Hydrometer (also called a saccharometer): The simplest and most
important piece of test equipment you can get, this instrument is
used to measure the density of beer wort and wines, as compared to
the density of water. To take a reading, simply take a sample of
your wine or beer and float the hydrometer in it. When there are
sugars present (before fermentation) the hydrometer will float
higher in the more dense liquid. After fermentation, the sugars are
converted to alcohol, so the hydrometer sinks further down. The
difference in these readings allows you to determine the % alcohol
in the finished product. It also helps you determine if the
fermentation is complete. A hydrometer test jar is useful for
holding the sample, and it allows you to see the readings on the
side of the hydrometer. (test jar sold separately)
9 3/4" Long 3/4" Wide
detailed video on using hydrometers click here!
3/30/2016 – Sir I have prepare guava cider in my research Work so how to measure alcohol content of guava cider by use in alcoholmeter ?
Response From Homebrew Heaven: In short, you can't if the cider is already fermented.The way to do it is to measure the specific gravity using a hydrometer (see link provided) before fermentation and then measure it after fermentation. The difference between the two readings will tell you the % alcohol.
6/18/2013 – I'm not sure if it's just coincidence or not, but the last 5 beers I've made (Hard Cider, Stout, Amber, Hef and IPA) have all had a final gravity of 1.012. They've all started at different gravitites...is it possible to have a broken hydrometer? It reads fine when in H20 (1.000), is it just coincidence?
Response From Homebrew Heaven: No, your hydrometer works just fine. The H2O test proves that it can go lower. Your initial readings prove it can go higher. No worries, coincidences!
5/17/2010 – what is your phone number?
Response From Homebrew Heaven: We can be reached at (425) 355-8865Our toll free order number is (800) 850-2739
11/22/2008 – When I was brewing this batch my hydrometer BROKE. So I could not take a first reading. My wort has been ferminting for 6 days(COOPERS EUROPEAN LAGER)I had a bubble every 40 seconds.then I put a space heater by the fermintation bucket, now I get a bubble every 15 to 20 seconds.How do I know when to bottle the beer without the hydrometer?
Response From Homebrew Heaven: The BEST way is with a hydrometer. When your readings are quite low (compared to the original readings), and stable for 2 or 3 days, then you can assume that the malt sugars have been consumed, and converted into alcohol and CO2. You could replace your hydrometer, and then you will know. To me, this is the best option. Anything else is . . .
1/26/2008 – I live about an hour (if traffic is good) from the address on your website. Do you have an actual store or is everything here based solely online?
Response From Homebrew Heaven: Yes, we have an actual brick-and-mortar store in Everett, WA. People actually walk in and buy stuff!Our address is:Homebrew Heaven9121 Evergreen WayEverett, WA 98204Heck, you can actually call us on the phone, too! It's 425-355-8865. A person will actually answer as long as it's business hours!
4/25/2007 – What is the correct equation for determining A.B.V. (alcohol by volume). Do you divide the difference between starting and ending gravity by 8 or by 7.36? I see both numbers in the answers.
Response From Homebrew Heaven: By taking the difference between your starting and ending gravity (in points) you then divide by 7.63 That will get you very close indeed.For example, The OG measured at 1.080, and the beer stopped fermentation with a FG measurement of 1.018. The difference is 62 "points". 62 divided by 7.63 = 8.12% acohol by volume.Another way is . . .
1/11/2007 – Is your Triple Scale Hydrometer also appropriate for use in making sorbet? In searching for a hydrometer for this purpose, I've seen several different types and I'm a bit lost.
Response From Homebrew Heaven: Probably, but it would help to know what kind of readings you are expecting to get with sorbet...specific gravity? in what range?
1/2/2007 – I was planning on buying the alcoholometer for my science fair. I will be testing corn and sugar beet mashes as they ferment to see which will have a higher alcohol content. Should I use an alcoholometer or a hydrometer?
Response From Homebrew Heaven: For testing during fermentation, you need to use a hydrometer. It will tell you the amount of alcohol that WILL be produced, by measuring the density of the fluid (influenced by the amount of sugar) prior to fermentation. An alcoholometer is used for distilled spirits, to check the alcohol concentration after fermentation and distillation. . . .
