Gravity measurement equipment

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sampsonh

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Is there any consensus on the best way to measure OG? I have 2 cheapish hydrometers and a refractometer (also inexpensive) and I regularly get different measurements from all three! Not massively different but it would be nice to have more certainty.

I find hydrometers easiest to use so if anyone can recommend a great one that would be ace.

Harry
 

Gagunga

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I use a glass hydrometer and it's pretty spot on. Make sure to give it a spin when you drop it in to keep it from sticking to the side or having bubbles attach to it. Also check it's calibration often. I check mine every brew day since there's a lot of downtime between steps. Also don't forget to factor in temperature differences. Hydrometers are calibrated at specific temperatures (usually 60F). Any temp above that you have to calculate for the difference. GL!
 

myndflyte

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I think you're going to start driving yourself crazy using 3 different things to check gravity because each will be a little different. And which one is the most correct is anyone's guess because you have no concrete number to compare it to. So I suggest just picking one of them and using them consistently that way you are at least being consistent between batches.
 

kh54s10

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I think you're going to start driving yourself crazy using 3 different things to check gravity because each will be a little different. And which one is the most correct is anyone's guess because you have no concrete number to compare it to. So I suggest just picking one of them and using them consistently that way you are at least being consistent between batches.

I too would pick just one. I would get some distilled water, get it to the calibration temperature for the hydrometers and check each one. If any don't read 1.000, don't use that one.
 

bucketnative

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I think you're going to start driving yourself crazy using 3 different things to check gravity because each will be a little different. And which one is the most correct is anyone's guess because you have no concrete number to compare it to. So I suggest just picking one of them and using them consistently that way you are at least being consistent between batches.

You could easily make a set of standard sugar solutions with known gravities and use them to compare performance. Then you know which one is most correct without guessing.
 

LarMoeCur

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All measuring equipment needs calibrating. Put all three into some distilled water. Write down what they read. Then you will know if they are +.003 or -.005. Once you know their variance technically they all read the same after you do the math.

Hydrometers need to be checked they are notorious for being off. Some way off! They are also very temperature sensitive. Temperature corrections must me made getting 168f sample wort down to 60f to accurately test sucks. You will always need to take a sample right at a critical brew point.

Refractometer is by far the easiest to use. Especially, during the brewing process when everything is hot! Second degree burn is not fun. Once you add alcohol to the mix then it gets a little wonky but with brewing software just plug in the numbers and done. They are about the same price as a hydrometer and sample tube. They also need to be calibrated but unlike a hydrometer you can zero them out.
 
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