<1 hydrometer readings - Home Brew Forums
Register Now For Free!

Home Brew Forums > Wine, Mead, Cider, Sake & Soda > Winemaking Forum > <1 hydrometer readings

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 10-26-2008, 08:41 PM   #1
John Long
Recipes 
 
Jun 2008
Olympia, WA
Posts: 94


I just racked some Cider and some Chamomile Agave Mead (excellent!) and got two hydrometer readings less than 1.

The Cider read 0.85 and the Agave Mead read ~0.79. I could not read the mead correctly as my hydrometer label doesn't go that far.

Both are fermented using dry wine yeasts and both are very dry with barely any carbonation. I'm assuming the yeast ate so many sugars the liquid is now less heavy than water?

Both sat in primary for over 2 1/2 months.

I'm confused!

-Cheers
John Long

 
Reply With Quote
Old 10-26-2008, 08:42 PM   #2
Parker36
 
Parker36's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Sep 2007
Lesotho
Posts: 4,742
Liked 22 Times on 20 Posts


Readings below 1.00 for meads and cidars aren't unusual. Those two seem really low to me, though. You may want to test your hydrometer by putting it in pure water. Should read 1.00 even

 
Reply With Quote
Old 10-26-2008, 08:42 PM   #3
ChshreCat
 
ChshreCat's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Aug 2008
Camano Island, Washington
Posts: 11,533
Liked 543 Times on 435 Posts


What temp was it when you took your readings?
__________________
"Science + beer = good!"
-Adam Savage

 
Reply With Quote
Old 10-26-2008, 08:45 PM   #4
John Long
Recipes 
 
Jun 2008
Olympia, WA
Posts: 94

Temp was 60 F.

I will test with water now.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 10-26-2008, 08:48 PM   #5
Yooper
Ale's What Cures You!
HBT_ADMIN.png
 
Yooper's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Jun 2006
UP of Michigan, Winter Texan
Posts: 69,762
Liked 8028 Times on 5608 Posts


I think you're reading the hydrometer wrong- I'd be willing to bet that your readings are .985 and .979 respectively. (Hydrometers generally don't go below .990- that's usually where the scale starts.). It's impossible to have the readings be what you posted.

Most of my wines finish dry at .990, as do my meads and ciders. That's actually "dry" and when they are done fermenting, although some will finish as high as .998 or so.
__________________
Broken Leg Brewery
Giving beer a leg to stand on since 2006

 
Reply With Quote
Old 10-26-2008, 08:49 PM   #6
Donasay
Recipes 
 
Oct 2007
Boston
Posts: 1,567
Liked 8 Times on 8 Posts


Quote:
Originally Posted by John Long View Post
Both are fermented using dry wine yeasts and both are very dry with barely any carbonation. I'm assuming the yeast ate so many sugars the liquid is now less heavy than water?

John Long
Alcohol is less heavy than water, and if they have fermented waay down, it is possible to get readings like what you describe. Dry wine yeast can do this depending on what fermentables you started with, the other possibility (very rare) is a gusher bug. How does the stuff taste?
__________________
No matter how rich you are, you can still only drink 16 or 17 liters of beer a day.

Quote:
Originally Posted by quixotic View Post
The true definition of an addiction: not stopping even when a dog is having his way with you.:D
http://www.solutionsinmetal.com/

 
Reply With Quote
Old 10-26-2008, 08:54 PM   #7
Yooper
Ale's What Cures You!
HBT_ADMIN.png
 
Yooper's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Jun 2006
UP of Michigan, Winter Texan
Posts: 69,762
Liked 8028 Times on 5608 Posts


Quote:
Originally Posted by Donasay View Post
Alcohol is less heavy than water, and if they have fermented waay down, it is possible to get readings like what you describe. Dry wine yeast can do this depending on what fermentables you started with, the other possibility (very rare) is a gusher bug. How does the stuff taste?
I have NEVER heard of any wine/cider or mead going under .990. Never. I don't think any wine yeast could do it. Has this actually happened to someone?
__________________
Broken Leg Brewery
Giving beer a leg to stand on since 2006

 
Reply With Quote
Old 10-26-2008, 08:55 PM   #8
jay4e
Recipes 
 
Aug 2008
Posts: 103

.8 does sound pretty low for most yeasts. But basically what is happening, as you suspect, is that the alcohol (less dense than water) is causing your reading to go bellow pure water.

This doesn't happen with beer because wort has a lot more unfermentable sugars and ale/lagger yeast are more picky about what they eat. Grape juice and honey are almost pure simple sugars that the yeast gooble up. And wine yeast will generally atenuate more, ie eat more into the range of complex sugars.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 10-26-2008, 09:01 PM   #9
John Long
Recipes 
 
Jun 2008
Olympia, WA
Posts: 94

My hydrometer reads 60 F water as 0.950.

So my correct hydrometer readings are:

Cider 1.0
Agave Mead: 0.94

 
Reply With Quote
Old 10-26-2008, 09:04 PM   #10
John Long
Recipes 
 
Jun 2008
Olympia, WA
Posts: 94

Quote:
Originally Posted by YooperBrew View Post
I have NEVER heard of any wine/cider or mead going under .990. Never. I don't think any wine yeast could do it. Has this actually happened to someone?
All my temps were over or under 60 F by less than 0.4.

I used 1# of honey and 3# of agave nectar in my mead and I'm sure agave sugars ferment differently than honey. Thats probably why the reading is so low.

And the taste is excellent!!

 
Reply With Quote
Reply
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Hydrometer Readings Random_Guy Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 11 09-14-2009 02:10 PM
Hydrometer readings danbyes Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 9 08-13-2009 02:46 PM
Hydrometer readings daveooph131 Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 2 03-27-2009 03:58 PM
Hydrometer readings. Orfy General Techniques 15 12-14-2005 02:49 PM
hydrometer readings jim81147 General Techniques 2 02-03-2005 09:56 PM


Forum Jump