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Proper way to use the Hydrometer?

I got the typical hydrometer that comes bundled with the start up kits you buy, when you first think about homebrewing. You know the drill, 2 buckets, tube, airlock, hydrometer, floating thermometer.
Airlock broke, tubes crappy (vinyl), thermometer - lame.
But this trusty hydrometer, been using it along with beer thief. I always hated how I wasted the wort that I pull with the thief and put into the tall hydrometer holder. I dont like the idea of pouring it back into the fermenter.

But I recently came across a video on ewtube, and this guy was simply putting the sanitzied hydrometer into the fermented bucket, let it float and take the reading? I’ve now starting doing this. Which also makes we wonder, why don’t we just put the hydrometer into the fermenter when we start, and just leave it in there so we can visually see the Gravity reading, at any time.
Has someone else already thought of that??

It would get covered with krausen, which would throw off the readings.

No reason to waste the hydro samples, though - think of them as tiny tasting opportunities!

What if you have multiple batches going at once? Plus you can’t really get an accurate reading that way.

you can add it to you bucket for OG and FG (assuming ALL the krausen has fallen), but nothing in between as krausen would interfere

I feel bad wasting the wort on the OG testing because while that gives good hints of the beer I still don’t like drinking it so I dump it. The FG testing though, once it is a beer I enjoy testing because of the taste test.

What size hydrometer jars are you guys using? A 10" hydrometer test jar doesn’t hold a lot.Some people also use the plastic storage tube your hydrometer came in .

I usually only test two to three times. First to get my OG, once after about 7 days, and once after 10. Big beers maybe another just to be sure its done. (usually my second and third are the same). All in all it’s only 8 to 10 oz. No big deal. :cheers:

You could just switch to a refractometer and use hardly any beer at all.

Who in their right mind pours out a hydrometer sample??!? That’s just crazy talk!

I can tell you the wrong way to use it.
Take the sample, read the hydrometer, tip thief to taste sample. Gravity, hydrometer, front tooth. It’s amazing what seems to make sense before the brain kicks in.

I don’t see it for sale here on this site or else I’d give a link, but the Fermtech wine thief is real nice for hydrometer readings. You just dip the thief to take a sample, then drop your hydrometer in and take a reading right in the thief. You can then drain the thief (from the bottom) into a tasting glass without chipping your tooth (or hydrometer).

I have been questioning this method lately. This is the way I’ve been doing it for years. Can the hydrometer displace the wort correctly in something with such a small diameter? I am wondering if readings are consistant. I bring this up because I spoke with my dad the other day and he was checking a batch and got an unusual reading with the thief method. He couldn’t figure out why he was getting what ever reading he was getting. He then put the hydro in the fermentor and the reading was what he expected. I want to say he said that it was around 20 in the thief and like 14 or 16 in the bucket.

It will if you can keep it centered. So with a thief that’s being held in the hand, probably not.

Also, sometimes I’ve noticed that the hydrometer will stick to the side of my graduated cylinder, and if you don’t notice it will give you an inaccurate reading.

[quote=“BrownsBeers”]Also, sometimes I’ve noticed that the hydrometer will stick to the side of my graduated cylinder, and if you don’t notice it will give you an inaccurate reading.[/quote]I give the hydro a spin, then push it down into the beer so that it shakes off any carbonation sticking to it and keeps spinning until it stabilizes.

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