Hydrometer - how to use?

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I'm completely new to home brewing ale, and after reading a pretty
useless book on the subject was compelled to buy a hydrometer.

I then realised I'd need a test jar to use it properly.

Basically is there a dumbass guide to using a hydrometer? I'm
clueless!

I only intend to start brewing with kits and then move up in the
world!

Trooper

Re: Hydrometer - how to use?
Dave Thackeray wrote:
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Put the hydrometer in the tset jar (also called a flask sometimes).
Using a clean, sanitized turkey baster or wine thief, pull some beer
from your fermenter and add it to the flask until the hydrometer
floats.  Look at the line on the hydrometer the beer comes to...that's
your reading.

    ------------->Denny

--
Life begins at 60 - 1.060, that is.

Re: Hydrometer - how to use?
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First, I simply use the tube mine came in as the "jar."  Or you can
buy them.  You can get a turkey baster at "Walmart" and just be sure to
sanitize it before putting it into your beer.

If you brew in buckets, you can sanitize the hydrometer and put it
directly into the bucket.  That's what I did for the longest time (and
often still do).  Just be careful of sanitization and don't breathe into
your bucket.  (Most advise against this these days, however).

When you use it, I think most people give it a little spin and try
to be sure that there are no bubbles on it since they will "lift"
it and distort your reading.  Also realize that the liquid will
curve up where it touches the glass, so carefully read it "level"
with the flat surface of the liquid.  Alan has some good details
in his equipment faq at:
    http://www.bodensatz.com/ I did a search for hydrometer and looked in the equipment FAQ.

Also, http://www.howtobrew.com/ has an Appendix A on hydrometers.



Re: Hydrometer - how to use?
Dave Thackeray wrote:

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I have a thief that has a ball valve at the bottom of a a narrow tube.
The tube fills when inserted into a carboy or bucket. The thief can be
pulled out and then drop in a hydrometer.


Re: Hydrometer - how to use?
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Maybe not the dumbass guide, but everything you ever wanted to know about
hydrometers, but were afraid to ask:
http://www.partyman.se/sg-hydrometer_contents.htm


Re: Hydrometer - how to use?
On Mon, 08 Sep 2003 09:03:14 +0000, Dave Thackeray wrote:

Quoted text here. Click to load it

The hydrometer might have more than one scale printed on it. Mine reads
specific gravity (what you want) but also "potential alcohol by volume"
and "balling". At first, newbie that I am, I found that confusing. Any
tall, thin, clear container you can clean might work as a test jar.

I was scared to pull the top off my fermenter to test specific gravity,
since eeeevil bacteria might get in, so I put a length of heat-shrinkable
tubing (from Radio Shack) on the tip of a turkey baster and shrunk it to
make a long-snouted "wine-thief". I use it to suck the beer to be tested
up through the airlock hole.

You check the specific gravity once before fermentation starts and write
it down for later, then check a few times again when you think it might be
done but aren't sure. When it stops going down, it's done fermenting. The
difference between the two readings can be used to determine alcohol
content.

Karl S.

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