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Old 08-29-2008, 07:15 PM   #11
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If your tube has numbers ignore them....or note how much beer it would take that when you put the hydro in, it raises the sample almost to the top of the cylinder...then every time you fill it, you won't over flow.

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Old 08-29-2008, 07:16 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kontreren View Post
So do the numbers on the tube mean anything? Am I just suppose to fill the tube so it doesn't over flow and ignore the markings on it? And please remind me what should the specific gravity of plain ol' spring water be and what do I do to test it and make sure I know what I'm looking at. I'm completely lost. No matter how many books I've read, this somehow continues to elude me. Help!
It's easy. The markings on the tube mean nothing.
  1. Put the hydrometer in the tube.
  2. Add water, beer, whatever, to the tube until the hydrometer floats. This should happen before the tube overflows.
  3. Now look at where the hydrometer is floating.
  4. See the "line" that is the surface of the water, or, in other words, where the water stops and air begins? Okay, now, look at the hydrometer, and tell me what number is at the location of the surface of the liquid. It should be 1.000 if it's 65F water.

The hydrometer works by measuring the density of the liquid; if there's more sugar in the liquid, the hydrometer floats higher, which means the surface of the liquid will be lower on the hydrometer.
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Old 08-29-2008, 07:17 PM   #13
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Kon,
no problem!

First, don't fill the tube up all the way and don't worry about any markings on the tube, it's just there to hold the wort so that you can put the hydrometer in it. in theory, you could put the hydrometer in the kettle or fermenter directly, but that would be a PITA to read. just fill the tube up enough so the hydrometer won't bottom out (like the illustration above

second, read the markings on the hydrometer off of the scales that 1.000 - 1.010, 1.020... the other scales measure the same thing in different terms, but this is the one people refer to when they talk about OG, SG, FG, etc. I'm not sure what the markings on the tube are, it could be that tube is made for other uses and not just hydrometers. I'm guessing those are just volume measurements as in a test tube. I'd just ignore them

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Old 08-29-2008, 09:37 PM   #14
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A tube with numbers is called a "graduated cylinder". Just in case you want to sound smart.

I have a plain cylinder. Filled with water, added hydrometer, let water spill out, removed hydrometer, then marked the new water level with a sharpie. Now I know exactly how much liquid to put in there without spilling or breaking my hydrometer.

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Old 08-29-2008, 09:54 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by kontreren View Post
Please tell me how to find the specific gravity of water.
Look on your keyboard for a key labeled '1'. You have now found the specific gravity of water.
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Old 08-29-2008, 10:06 PM   #16
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My first brew I didn't have a hydrometer, I just blindly followed the instructions. It tasted like beer when I finished.
Found this site while brewing my second batch because I was going on vacation for a week right around the 9-10 day point and wasn't sure if I should bottle early or leave it sit in the fermenter. Thanks to the good people here I left it in the fermenter and bought a hydrometer while I was away. I got back home and took a reading and realized it was still fermenting. Had it not been for this site I probably would have created a case of bottle bombs and came home to a rather rancid home. Patience is key. This latest batch is probably the best beer I've ever had and I'm looking forward to future brews.

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Old 08-30-2008, 02:43 PM   #17
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Default 1.000

Thankx all, I finally get it. My first batch is 1 week old my second batch went in the fermenter yesterday and now I have even more questions but in an effort to conform to forum preference/policy I'll try to stick to one question per post (a difficult task for me). Since this first question is related to hydrometer I'll as it here.

NOTE: My batchs are gluten free(GF) not regular so that may make a difference.

Specific Gravity Givens:
Spring water used: 1.000 (obvious, right!)
1st batch after 1 week: 1.001 (didn't measure to start)
2nd batch after overnight: 1.003 to 1.004 (probably should have measured before pitching yeast and sealing fermenter but I forgot)

Comments:
1st batch from syrup and mostly liquid but tastes good after just one week.
2nd batch has lots of corn and rice solids, is naturally thicker but I did measure liquid w/ hydrometer.

Question(s):
Toss out any ideas why my 1st batch GF gravity is so low. I'll post my recipe/method in a separate post cause this one is long enough.

Is my 2nd batch SG in the right range generally speaking.

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Old 08-30-2008, 03:25 PM   #18
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Quote:
Toss out any ideas why my 1st batch GF gravity is so low.
In an all-extract brew, almost all of what you put in the wort is going to be sugar that gets converted to alcohol, which means your final gravity should be pretty close to that of water. It means fermentation is almost, if not already, complete.

In a partial mash using lots of specialty grains, however, a lot of stuff in the wort is going to stick around after fermentation, so your final gravity would be somewhat higher.
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Old 08-30-2008, 05:13 PM   #19
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In an all-extract brew, almost all of what you put in the wort is going to be sugar that gets converted to alcohol, which means your final gravity should be pretty close to that of water. It means fermentation is almost, if not already, complete.
...
I thought the higher the SG the more alcohol. Did I miss the boat on that? I saw a calculation posted (FG-OG)/constant = alcohol content. I do have an alcohol thermometer but I didn't use it yet. Should have while I measured the SG. I'll follow the advice given on this site and if the SG is the same 3 days in a row I'll bottle.
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Old 08-30-2008, 05:38 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kontreren View Post
I thought the higher the SG the more alcohol. Did I miss the boat on that? I saw a calculation posted (FG-OG)/constant = alcohol content. I do have an alcohol thermometer but I didn't use it yet. Should have while I measured the SG. I'll follow the advice given on this site and if the SG is the same 3 days in a row I'll bottle.
Your final alcohol by volume is 131 x (OG-FG). The rule is, the higher the OG the higher the alcohol. More specifically, the more your SG drops during fermentation, the more alcohol is present. Since sugars are denser than alcohol (a lot of weight is lost to escaping carbon dioxide), your SG will drop as fermentation occurs. Depending on how "dark" your beer is, the FG you want will be close to 1.
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