To help you out with your exploratory home brewing, we put together a short video covering how to use your hydrometer. The basics are covered, but there are a few more points to keep in mind when you’re using it.
First of all, when do you use one?
– Checking ABV Levels: you should take two measurements at the very least. We’re looking for the decrease in sugars in the beer, so you can’t just take a measurement at the end.
—Measure your SG (specific gravity) after you’ve added the yeast and shaken up your beer.
—Then, measure it again when the beer is done fermenting (a week or so later).
Then you can plug the numbers in into this handy calculator: Brewer’s Friend ABV Calculator and voila, you’ll have your ABV (add an extra 0.1% to compensate for the carbonation sugar).
What if I screw it up?
Fair question, there are a couple things to watch out for:
—The hydrometer can ‘stick’ to the side of the measurement tube, affecting your reading. Test this by tapping the top; it should bob up and down freely.
—Bubbles can stick to the hydrometer, making it float too high. Again, solved by tapping the top of the hydrometer to shake off any big bubbles.
—There’s a whole heap of foam on the surface, and I can’t see anything! This is pretty common, just tap it a few times and let it sit for 10 minutes. Crack a beer and when you’re done, the bubbles should be gone.
Anyways, here’s the video. If you have any questions about brewing with your hydrometer, just reply here.
Happy BrewSmithing! – grab a hydrometer from our shop here