hydrometer

HomeBrewTalk.com - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Community.

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

alexcider

Active Member
Joined
Jun 4, 2009
Messages
31
Reaction score
0
Location
bristol
hey


i want to buy a hydro meter but im not sure what one to buy there are loads on ebay but i dnot knoe which one is right for the job aswell when can i use it do i have to wait like a mounth then test the cider ?:confused:


which one should i use ?????????????????
 

gregbathurst

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 13, 2009
Messages
1,148
Reaction score
106
Location
Australia
Don't get a cheap one. Proper wine hydrometers come with a certificate to show they have been tested. I recently bought a professional wine hydrometer which is calibrated in beaume, a measure which shows potential alcohol ie 10 degrees beaume = 10% abv if fermented to zero.It cost $38 aussie.
If you don't plan on getting into winemaking in a major way a cheap one is fine because it is the relative readings which matter. the change in the readings shows the progress in the fermentation. You measure before and during fermentation which shows how fast the wine is fermenting, some recipes require you to rack before primary is finished which is around 0 beaume or 1.000 SG.
Most on this forum use Specific Gravity (SG) instead of beaume, a reading of 10 beaume = app 1.074. it doesn't matter too much which you use, its the change that matters.

http://www.labsafety.com/refinfo/ezfacts/ezf117.htm
 

JLem

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 27, 2009
Messages
3,644
Reaction score
185
Location
Attleboro
do you need a jar and can some one explain to me like roughly how to use them plz
Yes, you need a jar - or at least some tall, narrow container that you can put your beer into and float the hydrometer. I use the case that mine came in.

 
OP
A

alexcider

Active Member
Joined
Jun 4, 2009
Messages
31
Reaction score
0
Location
bristol
right so i would fill the jar hing up with my cider then float the hydrometer in it then but on all the ones i have seen have like 900 or like 990 on side how do u work this out for a % for your achoal
 

JLem

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 27, 2009
Messages
3,644
Reaction score
185
Location
Attleboro
right so i would fill the jar hing up with my cider then float the hydrometer in it then but on all the ones i have seen have like 900 or like 990 on side how do u work this out for a % for your achoal
First, you need to make sure you read from the specific gravity scale - the 900 or 990 you are refering to is really 0.900 or 0.990.

To calculate your ABV - you need two readings - an original gravity before fermentation (OG) and a final gravity when fermentation is COMPLETELY done (FG). ABV = (OG - FG)x129

So, if your OG is 1.050 and your FG is 0.990, your ABV = (1.050 - 0.990) x 129 = 7.74%
 

JLem

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 27, 2009
Messages
3,644
Reaction score
185
Location
Attleboro
Oh, I should add that most hydrometers are calibrated for liquids at 60 degrees F. Your hydrometer will indicate the calibration temp. If you measure the specific gravity at a different temp, you need to correct the measurement. Your hydrometer will likely come with a correction chart, but if not you can find them online or use an online correction calculator:

for example - Brewheads.com - Hydrometer Correction Calculator
 

gregbathurst

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 13, 2009
Messages
1,148
Reaction score
106
Location
Australia
First, you need to make sure you read from the specific gravity scale - the 900 or 990 you are refering to is really 0.900 or 0.990.

To calculate your ABV - you need two readings - an original gravity before fermentation (OG) and a final gravity when fermentation is COMPLETELY done (FG). ABV = (OG - FG)x129

So, if your OG is 1.050 and your FG is 0.990, your ABV = (1.050 - 0.990) x 129 = 7.74%
This why baume (Be) hydrometers are popular in the wine industry - they give you a rough indication of the ABV when you start. A reading of 10 Be gives roughly 10% ABV. Also a scale from 0 - 15 Be is much easier to read than SG.
 

gplutt

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 2, 2008
Messages
366
Reaction score
3
Location
Seattle
Buy two, that way you have a spare when you break the first one.
 
OP
A

alexcider

Active Member
Joined
Jun 4, 2009
Messages
31
Reaction score
0
Location
bristol
oh balls i didnt have a hydro meter so i dnot know what my gravity reading is befor is there any way i know how strong it is then
 

gregbathurst

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 13, 2009
Messages
1,148
Reaction score
106
Location
Australia
You can work out a % by letting us know what your recipe is, the amount of sugar and juice and the total volume of liquid will tell you how much alcohol to expect. you c an work it out yourself by getting a book on homebrew or searching these forums.
 

aeonderdonk

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 17, 2009
Messages
311
Reaction score
2
Location
Morrisville, NC
I am still a n00b and don't regularly take hydrometer readings. Do you guys do anything to avoid losing a beer or two by taking readings as frequently as some people suggest?

I've heard of taking readings at:

OG
To see if ready to move to secondardy
To see if ready to bottle
FG

I would think this would lead to losing 1-2 beers.
 

conpewter

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 2, 2007
Messages
5,077
Reaction score
58
Location
East Dundee, Illinois
I am still a n00b and don't regularly take hydrometer readings. Do you guys do anything to avoid losing a beer or two by taking readings as frequently as some people suggest?

I've heard of taking readings at:

OG
To see if ready to move to secondardy
To see if ready to bottle
FG

I would think this would lead to losing 1-2 beers.

Drink it :)

You could also buy a refactometer for those pre fermentation readings. I normally only take OG and FG readings, I know the beer is done after sitting in the primary for 3 weeks. If it is a complex beer (high OG, oaking, adding fruit etc) or if it has had issues with fermenting I'll take a reading before moving it to keg.
 
OP
A

alexcider

Active Member
Joined
Jun 4, 2009
Messages
31
Reaction score
0
Location
bristol
You can work out a % by letting us know what your recipe is, the amount of sugar and juice and the total volume of liquid will tell you how much alcohol to expect. you c an work it out yourself by getting a book on homebrew or searching these forums.



so if i told you that i used 4oz of sugar 3l of appel juice and a table spoon of yeast would u be able to work it out cheers
 

MikeRLynch

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 26, 2006
Messages
888
Reaction score
14
Location
Connecticut
4 oz of sugar in 3 liters isn't much additional sugar. I usually get a 1.050 reading from my apple juice alone, so I would guess the sugar only added a few points to it, maybe somewhere in the 1.053 region. Given that your cider will ferment to almost dry, probably around 1.008, you would end up with a roughly 6% abv cider.
 

munypenny007

Member
Joined
Oct 30, 2011
Messages
8
Reaction score
0
Location
west fairlee
Question about cheap hydrometers...I bought a cheap one ($5.25) triple scale..when I put it in the hydrometer jar with cider it doesn't stand quite straight, which makes it difficult to read. Is this a case of "you get what you pay for"?
 
Top