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I seem to be actually losing alcohol as the wash ferments!

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  • supasnappahead
    How can this be? I drop in the hydrometer, and it reads 7%. Time goes by, fermentation slows down, I add another 5# bag of sugar and some superfood, next
    Message 1 of 10 , May 31, 2005
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      How can this be? I drop in the hydrometer, and it reads 7%. Time
      goes by, fermentation slows down, I add another 5# bag of sugar and
      some superfood, next morning I check w/hydrometer and it reads 10/11%.
      Great, says I. Later I check again after it's been happily and
      busily bubbling away, and I get an 8% reading, and by nightfall I'm
      back to 7%. It's been bubbling away for another two days after that
      and I'm down to 5%?

      Madness. I don't know what's happening. I imagine it's quite
      possible that I'm a moron and can't read a hydrometer...

      I've been taking the top off my bucket and just dropping the
      hydrometer in the wash to read. It stops bobbing and stays steady at
      5 right now. Actually, just for the hell of it I'll check again.
      6.5%... something's wrong.
    • kale curtis
      Dude i think your reading the wrong part orf the hydrometer u need to know what the origianl gravity of your wash is example 1.140 then when the brew
      Message 2 of 10 , May 31, 2005
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        Dude i think your reading the wrong part orf the hydrometer u need to know what the origianl gravity of your wash is example 1.140 then when the brew finishes it should be down to something under 1.000 if your doin spirits .
        Then what u need do do is calculate the difference between og and fg (original gravity and final gravity) which would be 140 by my example then divide it by 7.36 which would give u an alcohol percentage orf 19 %
        Now im not familiar with the process u used by half fermenting then addin more sugar cos im a spirit brewin noob but i been brewin beer for yonks and can read a hydrometer
        So by my reckoning your og was 1055when u said it was 7%
        then u added sugar and it went up to 1080 and if it is 5%now it would be 1040 gravity can u see what i mean on your hydrometer now ?

        How much sugar have u put in total ?

        And when it finished brewin if it goes under 1.000 or 0%
        9 kg orf sugar should get u roughly 21 percent .

        Good luck m8 u might not be able to work out ur alcohol percentage cos u mucked around with it alot but it should be alright m8

        Happy brewin!
        WATAAAAAAAAAT!

        supasnappahead <supasnappahead@...> wrote:
        How can this be? I drop in the hydrometer, and it reads 7%. Time
        goes by, fermentation slows down, I add another 5# bag of sugar and
        some superfood, next morning I check w/hydrometer and it reads 10/11%.





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      • rocky_creek1
        I imagine it s quite possible that I m a moron and can t read a hydrometer... You are correct in your acessment , sir.
        Message 3 of 10 , May 31, 2005
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          "I imagine it's quite
          possible that I'm a moron and can't read a hydrometer..."

          You are correct in your acessment , sir.






          --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "supasnappahead"
          <supasnappahead@y...> wrote:
          > How can this be? I drop in the hydrometer, and it reads 7%. Time
          > goes by, fermentation slows down, I add another 5# bag of sugar and
          > some superfood, next morning I check w/hydrometer and it reads 10/11%.
          > Great, says I. Later I check again after it's been happily and
          > busily bubbling away, and I get an 8% reading, and by nightfall I'm
          > back to 7%. It's been bubbling away for another two days after that
          > and I'm down to 5%?
          >
          > Madness. I don't know what's happening. I imagine it's quite
          > possible that I'm a moron and can't read a hydrometer...
          >
          > I've been taking the top off my bucket and just dropping the
          > hydrometer in the wash to read. It stops bobbing and stays steady at
          > 5 right now. Actually, just for the hell of it I'll check again.
          > 6.5%... something's wrong.
        • beer_brewin_baker
          ... spelling it kinda lacks impact a bit ! assessment :the act of judging or assessing a person or situation or event; I hate to be a smart arse but he just
          Message 4 of 10 , May 31, 2005
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            --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "rocky_creek1"
            <rocky_creek@d...> wrote:
            > "I imagine it's quite
            > possible that I'm a moron and can't read a hydrometer..."
            >
            > You are correct in your acessment , sir.
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            > Dude if ur gunna bag someone out for naivety check your
            spelling it kinda lacks impact a bit !

            assessment :the act of judging or assessing a person or situation or
            event;

            I hate to be a smart arse but he just needs a little help not
            ridicule!


