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Old 07-03-2013, 09:23 PM   #1
Bigjack68
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Default What Am I doing wrong?

I have been trying to use a hydrometer.
I have used 2 separate hydrometers. I have looked on u tube and here for guidance on how to use the thing. Here's my problem.

EVERYTHING comes out at 5%

Home made wine 5%
Apfelwine 5%
Cheap Malt liquor Swill 5%
100 proof vodka yep u guessed it 5%

anybody have any theories on what im doing wrong to keep getting the same readings on all these different liquids with 2 different hydrometers???

any advice appreciated!!!!

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Old 07-03-2013, 09:26 PM   #2
dmob29
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You are taking 2 samples, one before fermenting (Original Gravity), then after (Final Gravity) to determine alcohol? These readings are using the 1.000 - 1.090 scale, not the Potential Alcohol which is shown in a percentage.

You also need to watch the temp of the sample as most hydros are calibrated at 60 degrees.

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Old 07-03-2013, 09:27 PM   #3
JLem
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You are using the wrong scale. You should use the scale for specific gravity (SG) - it will have numbers like 1.010 an 1.045. Calibrate it in water and you should get 1.000. The %alcohol scale is for wine makers to use before fermentation to estimate where the final ABV is likely to be. That scale is not particularly useful once there is alcohol present (or for making beer).

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Old 07-03-2013, 10:03 PM   #4
amandabab
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the expected #'s for the things you listed shouldn't be the same even if you were reading the wrong scale on a beer/wine triple scale hydrometer.

it would sink to the bottom of 100 proof vodka. thats in the .089 range.

are you using a salinity hydrometer? a food service Lactometer?

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Old 07-04-2013, 02:10 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amandabab View Post
the expected #'s for the things you listed shouldn't be the same even if you were reading the wrong scale on a beer/wine triple scale hydrometer.

it would sink to the bottom of 100 proof vodka. thats in the .089 range.

are you using a salinity hydrometer? a food service Lactometer?
Well the 1st hydrometer I was using was a really old one from the 1970's when my Father was experimenting with homebrewing and the other one was just bought from a local homebrew shop. Its a fermtech.
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Old 07-04-2013, 02:13 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmob29 View Post
You are taking 2 samples, one before fermenting (Original Gravity), then after (Final Gravity) to determine alcohol? These readings are using the 1.000 - 1.090 scale, not the Potential Alcohol which is shown in a percentage.

You also need to watch the temp of the sample as most hydros are calibrated at 60 degrees.
Well I unfortunately didn't have access to a hydrometer when I mixed the apfelwein and homemade wine. Now I do never the less it shouldn't just drop like a stone into the tube for every liquid I drop it into...
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Old 07-04-2013, 02:52 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Bigjack68 View Post
Well I unfortunately didn't have access to a hydrometer when I mixed the apfelwein and homemade wine. Now I do never the less it shouldn't just drop like a stone into the tube for every liquid I drop it into...
If you drop it into water it should read 1.000 or close to it. If you drop it into wine or cider or any hard liquor it will likely read below 1.000

If it doesn't quite read 1.000 in water (at 60°F) you will need to correct all future readings...mine reads 1.002 in water, so I know my gravity readings are all 0.002 high and I just adjust for it. If it is WAY off you have a faulty hydrometer and it will need to be replaced.
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