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Why are hydrometer so small?

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PenhowBrewer

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The title says it all, really.
is there some physical restriction that determines maximum hydrometer size? Surely it’s just a weight calibrated to float at known level.
For those of us with less than bionic eyesight, it would be so much easier to read the SG off a nice, bright, large hydrometer, which you can just chuck into your FV rather than the usual 8 point font wrapped in a 8mm tube determined to stick to the side of the hydrometer jar?.
 

pgk

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Cost and what the 'chinese?' can get away with and reducing volume of liquid needed for your test jar. As it goes I use a refractometer because I liberated one when i retired - not that it's that easy to read with aging eyesight either. If you are able to spend enough then digital refractometers may meet your needs.
 

kelper

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The thin part has to be small in diameter or else the hydrometer would not be sensitive to small changes in density. But a flat upper part could be wider and have bigger numbers.
 

Cwrw666

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I always just drop my hydrometer in my FV but have to say if it wasn't for the coloured bands on the scale I wouldn't have a clue what it reads. Bless my varifocals - equally blind and distorted vision at all ranges...
 

Brew_DD2

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I still don't know why FG hydrometers aren't a thing here.
 

An Ankoù

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The title says it all, really.
is there some physical restriction that determines maximum hydrometer size? Surely it’s just a weight calibrated to float at known level.
For those of us with less than bionic eyesight, it would be so much easier to read the SG off a nice, bright, large hydrometer, which you can just chuck into your FV rather than the usual 8 point font wrapped in a 8mm tube determined to stick to the side of the hydrometer jar?.
My jaw dropped when I saw this because I had been wondering why they needed to be so big! I never put mine in the fermenter and always usea trial tube. If they were not so big and bulky I would waste less than the 100ml I have to throw away (or drink) at the moment.
Having read all the complaints and woes you guys seem to have with refractometers, I not even interested in going there.
 

PenhowBrewer

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I think I used to have one of these many years ago...


that's the sort of thing I have been looking for, but no-one seems to make these any more.

I have seen a few references to multi-hydrometer sets, each with a limited range, but therefore the graduations are more spread out and so easier to read. Sounds like a faff, though. Having to think how far through the ferment your batch is to determine which hydrometer to use!
 

kelper

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That Boots hydrometer scale runs from 980 to 1150! Each graduation mark is 5 points, so it's even harder to read accurately than a normal hydrometer!
 
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LED_ZEP

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Get a family member who has better eyes to mark a few key points with different coloured permanent markers/Sharpies or enamel paint. If I'm within 3-5 points for an OG reading that's near enough for me. It'll finish where it finishes so just marks around 1.000, .995 and .990 should be enough to see if it's stopped moving for a couple of days for FG
 

Nidger

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I always use my portable phone to make a zoomed picture of my hydrometer measurement. Makes it much easier to determine the value.

I've started doing that in work for part numbers now age is upon me :( :D

When I used to home brew I remember successfully floating the hydrometer in brews but cannot remember any outcomes.
I also remember it bobbing up and lying flat on the liquid haha.
I gave up with them/broke one, although i replaced it, I never used the replacement, still have it and I've bought a trial jar now with intentions of writing dates, brews and readings.

More patience with age I guess.

I'm interested to hear comments as to why my hydrometer wouldn't sink ?
 

Nicks90

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Hangs head in shame, several of my brews haven't even seen a hydrometer.
I know how much grain I put in and what my mash efficiency is. It gets 2 weeks in the fv using the usual yeast and out pops beer!
It'll be 4.5-5.5% and, good enough for me!
 

pgk

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Hangs head in shame, several of my brews haven't even seen a hydrometer.
I know how much grain I put in and what my mash efficiency is. It gets 2 weeks in the fv using the usual yeast and out pops beer!
It'll be 4.5-5.5% and, good enough for me!
As a senile old fart I usually forget to do an OG and it matters not. In practical terms if it's fermenting and stops and the wine tastes dry then it's done.
 

Milesey

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In don’t bother, trying to read the pissing things about wrecks my head

I know once I’ve got brew in me mush wether it’s 4,5% / 5,5 or 6,5
 

MmmBeer

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I ordered a set of 3 hydrometers online, of 1.000 - 1.040, 1.040 - 1.070 and 1.070 - 1.100 ranges. They arrived this week, after about two months (from China obviously) in a wooden box, with a thermometer.
1600405785540.png

I haven't been able to test them yet for accuracy, but even if I do need to apply a 'fudge factor' to the readings, it may be easier than trying to read my Wilko one. For seven quid, I thought it was worth a punt.
 

DJDave

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You can get much larger certified saccharometers but on the down side they are expensive and need a larger jar hence more wastage. On the plus side they are much easier to use than refractometer and accurate. I'm more interested in the OG than the AG - go along with the school of thought that after x days at y temperature and its stopped bubbling it will be finished. But is is nice to know and on some brews you may want to stop fermentation at a certain point rather than let it go to the bitter end

 

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