Just started a small batch of TC and failed with hydrometer reading

Discussion in 'Wine, Cider, Mead and Kombucha Discussion.' started by FatTony1878, Aug 12, 2019.

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  1. Aug 12, 2019 #1

    FatTony1878

    FatTony1878

    FatTony1878

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    Hi All,

    New to the forum and have a couple of questions regarding a small batch of TC.

    I have just kicked off the following recipe in a 5 litre demijohn
    • 3.5 litres apple juice
    • 300g/ml strawberry coulis (homemade and boiled)
    • 100ml lime cordial
    • 1/2 lemon juice
    • Mug stewed tea
    • 2tsp sweetener
    • 1tsp pectolase
    • 5g wine yeast
    Everything is bubbling away and looking fine but the problem I have is when I went to take my hydrometer reading, it hit the bottom of the demijohn and didn’t give a true reading. Approx 1.050, is this a major issue?

    Also, I was originally aiming for between 7-8% but I don’t think I will have enough sugar content. Am I ok to add sugar tomorrow without ruining it and if so how much?

    Thanks
     
  2. Aug 13, 2019 #2

    Arcs

    Arcs

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    According to the calculator, the best you are going to get is 6.56 % abv at 1.000. Uhm, that's not too bad. You could leave it a bit longer to see if it goes further. Next batch might prove to be better as you have learned from this one. No more sugar. Accept the lesson and move on ;)
     
  3. Aug 13, 2019 #3

    FatTony1878

    FatTony1878

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    Ok cheers for the advice. I’m in no rush so will leave it for min 14 days and see what happens.

    Is the hydrometer hitting the bottom of the demijohn a common thing? Guessing I won’t be able to get a true reading now just an approximate?
     
  4. Aug 14, 2019 #4

    terrym

    terrym

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    As the SG falls the hydrometer sinks, but if you haven't got enough depth to accommodate the hydrometer then it will hit the bottom as presumably you have found out. The solution can be to take a sample (say by using a sanitised turkey baster) and putting the sample into a suitable measuring cylinder also known as as a sample jar (Wilko sell them if you are near one). After the reading most folks drink the sample and don't put it back, i.e. waste not want not. On large beery type volumes that's not a problem, but on a 5 litre brew several samples will deplete the end product, which may be a nuisance. My only other suggestion is to use a refractometer which don't require much liquid at all for a reading but others can comment on that since I dont use one.
     
  5. Aug 14, 2019 #5

    FatTony1878

    FatTony1878

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    I've got the sample jar but didn't think of using a baster (good idea athumb..)

    If I do test a few samples, could I add more apple juice to the brew without ruining it? Presumably it would either turn to alcohol or back sweeten it?
     
  6. Aug 14, 2019 #6

    LED_ZEP

    LED_ZEP

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    There are shorter hydrometers out there, I got one free with some brewing kit I bought but I'm sure you would be able to find one on fleabay. The one I have is ideal for use in D.J.'s and about 2/3 the length of the Wilko one I have, from memory I'm sure it was an eastern European manufactured one.

    As mentioned above I also use a refractometer for quick easy reads to check ferment has stopped.
     

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