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My Hydrometer

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volcano

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I put down a brew yesterday arvo with 1kg dextrose and 500gm of some malt extraxt stuff. Smelled great, and aerated it nicely with the hose.

Let it settle for a while and cool down a tad, then whacked in my hydrometer. It was still kinda frothy, but more towards the edges so I put the old hydro baby in.

My Hydrometer goes up to 1040, and as I put it in, It looked to me to be sitting at exactly 1040. Phew thought I. Made my notes and jotted down my OG.

Today I figured I'd see how she's travelling. Pulled out the hydrometer, sterilised it and took a reading.

It was floating at the max level! :huh:
I think that my OG is higher than I originally calculated.

Obviously (I hope) you can get hydrometers with larger ranges can't you? And other than knowing the OG and FG, is there any other way of measuring ALC%?

Cheers guys.
 
A

Andrew Clark

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Sorry to say Volcano, but I think you have one of those so called BEER hydrometers, there are two types sold in HB shops the BEER ones that are about 6 inches long and range to 1.040 and the WINE and BEER hydrometers that are about 10 inches long and range from less than 1.000 to 1.150. These latter are the best, as most brewers make beer over the 1.040 range the smaller hydrometers are pretty useless.
As far as your brew goes, NEVER EVER take the lid off the fermenter until you are ready to rack or bottle, after 24hrs it is possible and highly probable that your wort has only just begun fermenting and the risk of introducing nasty bugs at this stage is high, if you want to check daily (which is just a waste of beer) do so by getting a sample via the tap. your small hydro probably didn't come with a sample tube but the bigger ones do, so invest if possible in one of them.
I don't take any readings until my airlock has stopped bubbling and that is usually 5 - 7 days after pitching.
Don't woory about your alc level until you bottle thats when the levels are accurate.
Hope this helps
Regards
Andrew
 

volcano

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Thanks Andrew.
The interesting thing is that the manual I have says I can safely open the fermenter up until the 3rd or 4th day.

/me tosses it out the window

And yes, I do have a "Beer Hydrometer". I'll be visiting my local HBS on Saturday so I'll pick up a better Hydrometer from there.

Not that it really matters, but how do you measure the alcohol anyway? I thought it could only be calculated via the OG and FG.

Cheers,

Matt
 

jayse

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volcano
you can work out what your expected o.g would be.i worked it out to around 1.050 in 23 litres.
those hydrometers are only really made to measure the final gravity i never make beer under 40 points.

anyway use 1.050 for your o.g and you'll get close.

the are some calculating the expected gravity threads on the grumpy site i don't want to type them all out again right now.
 

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