Alcohol Hydrometer

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The following URL will take you to a web special sale for an
alcohol hydrometer and test jar.  The hydrometer measures both
percentage and proof.

http://www.alcoholcontrols.com/alhyd.html
             Price      Was
            -------   -------  
Hydrometer  $ 29,95   $ 42.95  
Test jar       8.95     12.95
            -------   -------
            $ 38.90   $ 55.90
plus
  shipping

Sounds like a good deal to me.  Anyone ever buy one of these?


Dick
--
Richard D. Adams, CPA
Moderator: misc.taxes.moderated

Re: Alcohol Hydrometer
On Wed, 01 Dec 2004 18:51:50 -0000, rdadams@smart.net (Dick Adams)
wrote:

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Sounds like Spam to me

regular price for a hydrometer and test jar is $6.64  at my usual
outlet

$40+ will buy a lot of beer.

I quit using a hydrometer years ago.   It doesn't really tell you
anything helpful, you risk contamination of the wort . . . what is the
use?  bragging rights?

Re: Alcohol Hydrometer
This is a proof/percentage alcohol hydrometer. Not the same as used for
sugar measurements (density) and is not very accurate.

Stick with a good old specific gravity hydrometer.

Mike



default wrote:

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Re: Alcohol Hydrometer
On Thu, 02 Dec 2004 01:47:48 GMT, MeadMax

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Specific gravity is specific gravity (or density) - the hydrometer is
nothing more than a float with a few lines etched into it.  

It is possible to increase or decrease the resolution depending on its
construction - but there's no real difference in the basic design of
the instrument.  It is "the same" in that respect.

What I'd really like to know is who cares?  and why?  What is the
point of knowing, or (more correctly) believing you know the alcohol
content?


Re: Alcohol Hydrometer


default wrote:

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Well for a commercial operation you HAVE to know for purposes of
labeling information and more importantly tax reporting.

I think most people understand the basics of a 'specific gravity
hydrometer' as used in brewing but those same people may not understand
the difference between the graduations marked on a brix or proof scale
hydrometer.

There are few absolute accurate measures for alcohol by volume and that
is why the (US) government only requires measurements to be accurate to
.5% - 1.5% +- depending on the determined abv/proof

Anyway, if anyone wants a real measurement of 'alcohol' let me know. I
have an Anton Paar Alcolyzer.

http://www.anton-paar.com/ap/apinternet/file/laboratory_density/alcowine_gr.jpg
I only know a little about the subject ;-)


Mike



Re: Alcohol Hydrometer
On Thu, 02 Dec 2004 04:09:21 GMT, MeadMax

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Well OK it has a legal use.  Are you a commercial brewer?

I think if I were looking for toys, a "High Performance Liquid
Chromatograph" would be my first choice.  I could watch the flavor
develop, and the alcohol for that matter.  


Re: Alcohol Hydrometer


default wrote:
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Yes I am a commercial mead maker. I am also a commercial distiller.
I'd love to have a gas chromatograph (my friend at Agilent kees trying
to sell me one).

Mike
http://www.rabbitsfootmeadery.com

Re: Alcohol Hydrometer

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Hello default,

At risk of sounding like a complete idiot; how do you know your fermentation
is complete without the use of a hydrometer ?  And why wouldn't you want to
know the alcohol content of a given beverage ?

Duke




Re: Alcohol Hydrometer

snip
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I'm using two stage fermentation in glass.  Back in the days when I
thought I needed a hydrometer, it was always the same reading (given
the same type and amount of sugar and yeast)  Unless I screw up,
fermentation is more than over in two weeks.  At two weeks and onward,
I check the brew periodically for clarity (with a flashlight through
the carboy).  If it isn't clear in two weeks I give it one more -

One batch in 20 may still be a little cloudy at three weeks - I bottle
it and "archive" it (put it on the bottom of the stack so it gets used
last).

I would want to know the alcohol content - but only if there were no
downside to learning.  To "know" the alcohol content you have to have
an accurate idea of the SG going in - that is almost never accurate in
my setup.  And you still don't know the alcohol - just the SG, from
that you calculate and assume to know the alcohol.  

Once my equipment is sanitized, the yeast is pitched, the wort
aerated, I'm loath to open the fermenter for any reason.  To my way of
thinking that just makes good sense.

If I were using a conical fermenter taking a sample wouldn't risk
contamination and I might do things differently.

Besides, I've done hundreds of batches in 14+ years.  When
fermentation is over it is visible - no airlock bubbles (or one every
10+ minutes), clear liquid, no froth on top, no bubbles on the
surface, etc..