            > Happy Brewin

            WATAAAAAAAAAAT!
          • popwahtosh
            ... ============================= Throw the hydrometer away and just keep an eye on the wash. When it stops bubbling and looses all it s sweetness, ...run
            Message 5 of 10 , May 31, 2005
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              --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "supasnappahead"
              <supasnappahead@y...> wrote:
              > How can this be? I drop in the hydrometer, and it reads 7%. Time
              > goes by, fermentation slows down, I add another 5# bag of sugar and
              > some superfood, next morning I check w/hydrometer and it reads 10/11%.
              > Great, says I. Later I check again after it's been happily and
              > busily bubbling away, and I get an 8% reading, and by nightfall I'm
              > back to 7%. It's been bubbling away for another two days after that
              > and I'm down to 5%?
              >
              > Madness. I don't know what's happening. I imagine it's quite
              > possible that I'm a moron and can't read a hydrometer...
              >
              > I've been taking the top off my bucket and just dropping the
              > hydrometer in the wash to read. It stops bobbing and stays steady at
              > 5 right now. Actually, just for the hell of it I'll check again.
              > 6.5%... something's wrong.
              =============================

              Throw the hydrometer away and just keep an eye on the wash. When it
              stops bubbling and looses all it's sweetness, ...run it!!!

              Pop
            • w_upnorth
              ... 10/11%. ... If You Have the same type of hydrometer that I do ( A triple scale beer and wine hydrometer) you may be reading the wrong scale. you can only
              Message 6 of 10 , May 31, 2005
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                --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "supasnappahead"
                <supasnappahead@y...> wrote:
                > How can this be? I drop in the hydrometer, and it reads 7%. Time
                > goes by, fermentation slows down, I add another 5# bag of sugar and
                > some superfood, next morning I check w/hydrometer and it reads
                10/11%.
                > Great, says I. Later I check again after it's been happily and
                > busily bubbling away, and I get an 8% reading, and by nightfall I'm
                > back to 7%. It's been bubbling away for another two days after that
                > and I'm down to 5%?
                >
                >
                If You Have the same type of hydrometer that I do ( A triple scale
                beer and wine hydrometer) you may be reading the wrong scale.
                you can only use the potential alcohol scale up to the time it starts
                to ferment. After it starts up the sugar goes from potential alcohol
                to existing alcohol. Ounce this happens it will screw up a hydrometer
                reading, just by the fact that sugar in water raises the density of
                the water and alcohol lowers the density of water there is know way
                of knowing how much alcohol or sugar there is in any solution unless
                you know the starting density, aka specific gravity. Even then it is
                only approximate until all the sugar is used up and then your
                hydrometer will read below 1.000. This is why most people that use
                the hydrometer use the specific gravity scale.
                I hope this helps
                W_upnorth
              • supasnappahead
                ... Yes, thank you Sensei. We have the same triple scale hydrometer, that s for sure. How do I check and see how much booze is actually in the bucket now? I
                Message 7 of 10 , May 31, 2005
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                  --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "w_upnorth" <w_upnorth@y...> wrote:
                  > --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "supasnappahead"
                  > <supasnappahead@y...> wrote:
                  > > How can this be? I drop in the hydrometer, and it reads 7%. Time
                  > > goes by, fermentation slows down, I add another 5# bag of sugar and
                  > > some superfood, next morning I check w/hydrometer and it reads
                  > 10/11%.
                  > > Great, says I. Later I check again after it's been happily and
                  > > busily bubbling away, and I get an 8% reading, and by nightfall I'm
                  > > back to 7%. It's been bubbling away for another two days after that
                  > > and I'm down to 5%?
                  > >
                  > >
                  > If You Have the same type of hydrometer that I do ( A triple scale
                  > beer and wine hydrometer) you may be reading the wrong scale.
                  > you can only use the potential alcohol scale up to the time it starts
                  > to ferment. After it starts up the sugar goes from potential alcohol
                  > to existing alcohol. Ounce this happens it will screw up a hydrometer
                  > reading, just by the fact that sugar in water raises the density of
                  > the water and alcohol lowers the density of water there is know way
                  > of knowing how much alcohol or sugar there is in any solution unless
                  > you know the starting density, aka specific gravity. Even then it is
                  > only approximate until all the sugar is used up and then your
                  > hydrometer will read below 1.000. This is why most people that use
                  > the hydrometer use the specific gravity scale.
                  > I hope this helps
                  > W_upnorth

