A hydrometer is an instrument that can measure specific gravity of liquids or the ratio of density of a liquid to the density of water. It is usually made of glass, and has a cylindrical bulb and a stem weighted with lead shot or mercury to make it float upright.
Hydrometers are mostly used by winemakers and brewers to test samples of their products. They can be used to measure density of liquid before and after the fermentation process. The difference in the readings allows them to ascertain the product’s alcohol percentage.
Want to buy a good hydrometer for your needs. We’ve lined up the best ones available on Amazon. They are reasonably priced and provide accurate readings each time you use them.
Brew Tapper Triple Scale Hydrometer Review
The product is fragile, so you need to buy a few pieces if you have a wine business. It’s very easy to read and use. You can use it to measure potential alcohol, specific gravity and Brix. Its color bands indicate start and finish for beer and wine (Table wines, dessert wines, and beer). It is backed by lifetime replacement guarantee, if found to be inaccurate.
Hydrometer – Alcohol 0 – 200 Proof Review
Its overall height and width is one inch. It may not work for lower alcohol products such as beer or wine.
Brewer’s Elite Hydrometer & Test Jar Combo Review
Its crystal clear fonts are super easy to read. The product is triple scale and comes with full 90 days money back guarantee.
The package comes with extra protective hard case that will keep hydrometer completely safe for years. You also get super soft microfiber cleaning cloth. You can use it to measure potential alcohol, specific gravity and brix.
The manufacturer has included a detailed instruction manual and handy conversion table to easily swap units and to adjust for temperature correction.
E-Z Red SP101 Battery Hydrometer
It also has a unbeatable quality and rugged construction. Also there are no difficult float readings and no temperature tables are required. The wide range of movement of dials makes it super easy to see even small differences between individual cells in a battery. Its small compact design is perfect for use in hard-to-reach places.
Tips For Buying The Best Hydrometer
You have many options when it comes to buying hydrometers. You can choose from among triple scale hydrometers, thermohydrometers and precision hydrometers.
Triple scale hydrometers are the least expensive and multi-functional device that measures specific gravity, and potential alcohol. It measures a wider specific gravity range (0.000-1.165) and can be off a little bit.
The thermohydrometer can measure temperature and specific gravity. Calibrations can vary by device, but it has been built to ensure your temperature is consistent. The benefit of this device is that you get two instruments in one.
The precision hydrometer can measure specific gravity and its numbers are spaced on a smaller scale. This ensure a more accurate reading. However, its’ best to buy few hydrometers depending on your use. Some may measure between 1.000-1.060 and others 1.065-1.180. They are best if more accurate reading is important for you.
Important Things To Consider
Glass can break, especially when you’re dealing with many moving parts. Some hydrometers come with testing jars that do double duty as a case as well. Its best to buy a graduated testing jar if it suits your budget.
These days, you can also buy a “proof and tralle” hydrometer that has been designed for a much higher ABV solutions such as liquors and spirits. It is not suitable for meads, wines and beers.
Some manufactures now use a paper scale inside the glass which can sometimes slip around and may result in inaccurate readings, so make sure you choose one with a plastic insert.
The best hydrometer can be a useful tool that will save you many batches-and headaches- down the road. So, incorporate this device into your process, and all your batches will only continue to get more consistent with time.