Guess I Suck At Using A Hydrometer

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stylus1274

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Alright I have a really dumb question here.

I use hydrometers to do my readings. My typical procedure is I drop it in, wait for the bubbles/foam if any to reside and take my reading. Generally done within a few minutes.

I recently did a sample and walked away for awhile. When I came back it was reading 10 points higher than before. As in it was 1.020 when I came back it went to 1.030.

Am I to assume with the bubbles or whatever is going on that after time the hydrometer is rising naturally?

Or am I doing something completely wrong?
 

IslandLizard

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Gas coming out of solution lifts it up.

Degas your sample first by giving it a good swirl or stir. You could also invert the sample in your hydrometer jar a few times, without the hydrometer in it, of course!

After dropping in the hydrometer, you should spin it to dislodge any bubbles clinging to it, and let it stabilize to take the reading.
 
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stylus1274

stylus1274

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Gas coming out of solution lifts it up.

Degas your sample first by giving it a good swirl or stir. You could also invert the sample in your hydrometer jar a few times, without the hydrometer in it, of course!

After dropping in the hydrometer, you should spin it to dislodge any bubbles clinging to it, and let it stabilize to take the reading.
I do spin. I don't spin or swirl.

But either way I think my initial reading is fine and the hydrometer slowly rising over time is not an indication of my actual reading.
 

bucketnative

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But either way I think my initial reading is fine and the hydrometer slowly rising over time is not an indication of my actual reading.
New bubbles probably nucleated on the surface of the hydrometer in the time you were away.

Also, I'm assuming that your temperature was stable. If you had 100°F wort that was 1.020, and then it cooled to 60°F; it would then read 1.030. But, then you'd have some pretty weak wort.
 
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stylus1274

stylus1274

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New bubbles probably nucleated on the surface of the hydrometer in the time you were away.

Also, I'm assuming that your temperature was stable. If you had 100°F wort that was 1.020, and then it cooled to 60°F; it would then read 1.030. But, then you'd have some pretty weak wort.
Sorry for the confusion. By 'initial' reading I didn't mean when going into the fermenter. I just meant when I did my reading today. The temp is a stable 64.
 

SlitheryDee

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My assumption would be that bubbles formed on the hydrometer in my absence. You could always test that by giving it another spin after leaving it for a while to see if it returns to the prior reading.
 

FloppyKnockers

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But either way I think my initial reading is fine and the hydrometer slowly rising over time is not an indication of my actual reading.
Exactly this.

Here's the scientific explanation of this. Hops naturally have Emulsifying Lionid Vascular Ethane Spectrals, or ELVES. These elves are normally dormant when in whole or pellet form, but when exposed to temperatures above boiling and humidity levels that exceed the dew point the elves then come out of the dormant stage and begin to feed. This activity is at its peak about one hour in boiling liquid. After this stage has been reached, dormancy is rarely obtained again. Even after their temperatures have cooled, their ability to retain a previous emotional state surmounts the latter predisposition. This temper stage is exacerbated by the presence of silica and boron oxide; two ingredients abundant in glass. In fact, the presence of this material only increases the natural 'fight or flight' reaction. So what you are actually witnessing is not a hydrometer floating, but a whole lot of pissed of elves trying to throw that thing out of the wort sample. What is really remarkable is that you've read this whole thing... You, sir have the patience of a monk.
 

Redtab78

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Exactly this.

Here's the scientific explanation of this. Hops naturally have Emulsifying Lionid Vascular Ethane Spectrals, or ELVES. These elves are normally dormant when in whole or pellet form, but when exposed to temperatures above boiling and humidity levels that exceed the dew point the elves then come out of the dormant stage and begin to feed. This activity is at its peak about one hour in boiling liquid. After this stage has been reached, dormancy is rarely obtained again. Even after their temperatures have cooled, their ability to retain a previous emotional state surmounts the latter predisposition. This temper stage is exacerbated by the presence of silica and boron oxide; two ingredients abundant in glass. In fact, the presence of this material only increases the natural 'fight or flight' reaction. So what you are actually witnessing is not a hydrometer floating, but a whole lot of pissed of elves trying to throw that thing out of the wort sample. What is really remarkable is that you've read this whole thing... You, sir have the patience of a monk.
I have to admit, you had me scratching my head wondering what the heck you were talking about:mug:
 

bleme

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It is also possible that your hydrometer is bad. Some hydrometers have the scale printed on a piece of paper, rolled and held in place by some wax. If this wax lost its grip, the paper can slip. Try it in water to make sure it still reads 1.00.
 
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stylus1274

stylus1274

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It is also possible that your hydrometer is bad. Some hydrometers have the scale printed on a piece of paper, rolled and held in place by some wax. If this wax lost its grip, the paper can slip. Try it in water to make sure it still reads 1.00.
My hydrometer is fine. Checked it already :)

Even if it was bad, it would still do what it's doing. It would just mean the numbers are wrong.
 

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