                  Yes, thank you Sensei. We have the same triple scale hydrometer,
                  that's for sure. How do I check and see how much booze is actually in
                  the bucket now? I know how much sugar is in there and I know how much
                  liquid is in there...
                • Brendan Keith
                  ... Without expensive lab equipment, like a GCMS, you can t. A hydrometer simply measures specific gravity. The gravity of your solution is a result of many
                  Message 8 of 10 , May 31, 2005
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                    > -----Original Message-----
                    > From: new_distillers@yahoogroups.com
                    > [mailto:new_distillers@yahoogroups.com]On Behalf Of supasnappahead
                    > Sent: Tuesday, May 31, 2005 2:47 PM
                    > To: new_distillers@yahoogroups.com
                    > Subject: [new_distillers] Re: I seem to be actually losing alcohol as
                    > the wash ferments!
                    >

                    > Yes, thank you Sensei. We have the same triple scale hydrometer,
                    > that's for sure. How do I check and see how much booze is actually in
                    > the bucket now? I know how much sugar is in there and I know how much
                    > liquid is in there...
                    >

                    Without expensive lab equipment, like a GCMS, you can't.

                    A hydrometer simply measures specific gravity. The gravity of your solution
                    is a result of many factors, water, alcohol, sugar, dirt, etc.

                    You can guess, but it's about worth what you paid for this advice.

                    To me, it doesn't really matter. You can taste the wash and see if it's no
                    longer sweet, so you know it's fermented as far as it will go. You can
                    calculate how much sugar and other fermentables you put in and estimate how
                    much ethanol you'll end up with. And you can distill it as efficiently as
                    possibly and get it all out.

                    Knowing the wash %ABV is more or less pointless. It's like the people I saw
                    in school who said, "OK, I need to score x% on this test in order to keep my
                    average at y%". Well, why not just do the best you can and be satisfied.


                    --
                    Brendan Keith
                    bkeith@...
                  • Lmemarime
                    My alcometer says you can t check the alcohol content of a straight sugar wash with it. Have you tried specific gravity readings and converting from that?
                    Message 9 of 10 , May 31, 2005
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                      My alcometer says you can't check the alcohol content of a straight sugar wash with it.

                      Have you tried specific gravity readings and converting from that? Starting gravity minus current gravity and use calculator on Homedistiller site.

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                    • Tim Lebsanft
                      here here!! what s a hydrometer anyway? ;-) never used one.... 8-)
                      Message 10 of 10 , May 31, 2005
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                        here here!!

                        what's a hydrometer anyway? ;-) never used one.... 8-)


                        >From: "popwahtosh" <popwahtosh@...>
                        >Reply-To: new_distillers@yahoogroups.com
                        >To: new_distillers@yahoogroups.com
                        >Subject: [new_distillers] Re: I seem to be actually losing alcohol as the
                        >wash ferments!
                        >Date: Tue, 31 May 2005 15:37:33 -0000
                        >
                        >
                        >Throw the hydrometer away and just keep an eye on the wash. When it
                        >stops bubbling and looses all it's sweetness, ...run it!!!
                        >
                        >Pop
                        >
                        >
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