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Old 11-18-2009, 02:41 PM   #1
rockgineer
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Default Weird Hydrometer Readings

So I've always taken my hydrometer readings by just putting my hydrometer right in my fermenter (plastic bucket) and taken the reading.

I decided to pick up a wine thief and a graduated cylinder to take my hydrometer readings.

I took a reading in the cylinder and it read 1.100 and this was way higher than i anticipated from my recipe so i tried the hydrometer directly in the bucket like i have done in the past and got a reading of 1.060 which is more of what i expected. for both readings the beer was at about 69degF

I boil approx 2.5 to 3 gal so i add water to my fermenter to make 5 gal. I thought maybe the wort hadn't mixed well with the water so I decided to let it sit over night and then take a reading in the morning after the wort had more time to disperse in the water. About 12 hours after my first reading (fermentation has just begun) i tried using the wine thief and the cylinder again and the reading was about 1.096. then tried the hydrometer directly into the fermenter and my reading was 1.056. these readings were at 70degF.

Can any one explain the differences in my readings between the graduated cylinder method and my direct in the fermenter method? did i do somethign wrong?

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Old 11-18-2009, 02:49 PM   #2
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Are you certain your hydrometer's not resting on the bottom of the cylinder?

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Old 11-18-2009, 02:52 PM   #3
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Hi and welcome to the board.

The wort is probably stratified. The heavy sugar water will tend to sit on the bottom unless stirred. Was the sample you took for the cylinder from the bottom of the bucket?

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Old 11-18-2009, 03:03 PM   #4
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the hydrometer was definitely floating and the sample was from the middle and upper region of the bucket. my wine thief isnt long enough to go very far down.

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Old 11-18-2009, 03:26 PM   #5
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Give it a spin as you put it in the cylinder, this will get any bubbles trapped under the hydrometer out from under it. Also, make sure it isn't touching the sides of the cylinder as well.

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Old 11-18-2009, 03:29 PM   #6
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Um... are you sure you are reading it right? Can you take a picture?

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Old 11-18-2009, 04:37 PM   #7
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bucket vs cylinder will have no actual effect on the reading. sounds like the samples aren't consistent, or that the hydro is sticking to the side of the cylinder.

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Old 11-18-2009, 06:39 PM   #8
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hmm well i think i'll just go w/ my good ol' hyrdometer in the bucket value of 1.060

My recipe had 8 lbs of amber malt extract, and 1 lb of honey and .5lb of choc malt and .5 lb 120L crystal malt steeped for 55 min. Does 1.060 sound reasonable for a 5 gal batch?

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Last edited by rockgineer; 11-18-2009 at 07:14 PM.
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