Hydrometer reading question

Homebrew Talk - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Forum

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

Kenpachi Z

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 2, 2021
Messages
60
Reaction score
3
Ok so i took a hydrometer reading on my meads and this is the sp gr section of the hydrometer the first mead reads right on the 50 mark and the second is this ( refer to pic ) so at the risk of asking a stupid question can someone tell me what it means ?
20210610_183029.jpg
 

bracconiere

Jolly Alcoholic
HBT Supporter
Joined
Jan 19, 2018
Messages
13,786
Reaction score
6,346
Location
S.AZ
Read the bottom of the curve at a level reading. Not from the top, not from the bottom, level.

honestly my orginal post i went on, and on about 13,15. settled on 14...

but anyway, i think for a honey wine it's got more fermenting to do, and maybe someone else can chime in on if maybe some nutes would help it?
 

bracconiere

Jolly Alcoholic
HBT Supporter
Joined
Jan 19, 2018
Messages
13,786
Reaction score
6,346
Location
S.AZ
I wrote level as the photo in this thread is from the top.

now i'm getting curious, so always look at it eye level?
but i'm not being helpful, honey is low on food for yeast but 100% fermentable, as far as i know. so it will go to 1.000 or less....i know when i've made cyser, honey and apple juice goes to like 0.995 or so....
 
OP
Kenpachi Z

Kenpachi Z

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 2, 2021
Messages
60
Reaction score
3
SG 1.012. Depending on your OG it may or may not be done. You said the other reading was 50 mark? Was that the Starting (original)Gravity or OG?
You mean the OG the reading i took when i first made it or ? Because this would be the first as in the first time pretty much doing anything first 2 batches of mead as well
 

bracconiere

Jolly Alcoholic
HBT Supporter
Joined
Jan 19, 2018
Messages
13,786
Reaction score
6,346
Location
S.AZ
You mean the OG the reading i took when i first made it or ?

yes, and ethanol has a SG of like 0.78 or something. so when it's in water you can calculate ABV by first reading and last reading, most yeast can only handle 12-14%. why i would be curious about a refrac reading because ethanol, actually raise it and comparing the two will tell you how much alcohol is present....
 
OP
Kenpachi Z

Kenpachi Z

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 2, 2021
Messages
60
Reaction score
3
Refrac ? But yeah i know to take a reading in the begining now but should i do that before or after pitching the yeast ? Wait the refrac do you mean that other meter ? I heard those don't work very well was i told wrong ?
 
OP
Kenpachi Z

Kenpachi Z

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 2, 2021
Messages
60
Reaction score
3
Agreed it should be lower. We don't know how long it's been fermenting either. As they say in Vegas, let er ride!!!!
I've already racked from first to secondary so id say its been a little over 2 months
 

Miraculix

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 4, 2017
Messages
4,193
Reaction score
2,591
Location
Bremen
Refrac ? But yeah i know to take a reading in the begining now but should i do that before or after pitching the yeast ? Wait the refrac do you mean that other meter ? I heard those don't work very well was i told wrong ?
As soon as the year started to produce alcohol, they don't work reliably anymore. Just keep using the hydro and you're good.

First reading is done before pitching the yeast.
 
OP
Kenpachi Z

Kenpachi Z

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 2, 2021
Messages
60
Reaction score
3
Ok thanks ...will do on both .... Another question so i understand this a little better ....so the closer to the top of the hydrometer is the lower the gravity right ? And what's better higher or lower gravity ? Im sure i sound like a greenhorn lol
 
OP
Kenpachi Z

Kenpachi Z

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 2, 2021
Messages
60
Reaction score
3
Also on the hydrometer it has a part that says abv ( alcohol by volume ) why cant you use that to see the alcohol level ?
 

Miraculix

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 4, 2017
Messages
4,193
Reaction score
2,591
Location
Bremen
Also on the hydrometer it has a part that says abv ( alcohol by volume ) why cant you use that to see the alcohol level ?
Because you also have other stuff in solution that affects the gravity, not only alcohol and water. How should the scale know, how much of it?

Ok thanks ...will do on both .... Another question so i understand this a little better ....so the closer to the top of the hydrometer is the lower the gravity right ? And what's better higher or lower gravity ? Im sure i sound like a greenhorn lol
Yes, the deeper the hydrometer dips into the solution, the lower the gravity.

The lower the gravity, the less amount of sugar is in solution. The higher the gravity, the sweeter it tastes.

The yeast will continue to eat all sugars till the alcohol percentage is so high that the yeast cannot take it anymore and goes dormant. From them on, gravity stays stable and additional sugar won't be fermented, then it can be backsweetened, if necessary. Otherwise, the yeast would just eat additional sugars.
 
OP
Kenpachi Z

Kenpachi Z

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 2, 2021
Messages
60
Reaction score
3
Ok wow thank you very much that helped me understand a little better 👍
 
OP
Kenpachi Z

Kenpachi Z

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 2, 2021
Messages
60
Reaction score
3
Im going to try to use black tea as my yeast nutrient this next batch of mead im fixing to make this weekend does anybody know how i should add for 1 gallon of must ?
 
