View Full Version : measuring S.G. in carboy/1 gal jugs ?

12-28-2010, 05:45 PM
My "search-fu" is not very strong but I couldn't find an answer to this question that has been nagging at me for awhile.

Is there any technical reason why I could not measure specific gravity in my 1 gal jug(s) or carboy directly? Meaning not taking a sample, measuring, tossing sample, etc. The hydrometer is just measuring the density of the liquid so the sample tube is just there to hold a small amount of liquid, right ?

I'm asking because I'm doing small 1 gal batches till I get a recipe I like. Taking 3-4oz samples for s.g. quickly reduces the the overall amount left in the jug. If I could place the hydrometer directly in the jug(sanitized of course), I'd save myself some mead. 'Course I haven't yet figured out how I would get it out of the jug ???



12-28-2010, 05:49 PM
You certainly can simply float a hydrometer in your gallon carboy, however early in fermentation you are likely to get CO2 bubbles attaching to the glass wall of the hydrometer, which will cause it to ride a little high and distort your readings, and later on in fermentation, many glass hydrometers are so tall that they can bottom out in your carboy before they sink to a proper level to allow you to read the SG.

Still, if your carboy is relatively tall and narrow, floating a hydrometer in there during the course of fermentation would work.

Welcome to "Gotmead," BTW!!

12-28-2010, 05:55 PM
What I do personally for both small and large batches is to simply make sure I sanitize everything well with iodophor (nice because it's cheap and you don't have to soak or rinse, just dunk whatever, including your hands even, right into it, shake off whatever excess is on your instruments and go to work!) and then I just pour the sample back into the batch - no wastage this way, and I've never had contamination.

12-28-2010, 06:14 PM
Hey Wildbill,

Welcome to Gotmead?

Even if I was making a 15 gallon batch I wouldn't be tossing none of my mead. :eek:

To each his own, just saying. ;D

12-28-2010, 06:23 PM
There are also shorter hydrometers, which are available, which you could float in a gallon jug without bottoming out. Just tie some sanitized dental floss to the top and you are ready to go. The shorter hydrometers are however less accurate than the standard length ones.

12-28-2010, 08:34 PM
I just sanitise everything, that way I can just put the sample back in.

And no, I've not had any infections or other problems either.....



12-28-2010, 09:09 PM
Even if I was making a 15 gallon batch I wouldn't be tossing none of my mead. :eek:

To each his own, just saying. ;D

I use hydrometer readings as an excuse to sample my meads :)

12-28-2010, 11:18 PM
Dental floss....mmmmm May have to try that one.

Yes, taking readings is a good excuse to taste but when you're only doing 1gal, and it takes 3-4 oz to fill the hydrometer tube, well, that begins to add up to a lot of "waste", er, tasting. :o

Will try the sanitize and dump on the next batch and see how that goes.

Thanks for all the help. I'm really looking forward to by mead career.