11/22/2006 – I brewed the Scuttlebutt porter on Saturday. There has been very little activity for four days, just some tiny champagne bubbles in the airlock. I finally opened it up today and stirred. There was sludge on the lid and the sides, but otherwise not much activity. It smells good, but I was wondering if perhaps I got some bad yeast. (I did not . . .
Response From Homebrew Heaven: Hydrometer, hydrometer hydrometer. Take a reading. I'm guessing from your description that it is done fermenting, or nearly so. You probably missed the active part of the fermentation. That would account for the sludge on the lid and sides, as well as the small amount of activity. The way to know that is by taking a hydrometer reading. . . .
11/21/2006 – I was wondering if A Hydrometer has to be in its test tube to be accurate? Think I could lower it gently into my carboy (secondary ferment) and just leave it in there and watch it every day untill time to bottle? (Yeah, I'd have to find a way to get it back out, I know).
Response From Homebrew Heaven: It can be done that way however, if you have a lot of foaming, and that foam stick to the side of the hydrometer, your accuracy will not be so good.
11/5/2006 – I live in Seattle, can I come and pick up the bottles in Everett? Do you have a "brick and mortar" store?
Response From Homebrew Heaven: You sure can. It is literally made of bricks and mortar, in South Everett. Our address is:Homebrew Heaven9121 Evergreen WayEverett, WA 98204425-355-8865Hours are 10am-6:30pm Monday-Friday and 10am-5pm on Saturdaysand 10am-3pm on Sundays
8/18/2006 – I am on my 3rd batch of beer. With my first, the SG estimated and actual(by hydrometer) was pretty much right on. On the 2nd and 3rd I took the reading just AFTER I aerated the hell out of the batch. On both, the measured SG was about .007 less than the estimate. Any thoughts? All those bubbles in the wort causing the readings to be low? . . .
Response From Homebrew Heaven: That probably it, alright. After all, dissolved gases will reduce the specific gravity of a liquid. Just use your pre-oxygenated readings.The most common reason however, is that the volume is actually off...i.e you actually have 5.2 gallons instead of 5.0 Something like that.
8/7/2006 – HOW DO YOU KNOW WHEN BEER IS READY TO BOTTLE? WHAT SHOULD FINAL HYDROMETER READING BE?
Response From Homebrew Heaven: It depends on the starting gravity of the beer. Many different styles of beer, many different starting gravities.As an approximation, it finishes at about 1/4 of the starting gravity "points". For example, if your beer starts at 1.048, then it will finish at approximately 1.012
8/7/2006 – 2 questions, actually. My fourth batch is perking along and it's been five days. I have NO bubbles coming through the airlock and have not had any at all with any of the previous batches. I admit I have been known to take the top off briefly and sniff. There's always definitely been something going on, and all 4 batches have packed enough . . .
Response From Homebrew Heaven: Yes, this indicates that you have a leak in your seal. Try taking a hammer, and rapping it down all the way around. Make sure your airlock has water in it also.Congratulations on your proposals! Civilization was only possible after the invention of good beer. It is capable of moving mountains and winning men's hearts, most certainly.Not . . .
8/1/2006 – I am brewing beer with mashing process.After mashing it is always not possible to convert all starch into sugar. Some starch residuals are also not seperatable. After boiling wort it gives thickness increasing gravity. While calculating Alcohol content how this problem can be overcome?
Response From Homebrew Heaven: It sounds like you have problems with converting starches to sugars. Try adding a little amylase enzyme, and controlling your heat within the required range.To determine your alcohol content, you need to take a reading before fermentation, and another after fermentation. This is the amount of sugar that has been fermented out and converted . . .
7/26/2006 – How can a hydrometer reading help me determine when the fermentation process is complete?
Response From Homebrew Heaven: The process of fermentation can be described as turning sugar into alcohol. The yeast actually do the work, and we take the credit. A hydrometer actually measures the amount of sugar in your wine or beer before you start fermenting it. If you know that, you can take another reading later on, and see if it is all gone (actually, it turns . . .
