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Old 01-01-2011, 10:13 PM   #1
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Default alcohol content

I made a hydrometer from a straw with plasticine at the end and 2 nails inside and floated it in water, then in my bottled elderflower wine and it floated alot higher in the wine. I heard that this means there is no alcohol in it. Is this true? And have i failed? It was supposed to be alcoholic.
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Old 01-01-2011, 10:21 PM   #2
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You should buy a real hydrometer. You don't have any actual readings with your home made one, and who knows if its accurate or not. Did your wine go through fermentation? if so, then yes there's alcohol in it. How much? Who knows. Without an accurate reading of your initial gravity to compare to your final gravity, the only thing you can do is make ann educated guess (by looking at your recipe and plugging in numbers) as to what your initial gravity was.

Edit to add stuff: A hydrometer in plain water will read 1.000 at the correct reading temperature. Anything added to the water will raise the gravity reading, which causes the hydrometer to float higher. When it ferments, the gravity will decrease to a level closer to the gravity of plain water. It may ferment to 1.020 so the hydrometer will float higher than plain water, or it ferment lower to 0.990 so it will float lower than the level of plain water. Temperature differences will cause slight differences in the readings, but without actual numbers in the first place.....
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Old 01-01-2011, 10:29 PM   #3
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if it floated higher then there could be alcohol in it,you needed to float it in there before fermentation to see if it was lower than that reading.how much could be in there is anyones guess, proper hydrometers are inexpensive and will be a lot more meaningful if you measure before and after fermentation.
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