OP
Kenpachi Z

Kenpachi Z

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 2, 2021
Messages
60
Reaction score
3
I'm sorry how much i should add i meant to say ...
 
OP
Kenpachi Z

Kenpachi Z

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 2, 2021
Messages
60
Reaction score
3
Also does anybody have any recommendations for a better yeast nutrient ?
 
OP
Kenpachi Z

Kenpachi Z

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 2, 2021
Messages
60
Reaction score
3
Because you also have other stuff in solution that affects the gravity, not only alcohol and water. How should the scale know, how much of it?



Yes, the deeper the hydrometer dips into the solution, the lower the gravity.

The lower the gravity, the less amount of sugar is in solution. The higher the gravity, the sweeter it tastes.

The yeast will continue to eat all sugars till the alcohol percentage is so high that the yeast cannot take it anymore and goes dormant. From them on, gravity stays stable and additional sugar won't be fermented, then it can be backsweetened, if necessary. Otherwise, the yeast would just eat additional sugars.
So is there a way to tell how much alcohol it has then ?
 

Miraculix

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 4, 2017
Messages
4,193
Reaction score
2,591
Location
Bremen
So is there a way to tell how much alcohol it has then ?
Of course, via math. Google "abv calculator brewers friend" and hack in your starting gravity and your final gravity. The calculator will give you a good estimation. For higher abv brews, above about 9%, you might want to use the alternative formula. Should be pretty straightforward!
 

cajunrph

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Sep 25, 2010
Messages
59
Reaction score
36
Location
Angleton, Texas
Also does anybody have any recommendations for a better yeast nutrient ?
Get ready to go down a rabbit hole. Here is a crash course on nutrients in mead.

 

bernardsmith

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 10, 2012
Messages
5,392
Reaction score
1,835
Location
Saratoga Springs
Refrac ? But yeah i know to take a reading in the begining now but should i do that before or after pitching the yeast ? Wait the refrac do you mean that other meter ? I heard those don't work very well was i told wrong ?
A refractometer is useful for reading the sugar content of fruit, and not useful for measuring the sugar content of a solution that includes alcohol unless you have access to a complex calculator that can compensate for the alcohol. Refractometers use the way light bends when it passes through water to determine how much of some other matter is dissolved in the water (juice is, for all intents and purposes, water + sugar) After you pitch yeast into juice then you have some alcohol and light bends quite differently as it passes through alcohol.
If you are growing fruit and you want to know if they are at the peak of ripeness (because you know how much sugar should be present in the fruit) a refractometer is perfect. If you are a home wine maker looking to know approximately how much sugar you have left in a wine you are fermenting an hydrometer is all you need.
 

Dan O

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Sep 1, 2020
Messages
318
Reaction score
149
Location
HAMPSTEAD
This may help to clear up any confusion about taking readings

 

marc1

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 19, 2010
Messages
673
Reaction score
355
Location
OH
Remember to read any liquid at the meniscus.
Not all hydrometers are calibrated this way. You need to read the directions for that hydrometer, or test it in water and see where it reads 0.000. My hydrometer was made to be read at the top of the meniscus.

 
Last edited:
OP
Kenpachi Z

Kenpachi Z

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 2, 2021
Messages
60
Reaction score
3
Of course, via math. Google "abv calculator brewers friend" and hack in your starting gravity and your final gravity. The calculator will give you a good estimation. For higher abv brews, above about 9%, you might want to use the alternative formula. Should be pretty straightforward!
Awesome ! Thanks
 

Tobor_8thMan

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Feb 15, 2013
Messages
3,297
Reaction score
1,799
Location
Go 97 miles and take a right...
Any grad
Not all hydrometers are calibrated this way. You need to read the directions for that hydrometer, or test it in water and see where it reads 0.000. My hydrometer was made to be read at the top of the meniscus.

I'd like to see that hydrometer.
 

balrog

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Nov 26, 2013
Messages
4,002
Reaction score
3,917
Yeah, unfortunately that hydrometer merely needs an adjustment as the paper inside was not glued at the right place to measure properly 1.000, bottom meniscus, when in distilled water, at the hydrometer's calibration temp.

Even fancy expanded scale hydrometers (aka ones for old folk's eyes like mine) can be off, and that is why kids, we **ALWAYS** calibrate our tools. And every so often, check them.
 

marc1

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 19, 2010
Messages
673
Reaction score
355
Location
OH
Yeah, unfortunately that hydrometer merely needs an adjustment as the paper inside was not glued at the right place to measure properly 1.000, bottom meniscus, when in distilled water, at the hydrometer's calibration temp.

Even fancy expanded scale hydrometers (aka ones for old folk's eyes like mine) can be off, and that is why kids, we **ALWAYS** calibrate our tools. And every so often, check them.
If you read the link I provided, the instructions for the hydrometer say to read from the top. That's how it was calibrated from the factory.
 

Latest posts

Top