View Full Version : Sources of Bad S.G. Readings

02-07-2011, 07:42 PM
My batch of step-fed mead I discussed here in an earlier thread has been giving me strange S.G. readings ever since I added in the rest of the honey.

It's all mixed in (meaning I can't see any resting on the bottom) as far as I can tell.

I'm just using the hydrometer right in my 1 gallon growler - is it possible that the large amount of small bubbles rising through the mead are hitting/attaching to the hydrometer and giving me a reading that is lower than what it actually is?

I have been jostling it and spinning it to dislodge any bubbles, but the readings still don't agree with what I was thinking they should be.

02-07-2011, 09:14 PM
What are the SG readings, and what do you think they should be?

02-07-2011, 09:24 PM
Yes, those bubbles can definitely have a negative effect on the quality of your readings. Suggestion: take a small sample out, and measure outside of your fermenter.

Three reasons for this:
1. You can shake the sample to degas it, minimizing the amount of bubbles you have to contend with.
2. You get to drink the sample after you're done taking measurements.
3. If an accident occurs and your hydrometer breaks, you won't contaminate the entire batch.

02-07-2011, 11:10 PM
If it's a 1 gallon batch I wouldn't drink the sample personally, I'd just dump it back in (I do this with all sizes of batches actually), but yes, I find it easier to get proper readings in a smaller container.

02-07-2011, 11:29 PM
I would take a sample out but my wine thief doesn't fit in the neck, and pouring it out is a bit of a pain (not to mention it mixes it with a lot more air than a wine thief does.

My readings are coming up in the 1.095 range, and I'm expecting about 10 points lower than that, at least.

Thanks for the tips. I'll try to pour some out next time.

02-08-2011, 05:05 AM
There are lots of ways to take a sample from a one gallon carboy. Buy a smaller thief, use a turkey baster (bulb type), use a siphon tube...

02-08-2011, 11:50 AM
since i'm doing this on the cheap for now, turkey baster sounds like my best option. I sometimes forget that you can improvise. Thanks

Chevette Girl
02-08-2011, 11:24 PM
If it's not a brand new baster and has actually been used to baste turkeys, I'd recommend running it through a dishwasher to get any grease out of it before you sanitize it... I cheaped out and got a dollar store baster just for winemaking before I got my thief :)

02-09-2011, 02:43 AM
Remember, most hydometers are calibrated to read accurately only a 60 F. This and the gas bubbles are most likely the problem

02-09-2011, 08:42 AM
Hey,i am new here glad to be here with you.....

Really? cos that's so on Topic. I can't wait til the mods find this, delete our posts and blow your registration back to the depths of hell from whence you came. :mad: