Author Topic: Trying to read a Hydrometer  (Read 5394 times)

Offline jth138

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Trying to read a Hydrometer
« on: February 03, 2011, 05:42:02 PM »
in a previous post i said i was brewing my first batch, well now i am finished and i don't know how to read this hydrometer.  the paper inside the tube was not very helpful.  can anyone help please?  thanks


http://s1118.photobucket.com/albums/k605/jth138/?action=view&current=gravity2.jpg

http://s1118.photobucket.com/albums/k605/jth138/?action=view&current=gravity2.jpg

http://s1118.photobucket.com/albums/k605/jth138/?action=view&current=gravity3.jpg

Offline jth138

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Offline Tim McManus

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Re: Trying to read a Hydrometer
« Reply #2 on: February 03, 2011, 05:52:40 PM »
1.046
Tim McManus
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Offline kerneldustjacket

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Re: Trying to read a Hydrometer
« Reply #3 on: February 03, 2011, 05:53:10 PM »
Looks like you've got about 1.046 there.

40 is the first number you can see above the liquid level; each line below the 40 is two gravity points.

When reading the hydrometer, you have to ignore the "meniscus," that little bit of liquid that "curves" up the side of the hydrometer, and look at the actual fluid level.        (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meniscus)

From your pic, it looks like the "actual" liquid level is about 3 lines below the 40 line...so 3 lines times 2 equals 6, plus the 40 makes 46. As a specific gravity you state that as "1.046."
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Offline euge

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Re: Trying to read a Hydrometer
« Reply #4 on: February 03, 2011, 05:53:57 PM »
Yup. That or 1.047  ;)
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Offline jamminbrew

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Re: Trying to read a Hydrometer
« Reply #5 on: February 03, 2011, 05:57:43 PM »
Looks like your starting gravity is 1.045, which puts you at 11.2 degrees plato. It also gives you a potential alcohol % by volume of 6 %, but that is only if you ferment back to a 1.000 gravity, which is near impossible with an average beer.  More likely, your final ABV % will be approx. 4 to 4.5 %.  
There's a lot of very knowledgable and experienced brewers on this forum, and I'm sure someone will explain it better than my humble self.
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Offline jth138

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Re: Trying to read a Hydrometer
« Reply #6 on: February 03, 2011, 05:59:33 PM »
that helps a lot thanks for "dumbing" it down for me lol

so then the % side has a like and the first number i can see is 5 and across from that is 10, how do i read that appropriately ?

Offline jamminbrew

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Re: Trying to read a Hydrometer
« Reply #7 on: February 03, 2011, 06:08:01 PM »
 10 is the degrees Plato, and the %5  is your potential alcohol by volume.
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Offline richardt

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Re: Trying to read a Hydrometer
« Reply #8 on: February 03, 2011, 06:17:34 PM »
In "Designing Great Beers" Ray Daniels says:  "(The hydrometer reading should be observed at the top of the small meniscus that forms around the hydometer shaft.)  While this might seem simple, I did it incorrectly for nearly six years!"  (page 14).

The SG looks like 1.045 if you read it that way.

Offline jth138

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Re: Trying to read a Hydrometer
« Reply #9 on: February 03, 2011, 06:22:19 PM »
thanks again, just 2 more questions

the kit said it should have an O.G. of 1.044 and mine is close to 1.046 is this a problem? 

what does the Plato mean? 

thanks again.  i really appreciate your time and knowledge

Offline Tim McManus

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Re: Trying to read a Hydrometer
« Reply #10 on: February 03, 2011, 06:29:10 PM »
You probably have a triple scale hydrometer.  It allows you to measure the gravity of the wort in three different scales.  The one most home brewers use is the one that starts with 1.000 and goes down to the now debated 1.045, 1.046, and 1.047 numbers.

If you are a few points off, don't worry about it.  Many things can affect this number.  For now rest assured that you did everything correctly.  Close enough is good enough.

Plato is another scale to measure things.  Some brewers and wine makers use a Plato scale instead of the gravity scale referenced in your brewing kit.  It's similar to saying that 2.5 centimeters is one inch.  They measure the same length but using two different scales of measurement.
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Offline hokerer

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Re: Trying to read a Hydrometer
« Reply #11 on: February 03, 2011, 06:30:16 PM »
1.044 and 1.046 are so close as to basically make no real noticeable difference.  And Plato is just another scale for measurement.  Think of it as sort of like Fahrenheit and Celsius for temperature (although not exactly equivalent).
Joe

Offline jth138

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Re: Trying to read a Hydrometer
« Reply #12 on: February 03, 2011, 07:01:45 PM »
thanks everyone for the advice/info you have all been a great help.


i gotta say, for a it taking a little while with the boil and everything it went extremely fast! 
i can not wait to taste this ale, and to make many, many more!

Offline bluesman

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Re: Trying to read a Hydrometer
« Reply #13 on: February 03, 2011, 07:12:47 PM »
Looks like it's between 1.045 and 1.046. Probably 1.0455.  ;)

However you may perceive the reading, make sure you read it the same way every time for consistency in reporting your numbers. Plus or minus a point won't make a huge difference.
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Offline oscarvan

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Re: Trying to read a Hydrometer
« Reply #14 on: February 03, 2011, 07:28:20 PM »
1.04583477556

+/- .0000000001

Seriously, anything within .003 to .005 is fine in my book. DWHAHB Let 'er bubble away.
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