If you asked a bunch of homebrewers what the main items they need for their hobby what do you think they would say? I suppose the most popular responses would be a fermenter,the ingredients including hops, yeast, malt syrup , and an item known as a hydrometer. So what precisely is a hydrometer anyway? Why ought you to have one and how would you use it?
After looking up my dictionary, I can tell you that a hydrometer is a tool for measuring a liquid’s specific gravity, generally consisting of a calibrated tube weighted so that it floats upright. Well, that does not actually clarify matters, so let’s explain it in more detail.
When you are creating homebrew beer, you’d would need to use a hydrometer to find out how heavy the brew in comparison to normal water (also called the “specific gravity”). The weight of the homebrew is related to what proportion of the sugar in the brew has been used up by the yeast (this is the fermenting process).
So Why do you need to know what your brew’s specific gravity of is? Well, the hydrometer is way of understanding when your brew is wholly fermented. Once this point has been reached, you can bottle your brew and thereafter relish drinking what you’ve created.
So, just how would a homebrewer use a hydrometer? Well, the action is in fact really easy, and learning the method does not require long . In the first place, fill a straight sided jar two-thirds full of water at 60 degrees F (room temperature) and then place the hydrometer in the water and allow it bob around for few seconds, and then stabilize. The reading ought to be about 1.000 . After you have checked this reading, remove the hydrometer from the jar and then dry it out.
The next step is take a different jar and pour in your home brew until it is full. Then place your hydrometer into the liquid, and allow it to balance out, and make a new reading. If Fermentation is still happening the reading will be over 1.015, but is near completion if the hydrometer reads from 1.010 to 1.008.
To assure fermentation has completed, take two readings during 24 hours. When the readings are equal, your homebrew is ready and can be bottled. If your reading is not consistent, then the process of fermentation is still going on.
Quick tips: Always ensure that your jars, and hydrometer, are both clean & dry before you use them to make sure that a proper reading is taken. If your homebrew has any froth then pour the liquid into a glass, and then into the jar again, until they have subsided. Finally, always ensure that your hydrometer does not touch edges of your ar before taking readings.
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