7/24/2006 – I am looking to make 5 gallons of wine using grape juice. I read elsewhere that the sugar content should be 20%. If I used 5 gallons of juice for my liquid, about how much more sugar should I add? Also, what yeast would you recommend?
Response From Homebrew Heaven: The amount of sugar to add, if any, depends on the sweetness of the juice. You don't necessarily want 20%, either.The best way to determine the sugar content of the juice is by using a hydrometer, or a refractometer before fermentation. You can add sugar if needed at that point. For instance, a hydrometer will tell you the potential alcohol . . .
6/24/2006 – I was fermenting a porter and I tried to use yeast that I had refrigerated for months. It was obviously past it's prime because when I used some yeast activator, it had no reaction. In my desperate attempt to keep the beer going I pitched a dry yeast that was originally with my blond ale kit. The porter was active for 3 days but it was . . .
Response From Homebrew Heaven: Hydrometer hydrometer hydrometer. I must say that word 50 times a day. It is the instrument that will tell you if your beer is fermenting, the alcohol content, and when it is done. The length of time it has been fermenting does not mean ANYthing. You are immediately suspecting a yeast problem, when (probably) there is nothing wrong. Worrying . . .
6/8/2006 – I broke one of your hydrometers in my wine. Other than the glass, are there any harmful chemicals in side the hydrometer, ie lead, mercury etc?
Response From Homebrew Heaven: No. There is nothing harmful there. Just some steel shot, which has been encased in food grade plastic. Just remove it, and any broken glass (it will sink to the bottom) and you will be fine.
6/7/2006 – I will be attempting to make my first batch of "Apple Jack" in a few days. Since I'm freezing out the water, will I be able to use a alcoholometer to test the final product? Also, what should I expect the proof to be?
Response From Homebrew Heaven: No, you will probably not be able to use an alcoholometer to test it due to the residual sugar. Alcoholometers are useful only on distilled spirits. A more useful tool would be a hydrometer, with readings taken before and after fermentation.Proof very much depends on the starting and ending sugars (unknown to me) and how much water is . . .
4/29/2006 – I just bought 3 cans of concentrate(ZINFANDEL) do I still need to add sulfites to it?. it says that it already contains sulfites! are the sulfites added at the begining or after the fermentation? and what instrument do I use to measure the specific gravity? sorry for so many questions but Im totaly new to this field of wine making.
Response From Homebrew Heaven: No, you do not need to add sulfite prior to fermentation. They SHOULD be used after fermentation however, as a stabilizer for your wine just prior to bottling.Specific gravity is measured with a hydrometer. You float the hydrometer in a sample (a hydrometer test jar is useful for this) and a reading is taken along the side of the hydrometer. . . .
4/29/2006 – What information are you looking for from the hydrometer to let you know that your beer is done fermenting? I see everywhere that a hydrometer lets you know when your beer is done fermenting but no info on what reading lets you know that.
Response From Homebrew Heaven: That is because it is different for different beer styles/recipes. The ending specific gravity (SG)reading is given for ALL of our Homebrew Heaven recipe kits.In GENERAL, a beer will have an ending gravity of about 25% of it's starting gravity. Therefor a beer that starts at say, 1.060 will be finished at about 1.015For wines, the . . .
3/14/2006 – i'm making a grape wine I fermented the wine in the fermenter bucket for 5 days the first 2 days i covered it with a cloth then put the lid on and added a airlock and stopper for three more days. then after the 5 days i siphoned the wine into a 5 gallon carboy and added a stopper and airlock is this the right method if not could you give . . .
Response From Homebrew Heaven: It sounds like you are doing fine, except for that hydrometer thing.You see, yeast cells don't care at all how much time has passed, or how long the winemaker has been (patiently) waiting. They just don't. They care about how much sugar is available to them, how much competition there is for that sugar, how many nutrients are available . . .
11/2/2005 – Do hydrometers go bad? Mine reads the same regardless of what liquid you put it in.
Response From Homebrew Heaven: They break, but they do not "go bad". Make sure you have enough liquid in the test jar so that the hydrometer actually FLOATS in it, and you will get a reading.