If I had the SG and it wasn't "right,"  I might worry - there's not
like there's much I can do about it.  My goal is a satisfying brew,
the effects of alcohol are secondary to taste.  

From my experience sanitation is important,  ditto good yeast, well
started, good selection of hops, and then careful temperature control.
(mixing and aerating wort are second nature now).  Get the technique
down and good beer is the result.

There are NO hydrometers in the labs - they do use them in the
chemical manufacturing plant - but only as a crude measure.  The
closest thing we have in the labs is an instrument that sends a sample
into a loop of glass tubing and vibrates the tubing, from the
frequency of the vibrating tube they calculate the density of the
liquid.  To measure sugar, we use an instrument that measures optical
rotation (the sugar twists the polarized light passed through the
sample).  To measure alcohol the gas chromatographs, or liquid
chromatographs are probably the accurate ways.  GC measures the
ability of the sample to affect the ions (electrical conductivity) of
a flame or nuclear source detector, LC measures the absorption of a
particular wavelength of light (mostly UV), both measure when (time)
the sample elutes from the column - a sort of resistance to the
movement of certain molecules over others, and the magnitude of the
absorption or ionization voltage.

Experience biases perception.

When all is said and done, a satisfying beer is what it is all about,
not the alcohol content.  

Re: Alcohol Hydrometer
I agree with your Comments, despite the fact some including my self who have
this equipment,
I rarely use it.
A good wine is not based on how much alcohol is within but on the pleasing
properties it presents.

I trust that others have different views...................

Stephen  SG

|
| snip
| >
| >Hello default,
| >
| >At risk of sounding like a complete idiot; how do you know your
fermentation
| >is complete without the use of a hydrometer ?  And why wouldn't you want
to
| >know the alcohol content of a given beverage ?
| >
| >Duke
| >
| >
| I'm using two stage fermentation in glass.  Back in the days when I
| thought I needed a hydrometer, it was always the same reading (given
| the same type and amount of sugar and yeast)  Unless I screw up,
| fermentation is more than over in two weeks.  At two weeks and onward,
| I check the brew periodically for clarity (with a flashlight through
| the carboy).  If it isn't clear in two weeks I give it one more -
|
| One batch in 20 may still be a little cloudy at three weeks - I bottle
| it and "archive" it (put it on the bottom of the stack so it gets used
| last).
|
| I would want to know the alcohol content - but only if there were no
| downside to learning.  To "know" the alcohol content you have to have
| an accurate idea of the SG going in - that is almost never accurate in
| my setup.  And you still don't know the alcohol - just the SG, from
| that you calculate and assume to know the alcohol.
|
| Once my equipment is sanitized, the yeast is pitched, the wort
| aerated, I'm loath to open the fermenter for any reason.  To my way of
| thinking that just makes good sense.
|
| If I were using a conical fermenter taking a sample wouldn't risk
| contamination and I might do things differently.
|
| Besides, I've done hundreds of batches in 14+ years.  When
| fermentation is over it is visible - no airlock bubbles (or one every
| 10+ minutes), clear liquid, no froth on top, no bubbles on the
| surface, etc..
|
| If I had the SG and it wasn't "right,"  I might worry - there's not
| like there's much I can do about it.  My goal is a satisfying brew,
| the effects of alcohol are secondary to taste.
|
| From my experience sanitation is important,  ditto good yeast, well
| started, good selection of hops, and then careful temperature control.
| (mixing and aerating wort are second nature now).  Get the technique
| down and good beer is the result.
|
| There are NO hydrometers in the labs - they do use them in the
| chemical manufacturing plant - but only as a crude measure.  The
| closest thing we have in the labs is an instrument that sends a sample
| into a loop of glass tubing and vibrates the tubing, from the
| frequency of the vibrating tube they calculate the density of the
| liquid.  To measure sugar, we use an instrument that measures optical
| rotation (the sugar twists the polarized light passed through the
| sample).  To measure alcohol the gas chromatographs, or liquid
| chromatographs are probably the accurate ways.  GC measures the
| ability of the sample to affect the ions (electrical conductivity) of
| a flame or nuclear source detector, LC measures the absorption of a
| particular wavelength of light (mostly UV), both measure when (time)
| the sample elutes from the column - a sort of resistance to the
| movement of certain molecules over others, and the magnitude of the
| absorption or ionization voltage.
|
| Experience biases perception.
|
| When all is said and done, a satisfying beer is what it is all about,
| not the alcohol content.



