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Old 12-29-2013, 12:39 AM   #1
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Default Hydrometer is Possessed?

Hi. New to the obsession here, on my 4th batch, and things have generally been fine up to this latest one. OG read 1.061 instead of 1.054 target and it's primarily due to extra frothy aeration caused misread on topoff volume so I only have 4.4-4.5g instead of 5g. Target FG is 1.015. The primary went gangbusters and 5 days later I transfer from primary bucket to secondary glass carboy (spare me the flame war, I did it). At that point, the SG was 1.019. I read it twice, I really don't think it's a misread. Fast forward another 16 days when I have time to bottle, and the hydrometer is reading 1.021. I spun it, I wiped it, I dunked it. I slapped its ass and called it Judy, but it stayed reading 1.021. These are baseline corrected numbers because distilled water at 60 degrees reads 1.006 on this thing. So the question is, besides obviously needing a new hydrometer without the ghost of Foster Brooks haunting it, what could possess a brew or hydrometer to go the "wrong" way after 2 weeks?

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Old 12-29-2013, 12:46 AM   #2
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It can't. Your hydrometer went kittywhompus. If it reads 1.006 in distilled water, your current reading (at 1.021) is 1.015. So it didn't go up. It went down a little. Maybe. Because the last reading may have been read with the same faulty hydrometer, or else the paper slipped after the reading.

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Old 12-29-2013, 01:05 AM   #3
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It can't. Your hydrometer went kittywhompus. If it reads 1.006 in distilled water, your current reading (at 1.021) is 1.015.
I believe he is saying that he already corrected for the miscalibrated hydrometer.

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The paper slipped after the reading.
This is a pretty good possibility. Happened to me before.
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Old 12-29-2013, 02:30 PM   #4
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I believe he is saying that he already corrected for the miscalibrated hydrometer.



This is a pretty good possibility. Happened to me before.
Thanks for quick reply. Just in case, I have conditioning bottles inside protective coolers to guard against unscheduled spontaneous beer-ectomy from bottles.

Now I need to practice reading the danged hydrometer--why does it always spin the wanted scale to the opposite side from view? We need a hydrometer that speaks the values, like the newer GPS units that speak the street names!
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Old 12-29-2013, 02:32 PM   #5
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Was the temp between the readings different, or forgot to compensate for the temperature on one of the readings? Its also possible you read the hydrometer above the line last time and below this time?

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Old 12-29-2013, 02:36 PM   #6
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...why does it always spin the wanted scale to the opposite side from view?
I think this falls under one of Murphy's laws.
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Old 12-29-2013, 02:39 PM   #7
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I have had the same thing happen more then once. The cause for me was the beer started carbing so I had to get all the carbonation out for an accurate reading. Im willing to bet this is what is going on.

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Old 12-29-2013, 07:16 PM   #8
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Was the temp between the readings different, or forgot to compensate for the temperature on one of the readings? Its also possible you read the hydrometer above the line last time and below this time?
I temp correct, and have to baseline correct, measuring plain water every time, and temp correcting that also if needed. But you are entirely correct that I could have misread above/below the line on the mid-fermentation gravity. I'd still rather think it was not my fault. High sunspot activity. Space-time continuum flux due to garden gnome research. Something.
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Old 12-29-2013, 07:19 PM   #9
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I have had the same thing happen more then once. The cause for me was the beer started carbing so I had to get all the carbonation out for an accurate reading. Im willing to bet this is what is going on.
Do you have to put the sample in a blender first or something to de-carb? I did not see any bubble forming on the hydrometer, but it wouldn't take much I suppose. And I constantly have to remember not to allow water drops from wet fingers to drive the instrument further into the sample.
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Old 12-29-2013, 07:28 PM   #10
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Do you have to put the sample in a blender first or something to de-carb? I did not see any bubble forming on the hydrometer, but it wouldn't take much I suppose. And I constantly have to remember not to allow water drops from wet fingers to drive the instrument further into the sample.
De-gas a sample by pouring back and forth between glasses several times.
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