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reading hydrometer


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Up to brewing my 3rd batch of beer from my Coopers Home Brewing kit. Done the larger and draught both good. But for the life of me I cannot understand how to read the hydrometer to work out the alcohol content. Read on a few forums measure before adding yeast and then at the end and divide by 4.9. But how they get readings of 1004 when there is not 1000 on it. When I measured it the other day it was 104 in the brown part. Measured it just now and it is now on 26 which is in the beer start/finish. Still have a few more days to go before bottling. Hydrometer was in kit.

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There are many measurements on the hydrometer. Here are some pics of mine. Water at 20degrees is 1.000, though it's standard practice to omit the period, so it's read as '1000'.


Because of the size of the thing only the last two digits are marked on the majority of the hydrometer.


Here are some shots of mine (I broke the one that came with my kit but this one is nearly identical from memory). I hope they help you in figuring out what yours means.



Here's me trying to get the OG of my Pale Ale but there was too much solid at the bottom of the fermenter so I got way-off readings.


I'd read this as around 1070.



This is my Pale Ale around day three.


I'd read this one as 1027.



This is my Coopers Lager OG before I added the yeast.



I'd read it as 1042



Hope this helps!




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Yeah Edward, Like Chris said, 1000 is represented by 1.000.


I use the equation in the coopers instructions to figure out the alcohol content - First subtract the OG from the FG then divide this by 7.46. If you are bottling add another 0.5 for the priming sugar.


Eg. if your OG was 1042 and your FG was 1010 your alcohol content would be 4.8%

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G'Day Edward,


I'm pretty new myself. Only been doing this a couple of months, but one thing I learnt early on is not to rush the fermentation. I can't believe I'm at the point now where I'm giving homebrew advice, but from what I've learnt, it's a balance between letting your wot settle and clear for a while and trying to keep away infection.


All of the brews I've done since my first, I've let ferment for around two weeks, give or take a day.


Primary fermentation is usually over somewhere between day 4 and 8 (use your hydrometer to check), depending on how I manage the temperature and then that second week is for clearing and settling. You apparently end up with cleaner beer.


So, my advice would be to not rush your brew, but on the other hand why not bottle this one as soon as you can safely do it and then make the same brew again and give it a while longer? The learning is in the drinking and the comparing.


If you click my username you should be able to find some of my old threads - there aren't many. Have a read through them. I learnt HEAPS from these guys.



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