Originally Posted by flyinmonkeybs
Yes, I did take the reading after swirling the mixture for an extended period. I believe the upper level of the hydrometer is 1.15 if I am reading it correctly.
Sounds like you may have got a false high reading from that then. My hydrometer also tops out at 1.150, though I've seen both wider and narrower ranges. Wider range ones tending less accuracy, and narrower offering greater accuracy.
Personally, with JAO, I just weigh out the ingredients and follow the method. I'm not fused about measuring gravity. Yet if you feel the need, take a sample of the must and measure it in a test jar. But if you've already mixed/shaken the batch, then let it settle (cover the top with cling wrap) before measuring. The bubbles can cause a mis-reading....