9/5/2005 – I made a mead, and when I racked it from the plastic fermenter to the glass carboy the fermenting stopped. Is this mead done or do I need to add yeast to get it going again?
Response From Homebrew Heaven: This is what a hydrometer reading will tell you. Can't say without knowing that, and the specifics of the recipe.Typically, adding yeast doesn't help anyway.
5/31/2005 – Do you need a stopper in the hydrometer? if not what is the second one for???
Response From Homebrew Heaven: The stoppers that we put in our kits are for the primary fermenter (small one) and the glass carboy (larger stopper).
3/10/2005 – Another question...I transfer'd from the primary to the carboy, and the instructions say wait until 3 minutes 'tween bubbles before bottling. At this point, day 4 in carboy, I have had ZERO bubbling. Prior to transfer I was at about 2 minutes. What's up with this?
Response From Homebrew Heaven: Sometimes the yeast just get a little "shocked" by the change in their environment. Usually bubbling slowly picks up over the course of a few days. It may not, too...it could be that their work is done. If you see significant clearing over the next few days, that is probably the case.My advice is to take a hydrometer reading to determine . . .
2/1/2005 – Where can I buy the hops to brew the beer? I live in Plainview, Texas....would love to brew my own. But, I need the ingredients to brew it. will buy your equipment, so....where can I buy the goodies to brew it?
Response From Homebrew Heaven: Right here! We have a large selection of hops, yeasts, grains and everything you need in the way of ingredients. Here is a link:A good way to get started is to choose one of our ingredient (recipe) kits. They get you started the right way!
1/26/2005 – i am looking around my town for some buckets that i can use for my fermenting and was just wondering if 5 gallons is big enough or should i go with 6 or 7? also do i need the lids for them and would i need to order anything extra from you like a hydrometer of fermenting stop?
Response From Homebrew Heaven: We have them. Here is a link.For beer, we recommend at least a 6 gallon fermenter to make a 5 gallon batch, and bigger is better. There is usually significant foaming in the primary. Yes, I would get lids. I don't consider a hydrometer "extra", I consider it essential. That's why we put it in our kits.
11/27/2004 – My Dad has made wine for over 50 years, and since he is a chemist, he always tested the sugar and alcohol content at work. Now that he is retired, he just "wings it", and has been coming up with some, shall we say, interesting concoctions. I want to get him some testing gadgets for Xmas, but I know next to nothing about wine making. What would . . .
Response From Homebrew Heaven: The first tool is a hydrometer, and a hydrometer testing jar to use with it. Another useful tool is an acid testing kit. A vinometer is also nice to have. All these tools are inexpensive.
10/28/2004 – Can you tell me how to tell if my brew is done fermenting, using the hydrometer? Thanks!
Response From Homebrew Heaven: Well yes, but it's not as simple as that. If you mean beer, your final reading depends on what your initial reading was. If, for example, your starting gravity was 1.060 then your ending gravity should be close to 1.015. If you mean wine, the ending gravity will (usually) be 1.000 or just a little lower.
10/21/2004 – I have 2 questions. 1) I am currently brewing a batch of traditional honey mead and also hard apple cider. Will this hydrometer work with these two brews? If not, what should I use instead?2) These two batches are small (~1 gallon each) since they are both experiments. Do I need to discard the liquid I pull up and test the S.G. with? . . .
Response From Homebrew Heaven: Yes, this hydrometer will work just fine for both.As long as your hydrometer and hydrometer test jar are sanitized there is no harm in returing the sample to the main batch.
9/28/2004 – Sorry, I was as little vague in my first question. I follow the wine recipe book to a T. If it calls for two pounds of sugar that is what I use. But as you stated in your reply, I should cut back on the sugar to get rid of the strong alcohol taste in the wine. So does this mean that the recipe book isn't gospel when it comes to making wine? . . .
Response From Homebrew Heaven: I have no idea what recipe book, reciope or volume you are using, but I don't know of ANY that are gospel! Depending on what ELSE you used in the recipe, it could be very high in alcohol. Again, I don't know. The BEST way to determine the % alcohol is by taking a hydrometer reading before fermentation. THAT will tell you how much alcohol . . .
