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Hydrometer

I received my Hydrometer yesterday, along with the three peace thief device. I pulled a sample, and i said, 1.020. My question is, can you get an accurate read if you did not do this before the fermentation process?
Matt

Hydrometers accurately read the density of a liquid, and are not thrown off by the presence of alcohol like a refractometer is. So as long as you used it at the calibration temperature (usually 68F) or applied a correction if it was at some other temperature, then 1.020 is the actual gravity of your beer.
If you wanted to use the hydrometer to determine how much alcohol is present, you need a before and after reading for that.

[quote=“rebuiltcellars”]Hydrometers accurately read the density of a liquid, and are not thrown off by the presence of alcohol like a refractometer is. So as long as you used it at the calibration temperature (usually 68F) or applied a correction if it was at some other temperature, then 1.020 is the actual gravity of your beer.
If you wanted to use the hydrometer to determine how much alcohol is present, you need a before and after reading for that.[/quote]

There is a typing error in this reply message. Calibration temperature for almost all hydrometers sold now is 60°F. Some of the older hudrometers will say 59° on the card inside the hydrometer. The hydrometer should give you a reading of 1.000 at 60° in distilled water. Here is a good link to hydrometer use and a temperature correction chart, and some other good reading.

http://www.howtobrew.com/appendices/appendixA.html

If the beer you brewed was a kit and the volume in your fermentor is correct, the estimated OG for the kit can be used. Kits are usually right on for the recipe OG.

[quote=“flars”][quote=“rebuiltcellars”]Hydrometers accurately read the density of a liquid, and are not thrown off by the presence of alcohol like a refractometer is. So as long as you used it at the calibration temperature (usually 68F) or applied a correction if it was at some other temperature, then 1.020 is the actual gravity of your beer.
If you wanted to use the hydrometer to determine how much alcohol is present, you need a before and after reading for that.[/quote]

There is a typing error in this reply message. Calibration temperature for almost all hydrometers sold now is 60°F. Some of the older hudrometers will say 59° on the card inside the hydrometer. The hydrometer should give you a reading of 1.000 at 60° in distilled water. Here is a good link to hydrometer use and a temperature correction chart, and some other good reading.

http://www.howtobrew.com/appendices/appendixA.html

If the beer you brewed was a kit and the volume in your fermentor is correct, the estimated OG for the kit can be used. Kits are usually right on for the recipe OG.[/quote]

Check the Hydrometer for what your measuring temp should be. Currently the two I have measure at 68, but I have had some in past that measure at 60.

I apologize to rebuiltcellars.
Cheshire_Cat, Thank you for your correction.

Actually, I should apologize for perhaps not keeping up with changes in the US. When I lived there, most were calibrated for 68F. Over here, they are all at 20C (= 68F). Always check the calibration temp, it should be written on the paper slip in the hydrometer.

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