Help?! Hydrometer broke...

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Ballardinho

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Brewing my second batch...an IPA. Unfortunately, as I was sanitizing my gear, my hydrometer broke. Crap!

I certainly won't be able to get an OG reading. Any ideas on what to do?

Thanks!
 

savannahbrew

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Take a sample now.... And test the gravity tomorrow after you buy a new hydrometer the gravity won't change
 

LLBeanJ

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Extract brew? If so, just make sure your liquid volume into the fermenter is correct and your OG should be right on.
 

IslandLizard

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Sorry about your hydrometer. Make sure to visit the broken hydrometer thread and add yours to the count, with its story of demise.

If you're brewing extract it really doesn't matter, as long as your water volume and amount of extract are correct according the the recipe. In that case, the recipe's OG is your OG.

If you have a refractometer you can use that instead.
 
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Ballardinho

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Thanks all.....took a sample and will measure tomorrow after I get a new one.

Cheers.
 

ASantiago

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Consider a refractometer instead. Yes, more expensive, but a heck of a lot less fragile. Also requires much less liquid sample and is more convenient to use.
 

surffisher2a

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Consider a refractometer instead. Yes, more expensive, but a heck of a lot less fragile. Also requires much less liquid sample and is more convenient to use.
I use both, I use the refractometer before fermentation and use the hydrometer once it starts fermenting.
 
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Consider a refractometer instead. Yes, more expensive, but a heck of a lot less fragile. Also requires much less liquid sample and is more convenient to use.

Also not accurate when measuring FG as the presence of alcohol throws off the reading and yes while there are conversion tables out there that will get you close. Just one more thing I need to convert than I feel like doing. I just use a hydrometer. Besides you can't taste the refractometer sample.


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ASantiago

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Also not accurate when measuring FG as the presence of alcohol throws off the reading and yes while there are conversion tables out there that will get you close. Just one more thing I need to convert than I feel like doing. I just use a hydrometer. Besides you can't taste the refractometer sample.


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The inaccuracy claim is incorrect. Yes, readings of fermenting (or FG) beer need to be adjusted using tables or software. But they are just as accurate, if not more, than hydrometers, which are affected by alcohol too. And depending on the temperature of your hydrometer example, you may have to look up the temp-adjusted reading. Also, no flask, no foam to keep you from getting an accurate reading, no spinning the dang thing, and no worrying about it sticking to the sides of the flask. If you want to taste your wort/beer, get a bigger sample. But you don't HAVE TO. And with a refractometer it's a lot easier to take samples at all stages of the brewing process.

Not putting hydrometer use down. I used them for a long time, broke my share of them, and still keep two around as backups.
 

robertus

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If you're brewing extract it really doesn't matter, as long as your water volume and amount of extract are correct according the the recipe. In that case, the recipe's OG is your OG.
This. For the longest time, I was taking an OG reading and patting myself on the back for "nailing it" every time. Thought I had the magic touch ;).
 

KepowOb

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The inaccuracy claim is incorrect. Yes, readings of fermenting (or FG) beer need to be adjusted using tables or software. But they are just as accurate, if not more, than hydrometers, which are affected by alcohol too. And depending on the temperature of your hydrometer example, you may have to look up the temp-adjusted reading. Also, no flask, no foam to keep you from getting an accurate reading, no spinning the dang thing, and no worrying about it sticking to the sides of the flask. If you want to taste your wort/beer, get a bigger sample. But you don't HAVE TO. And with a refractometer it's a lot easier to take samples at all stages of the brewing process.

Not putting hydrometer use down. I used them for a long time, broke my share of them, and still keep two around as backups.

You said that alcohol also effects hydrometers, but isn't that the entire point of them or am I missing something???
 

ASantiago

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You said that alcohol also effects hydrometers, but isn't that the entire point of them or am I missing something???
Say you have 1 liter of water and enough dissolved sugars for that water's gravity to measure 1.040. If you remove .030's worth of sugars from the water without adding anything else, you'll measure a straight 1.010.

But fermentation adds alcohol, which is lighter than water. So when you float the hydrometer to measure FG, you have a liquid that is less dense because of the presence of alcohol, so the reading is slightly less. This leads us to what's known as "Apparent Attenuation", rather than "Actual Attenuation", the latter being a more accurate, but far more involved, measurement. There's a decent reference to this here.

I don't believe the effect is that significant and as homebrewers we deal mostly with approximations anyway, so no big deal. But the effect is there.
 
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Say you have 1 liter of water and enough dissolved sugars for that water's gravity to measure 1.040. If you remove .030's worth of sugars from the water without adding anything else, you'll measure a straight 1.010.



But fermentation adds alcohol, which is lighter than water. So when you float the hydrometer to measure FG, you have a liquid that is less dense because of the presence of alcohol, so the reading is slightly less. This leads us to what's known as "Apparent Attenuation", rather than "Actual Attenuation", the latter being a more accurate, but far more involved, measurement. There's a decent reference to this here.



I don't believe the effect is that significant and as homebrewers we deal mostly with approximations anyway, so no big deal. But the effect is there.

It's really a moot point. I have no argument wether or not a hydrometer also experiences inaccuracies due to the presence of alcohol. I merely pointed out that a) I am just too lazy to have find a calculator and due the conversion from the refractometer, b) that a refractometer does provide false readings with the presence of alcohol, and c) that wether or not there is inaccuracies in the hydrometer reading, their variance is less than that of a refractometer, otherwise the refractometer would be the expected reading and we all would be adjusting our hydrometer reading with a calculator or spreadsheet that would put us in the ballpark of the refractometer reading.


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