9/7/2004 – will this work for wine making?
Response From Homebrew Heaven: Yes; absolutey!
7/7/2004 – Is there a way to measure the alcohol content of wine after it is fermented and aged?
Response From Homebrew Heaven: If it is a dry (not sweet) wine, it can be measured with a vinometer. Here are some links
3/23/2004 – I am a beginning homebrewer and I am trying to determine the Alcohol by Volume of your beer kits. How you you go about using the specific gravities (starting/ending) to determine the alcohol by volume?
Response From Homebrew Heaven: You can approximate the % alcohol by taking the starting gravity and subtracting the ending gravity. You then divide this value by 8.For Example:Start Gravity (OG) = 1.050Ending Gravity (FG) = 1.012Difference in gravity "points" = 3838 divided by 8 = 4.75% alcohol by volumeThis is a handy (easy) way to do it. There are other . . .
1/26/2004 – Will this hydrometer work in testing higher alcohol contents like liqours? Maybe up to 80 or 100 proof?
Response From Homebrew Heaven: No, for that you need an alcoholometer. They are found in our distillation section.
10/24/2003 – I'm making grapefruit wine and after two months I think the wine is almost ready, but how can I be sure?And most important a friend of mine told me to look at the air lock because it would give me all the information I need... ?I can tell you that the water in the airlock is sort of going the other direction and even fills the first . . .
Response From Homebrew Heaven: Use a hydrometer to confirm that it is done fermenting. It should read very close to 1.000 on the specific gravity scale.You friend is not entirely correct. A hydrometer gives the real information. Airlocks only indicate activity. A wine (or beer) can cease activity, but not be done fermenting. Another pretty good "instrument" you have . . .
10/5/2003 – I have a triple scale hydrometer and I've read the instuctions but I'm still not sure how to read it.My must reads1.100,it needs to be racked at 1.040.My question is is that # toward the top of the scale or the bottom?
Response From Homebrew Heaven: As you are looking at the hydrometer, it is on the specific gravity scale (SG), near the top. 1.100 will appear lower on the scale than 1.040 (your hydrometer will not float as high with a reading of 1.040, compared to when it read 1.100).Please note that the product you asking about is a triple scale hydrometer, NOT and alcoholometer. . . .
9/2/2003 – How can you read how much sugar you need on a hydrometer? What is "balling"?One question you answered said before fermentation you had 1.090 and after, you had 1.000-how much sugar was in that?Thanks
Response From Homebrew Heaven: Balling: The name of a density scale for measuring sugar content in water base solutions. Since grape juice is primarily sugar and water, the balling scale was used for a quick and easy "sugar analysis" of juice. The Balling scale contained a slight inaccuracy however, and it was corrected by Dr Brix. Today the Brix scale is in actual use . . .
7/23/2003 – It is not clear that the test jar in included. ("test jar can be used") Is it included? Is is glass?What are the three scales? Is is not clearly stated. Specific Gravity SG, Brix or balling? and Potential Alcohol PA? is this correct?Thank you in Advance
Response From Homebrew Heaven: A test jar is not included with the hydrometer. Some people don't use a test jar, they just float their hydrometer in their primary fermenter.The hydrometer is glass. Normally, test jars are clear plastic.Yes; the scales are for specific gravity, degrees balling and potential alcohol.
6/19/2003 – I have a 3 scale hydrometer, but cant find my instructions.How do i measure the alcohol content of my finished Wine/Beer? And if I need to, how do i calibrate the hydrometer?
Response From Homebrew Heaven: You measure alcohol content by taking a hydrometer reading before fermentation and another after it is finished. The difference (on the potential alcohol scale) is the % alcohol. If you didn't take a reading before fermentation, you will need a vinometer to approximate % alcohol (for dry wines only).If you are using the specific gravity . . .
6/3/2003 – How do you read a hydrometer?
Response From Homebrew Heaven: Very easy! Simply take a sample of your wine or beer and float the hydrometer in it. When there are sugars present (before fermentation) the hydrometer will float higher in the more dense liquid. After fermentation, the sugars are converted to alcohol, so the hydrometer sinks further down. The difference in these readings allows you to determine . . .
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