Re: Alcohol Hydrometer
default wrote:
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The only other use I can think of at the moment, is to determine whether
fermentation has ceased. However, knowing all you can about what you've
created might possibly be useful in brewing your next batch. (My cheap
hydrometer has three scales: Specific Gravity, Balling, and Potential
Alcohol by volume.)

Cross-posts removed. If I don't read a newsgroup, I don't post there.

Karl S.
--
And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant.
Matthew 20:27 KJV

Re: Alcohol Hydrometer

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    This is for an ALCOHOL hydrometer, not a water hydrometer. Note that it
reads percentage and proof, NOT specific gravity.
    Bob<><
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Re: Alcohol Hydrometer

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Your statement is incorrect.  The hydrometer isn't specific to
alcohol.  It is an ordinary hydrometer "marked-calibrated" in
percentage and proof instead of just specific gravity.  It can only
measure specific gravity - even if it "reads" in proof.

Sort of like fahrenheit and celsius on a thermometer scale.  No magic
- just numbers.  Instead of going to a chart to convert the SG to
alcohol you read the proof from the float.  (and still correct for
temperature most likely)

But all it really tells you is SG, NOT the alcohol.  

To know alcohol with even a hope of accuracy you'd need to know the SG
of the water (assumed to be "one"), the SG of the wort at starting of
fermentation and the finished beer.

But, basically, what they are selling is a high priced hydrometer with
a scale to make it quick and easy to check for pilferage among the bar
staff.  (and a very inaccurate one if not temperature compensated)



Re: Alcohol Hydrometer
Dick,

That sounds expensive.  Hydrometers are down around $6-7 for a regular
hydrometer.  You can get narrow range hydrometers where you need a set of 3
hydrometers that cover the range that the inexpensive hydrometer covers.
The narrow range hydrometers are probably about $20 each so $60 for a set.
If that is what they are pricing, you do not really need that quality unless
you get real serious.  Even then, I question whether the added accuracy of
the narrow range hydrometers really improve the accuracy of your alcohol
calculation.  There is probably a 0.5 to 1.5% error in the calculation
methods so getting a better SG reading will not improve your estimate.

Ray

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Re: Alcohol Hydrometer
Dick if you have money to give away, there are many who will take it.

The hydrometer is well over priced, and those selling should make a
considerable profit.

As for the Test jar I picked one up some 6 Months ago for less than $.

Stephen SG


| The following URL will take you to a web special sale for an
| alcohol hydrometer and test jar.  The hydrometer measures both
| percentage and proof.
|
| http://www.alcoholcontrols.com/alhyd.html |
|             Price      Was
|            -------   -------
| Hydrometer  $ 29,95   $ 42.95
| Test jar       8.95     12.95
|            -------   -------
|            $ 38.90   $ 55.90
| plus
|  shipping
|
| Sounds like a good deal to me.  Anyone ever buy one of these?
|
|
| Dick
| --
| Richard D. Adams, CPA
| Moderator: misc.taxes.moderated



Re: Alcohol Hydrometer
Quoted text here. Click to load it
I must be some sort of weirdo then, I simply use the plastic tube the
hydrometer came in as a testing jar.  It's tall enough, narrow enough
and free.

Re: Alcohol Hydrometer
My tube was damaged, thus as it was so cheep what the hell.
Some of these hydrometers don't come plastic tubes.

As for you being a crack pot, well only you can judge or those around you.

Stephen  SG

| >
| > As for the Test jar I picked one up some 6 Months ago for less than $.
| >
| I must be some sort of weirdo then, I simply use the plastic tube the
| hydrometer came in as a testing jar.  It's tall enough, narrow enough
| and free.



Re: Alcohol Hydrometer
 
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So are most people -:)

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If you have had it for a year or more and it has not cracked it,
you are one lucky guy.

Dick


Re: Alcohol Hydrometer
25+ years actually, but who is counting, the one I was using was glass.

Stephen  SG


|
| >> As for the Test jar I picked one up some 6 Months ago for less than $.
|
| > I must be some sort of weirdo then.
|
| So are most people -:)
|
| > I simply use the plastic tube the hydrometer came in as a testing jar.
| > It's tall enough, narrow enough and free.
|
| If you have had it for a year or more and it has not cracked it,
| you are one lucky guy.
|
| Dick
|



Re: Alcohol Hydrometer

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    Mine is 25 years old. Works like a charm, and the plastic tube is just
the right size for a good first taste! :-)
    Bob<><
--
"A 90 year old man was arrested and charged with rape.
He was so flattered that he pled guilty. -George Burns-
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