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hydrometer trouble

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Maybe I'm just stupid, but when I tried to take my OG reading, the hydrometer floated so that the wort was below the bottom of the scale, leaving me with no reading.

I spooned some wort into the tube that the hydrometer came in, dropped the hydrometer into the wort, spun it around, and pressed it down.

What am I doing wrong?
 

david_42

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99% chance you didn't stir the wort enough & your sample was mainly extract. Common problem.
 
OP
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i was filling the tube to about 2/3. david_42's probably right... i didn't stir it very much. will that ruin the final product?

one more question... fermentation began at about 10:00pm last night. when is it okay to open the lid to take a peek and take a hydrometer reading?
 

Joker

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Give it a week to do the yeast dance then take a look.
 

ShortSnoutBrewing

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Probably right on not mixing enough. I wasn't totally clear on what you were saying. And yeah, give it a week or so before taking a new reading.
 
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so i brought my hydrometer back to my LHBS and it turns out they sold me the wrong one. i had a liquor hydrometer (which measures liquids with significantly lower SG than beer). i got a new one and it works well.

FG came out to 1.014, a bit higher than the kit's specified 1.010-1.012, but whatever. unfortunately, i can't calculate my ABV since i wasn't able to take an OG reading.
 

Nurmey

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Well, that is one mystery solved. It really helps to have the right equipment for the job! I hope your LHBS was a bit red faced for having given you the wrong item.
 

shafferpilot

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There's no point in a Original Gravity reading with extract brews. If you are using the proper amount of water and carefully scraping every little bit of syrup out of those cans, your OG is a matter of math. The kit instructions give you a range of expected OG. That is quite close enough. Who's gonna give a hoot if your beer is 0.2% more or less alcohol than you thought it was???? Anyways, if you continue to have trouble hitting FG's look at your temperature as that's the most common problem. Also, if you let it sit for another week or two, you'll probably hit the FG anyways. Yeast go crazy in the first two days and get lazy and slow from then on.
 

Joker

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Congrats on the brew and realizing you had the wrong hydrometer so you wouldn't have the same problem again.
 
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