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Hydrometer Question

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Mesa512

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Hello. I have a quick question about a hydrometer.

So yesterday I took a hydrometer reading of my brew and it came out to be 1.032. Today I took a reading and I got 1.020. I am confused. I thought that as time progressed the number would be higher. Can someone explain how the reading on the hydrometer related to fermentation and alcohol content.

Thanks
 
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Mesa512

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See that is what I thought, but it doesn't make any sense. Also on my hydrometer there is a measurement for (potential % alcohol by volume). According to that scale my % alcohol went from 5% to ~3%. Is this normal?
 

ArcaneXor

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See that is what I thought, but it doesn't make any sense. Also on my hydrometer there is a measurement for (potential % alcohol by volume). According to that scale my % alcohol went from 5% to ~3%. Is this normal?
yes - the more sugars get converted, the less there is available to be converted into alcohol. Note it's "potential % alcohol" - to get the actual, you have to subtract the final measurement from the original one.
 
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