson-reeves.co.uk/howto.htm

__________________

Blogging about my home brewing experiences at BrewinMyOwn.com

"Pursue Hoppiness With Diligence"
aidan is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 04-11-2012, 10:18 AM   #3
Suthrn
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Harrodsburg, Ky
Posts: 14
Default

[QUOTE=aidan;3982518]

To measure, you need to take a sample from your fermenter (observing proper sanitation practices) and place the sample into the measuring tube that came with your hydrometer, stick the hydrometer in and take a reading. Do not return the sample to the fermenter.

Mine usually ends up in my mouth!!! Best place I've found to dump the stuff.

__________________

"If I'd known you were gonna be here I'd worn hunter orange!"

Suthrn is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 04-11-2012, 12:54 PM   #4
petey_c
Senior Member
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
petey_c's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Miller Place, NY (Long Island)
Posts: 1,130
Liked 43 Times on 41 Posts
Likes Given: 1

Default

I try to take an initial (OG) just before adding the yeast. Then checking for fermentation completion (usually just prior to bottling). This way I can figure alcohol content (ABV). Aidan has the correct method to check. I'm too lazy and figure nothing bad will drop into my beer (I know, misguided.) and check with a sanitized hydrometer. Hydro's are deceptively more fragile than they look. Check the broken hydrometer post.

__________________
petey_c is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 04-11-2012, 01:18 PM   #5
pcollins
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Cambridge, ON
Posts: 551
Liked 27 Times on 25 Posts
Likes Given: 38

Default

I'll add a couple of things here.

Check the temp of the sample. Hydrometers are calibrated to be accurate at a certain temperature. There are conversion tables so that if you read your hydrometer with the sample above or below the calibrated temperature, you can convert the reading at that temperature to the correct calibrated reading. That said, the reading will always be more accurate at the correct temperature.

In general, take the reading from the bottom of the meniscus as shown in the link above. That said, not ALL hydrometers are calibrated this way. Some are calibrated to be read from the top of the meniscus. They will usually indicate one way or the other but if there is no indication read from the bottom.

All of the above advice is good but to add to that, consistency is key. If you're reading your hydrometer at 74º for SG, then read at 74º for FG. The accuracy of the reading at the homebrew level and for homebrewers is fairly irrelevant. You're looking for some indication of a starting gravity and a solid indication of end of fermentation. With those two readings you can calculate abv but it's not like you need to be within two decimal places for a lab or anything. Will you be able to tell the difference between a beer that finished at 1.010 vs 1.011? Not likely.

Just go with consistency in your readings.

__________________
pcollins is online now
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 04-11-2012, 02:31 PM   #6
tom9d
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Mount Vernon, NY
Posts: 69
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Suthrn View Post

Mine usually ends up in my mouth!!! Best place I've found to dump the stuff.
Truth.
__________________
tom9d is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 04-12-2012, 01:32 AM   #7
aidan
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Nelson, New Zealand
Posts: 402
Liked 9 Times on 8 Posts
Likes Given: 1

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Suthrn View Post
Mine usually ends up in my mouth!!! Best place I've found to dump the stuff.
Same here. It's good to get a feel for how your brew is progressing. But don't get alarmed if it doesnt taste so good at this stage. The OG samples especially can be hard to swallow.
__________________

Blogging about my home brewing experiences at BrewinMyOwn.com

"Pursue Hoppiness With Diligence"
aidan is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply



Quick Reply
Message:
Options
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Hydrometer renshaw Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 6 06-06-2011 02:06 PM
hydrometer moonpig Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 2 05-16-2011 05:27 AM
Hydrometer? Cartman3 Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 5 01-20-2010 08:22 AM
What do you use your hydrometer in? BlueSunshine Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 42 01-11-2010 08:49 PM
Hydrometer kontreren Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 21 08-30-2008 09:09 PM



Newest Threads

LATEST SPONSOR DEALS