to read a hydrometer
BEFORE you begin fermentation, please take a hydrometer reading. A stable wine has 9 – 14 percent alcohol.
In order to achieve this level of alcohol, the juice or fruit to be fermented must have an adequate sugar level. General conversion of sugar to
alcohol is approximately 58% (0.575%~). A brix of 21 degrees yields around 12% alcohol.
TEMPERATURE ADJUSTMENTS: Most hydrometers are calibrated for a sample of a certain temperature and will give adjustment factors in with their instructions.
Brix test is a measurement of dissolved solids in a juice/wine being tested. Should there be any alcohol in the wine sample, the test would be properly called a Balling. The actual testing procedure is, however, identical.
1. Adjust the temperature required as indicated on the hydrometer stem. If the sample contains any carbon dioxide gas, the gas should be removed by careful agitation.
2. Pour sample into clean and dry hydrometer jar up to about 2 inches from the top. If your jar is not dry, rinse it with some of the juice.
3. Insert clean and dry hydrometer, holding the top of the hydrometer stem in a pendulum effect.
4. Spin the hydrometer in the sample.
5. Read the instrument at the bottom of the meniscus (see illustration above).
6. Retake temperature immediately and make necessary adjustments.
Add or subtract factors in chart from observed readings for given temps.