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Old 02-11-2008, 09:44 PM   #1
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Default Hydrometer Bad?

Fermenter for 1 week. Secondary for one week. Got a strong fermentation. Measured gravity, corrected for temperature at 1.022. Final gravity target is 1.01-1.016. Beer looks and tastes as expected so checked hydrometer with tap water. The temperature corrected reading is 1.006.

Do I have a bad hydrometer or am I doing something wriong?

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Old 02-11-2008, 09:50 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hellbender
Fermenter for 1 week. Secondary for one week. Got a strong fermentation. Measured gravity, corrected for temperature at 1.022. Final gravity target is 1.01-1.016. Beer looks and tastes as expected so checked hydrometer with tap water. The temperature corrected reading is 1.006.

Do I have a bad hydrometer or am I doing something wriong?
Try checking it again:

At 60F
Use distilled water
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Old 02-11-2008, 10:19 PM   #3
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I don't have any distilled water handy. I took another reading with 60 deg tap water so no correction was necessary. The reading once again was 1.006. I was led to understand that tap water should give pretty damned close readings to that obtained using distilled water.

Now get this : I have a table from Palmer (Appendix A) that shows only positive correction factors for any temperature. However, the info that came with the hydrometer shows a negative temperature correction for temps below 60 deg F. Go figure.

Don't know what to make of all of this.

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Old 02-11-2008, 10:25 PM   #4
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The minerals and additives found in most municipal water systems will cause you to get a reading different than that of pure water. In order to properly test your hydrometer you need to use distilled water. You can get it at your local grocer for about a buck a gallon. If your hydro is correct, it should read 1.000 on distilled.

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Old 02-11-2008, 10:30 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by eddie
The minerals and additives found in most municipal water systems will cause you to get a reading different than that of pure water. In order to properly test your hydrometer you need to use distilled water. You can get it at your local grocer for about a buck a gallon. If your hydro is correct, it should read 1.000 on distilled.
I am not using municipal water . . . well water. Guess I will have to check it out anyway. Assuming the hydrometer calibrates correctly with distilled, what now? Initial gravity was 1.06 (right in line with predicted. Had an active 3 day fermentation. Beer is clear and tastes as expected. I can't see doing anything with this but bottling. Does anyone think I should strart mucking with it . . . repitching, stirring or whatever? It's been sitting unchanged for 10 days.
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Old 02-11-2008, 10:36 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hellbender
I am not using municipal water . . . well water. Guess I will have to check it out anyway. Assuming the hydrometer calibrates correctly with distilled, what now? Initial gravity was 1.06 (right in line with predicted. Had an active 3 day fermentation. Beer is clear and tastes as expected. I can't see doing anything with this but bottling. Does anyone think I should strart mucking with it . . . repitching, stirring or whatever? It's been sitting unchanged for 10 days.
I would recommend you gather two hydometer readings on two seperate days that read the same. Then you will know you are ready to bottle the beer.

Using your existing hydrometer will be fine as long as that second reading shows you are at 1.06. You can still check it for accuracy and make any adjstment later.

Good luck.
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Old 02-11-2008, 10:41 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gammon N Beer
I would recommend you gather two hydometer readings on two seperate days that read the same. Then you will know you are ready to bottle the beer.

Using your existing hydrometer will be fine as long as that second reading shows you are at 1.06. You can still check it for accuracy and make any adjstment later.

Good luck.
1,06 was the IG, but I appreciate your recommendation. I will try again in a day or two and fully expect the gravity to remain about 1.022. I will also calibrate the darned thing with distilled. Thanks for you rcomments/advice.
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Old 02-11-2008, 10:54 PM   #8
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1,06 was the IG, but I appreciate your recommendation. I will try again in a day or two and fully expect the gravity to remain about 1.022. I will also calibrate the darned thing with distilled. Thanks for you rcomments/advice.
That's what we're here for. Please keep us informed of your progress. Successful beer stories give us the warm and fuzzies.
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Old 02-11-2008, 11:15 PM   #9
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That's what we're here for. Please keep us informed of your progress. Successful beer stories give us the warm and fuzzies.
I am looking foward to bottling my first attempt next week. I've got another one in the fermenter. Time will tell.
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Old 02-12-2008, 03:13 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eddie
The minerals and additives found in most municipal water systems will cause you to get a reading different than that of pure water. In order to properly test your hydrometer you need to use distilled water. You can get it at your local grocer for about a buck a gallon. If your hydro is correct, it should read 1.000 on distilled.
Stupid question, shouldn't you test your hydrometer in the water you use to brew with? If it reads correct in distilled water, then off in your brewing water, won't you get incorrect readings?
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