# Hydrometer and specific gravity readings

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#### Candass08

##### New Member
Hello all! This is my first ever attempt to homebrewing cider! I have been letting the apple juice and yeast ferment for two weeks and went to check the specific gravity with my hydrometer. From what I have read there should be at least some alcohol content by now however, it is reading zero. Help!

A brewing hydrometer doesn't read alcohol content, it reads the density of a liquid, with higher density meaning more sugar usually, and lower density meaning less sugar, along with some alcohol (which is even less dense than water).

The alcohol scale on there is mean for before you ferment, it tells you based on the amount of sugar in there, here's about what you can potentially expect for a final alcohol content. Now that it's fermented, your potential alcohol from what's left is 0, because there's no sugar left to ferment.

If you took a gravity reading before hand and can tell us what it read (on any of the scales), we can probably help you calculate what the actual alcohol level is now. If not, tell us what your recipe was (e.g. just plain store bought juice?) and we may be able to at least guess a ballpark number.

well if it's dry, you can figure alcohol with a vintometer(SP?)...or use the combination of a refractometer AND a hydrometer.....

but as rsquared said, the ABV scale on a triple scale hydro, is meant to be taken before pitching yeast, and subtracted from when it's done.....

Ah. It wasn’t until I unboxed the hydrometer that I realized I was supposed to take an initial reading. Some of this may be obvious or erroneous so I’ll include all the steps as this was my first brew and I don’t have a clue, haha.
Recipe:
-2 gal Santa Cruz Organic juice
-warmed one gallon and dissolved 4c brown sugar
-added to each gal jug 1 cinnamon stick, 3 cloves and 10 raisins
-Redistributed warm sugared gal and cool gal 1/2 to each jug
-waited til juice was room temp
- added 1/2 pack cider yeast to each gal and shook for 2 min each
-placed on air locks and shortly after, saw bubbling start

So should I go ahead and bottle? There is no more bubbling and it’s been sitting 2.5 weeks.

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