A good hydrometer is necessary if you want to make beer, wine, or hard cider at home. A hydrometer is essential for professional brewers. Although many people think that a hydrometer is only for alcohol content testing, it can also be used to assess yeast fermentation and measure the sugar content of must (skin or pulp) during winemaking. It can also tell you when the brewing process is complete. A hydrometer is essential for ensuring consistent quality.
Beer brewers often forget to calculate the ABV when they first brew beer. Experts agree that this is a mistake. Although it is easy to use a hydrometer, it can help make your life simpler. There are many brands and types of hydrometers on the market, so you might be confused when choosing one. We have created this review article to help homeowners find the best hydrometers for home brewing.
What is a Hydrometer?
Hydrometers are tools that allow you to determine how much fermentation has occurred in liquids like beer and wine. This is done by measuring the density against pure water to determine how much sugar has dissolved in the beer. A hydrometer will often come with a graduated cylindrical that allows you to pour liquid into the cylinder to measure liquid density.
The hydrometer is usually designed with a narrow stem for density measurement. Below that sits a hollowed, air-tight tube for buoyancy and weight to stabilize the device. This allows you to float the hydrometer in the beer you’ve poured into a test container. The long, thin stem will allow you to measure the amount of water that has settled. It will also have a scale. To calculate the alcohol content, you can take readings before and after fermentation.
Let’s take a look at the available hydrometers. These three types are compatible with beer, cider, wine, and mead up to 22 percent ABV.
Triple Scale Hydrometer
This hydrometer is the most common and the cheapest at $5-15. This hydrometer is multifunctional, measuring specific gravity, Brix/Balling, and potential alcohol. This hydrometer can measure a greater range of specific gravity (0.00-1.1770), so it is suitable for most batches. This also means that readings may be slightly off due to the fact that the device can measure a wider range of numbers.
The thermohydrometer measures temperature and specific gravity. You can have inaccurate readings due to the variability in thermometer calibrations. If you don’t use the same thermometer each time, you run the risk of getting an incorrect reading. The thermometer is built-in will ensure that your temperature remains consistent. Because you get two instruments in one, the price range of $10-15 is very reasonable.
Precision hydrometers measure specific gravity. Numbers are placed on a smaller scale which allows for more precise readings. You may need to purchase two hydrometers depending on the type of brewing you are doing. Some hydrometers are 1.000-1.70 in size, while others are 1.060-1.130 in size. Most other hydrometers range from 0.00 to 1.70. This particular hydrometer can be purchased for $30. However, if accuracy is important to your business, it is well worth the additional investment.
List Of 12 Best Hydrometer For Brewing Reviews
1. Brewer’s Elite Hydrometer
- Although the hydrometer may be simple, the quality is quite impressive for the price. The hydrometer comes with a protective case that keeps it safe. It is not clear how often the cloth will actually be used but it is nice.
- It is slightly longer than an average hydrometer, which makes it easier for you to read. It looks thicker and has better quality than the last one. This option doesn’t include a test jar. It’s an excellent option.
2. Chefast Hydrometer and Test Jar for Wine
- This combo kit will ensure that your alcohol, sugar, gravity, and mead measurements are correct, regardless of whether you’re a beer, wine, mead, or kombucha expert. The hydrometer is easy to use and prevents you from making mistakes that could cause damage to your product. Our extra thick & narrow glass test jar will help you save more of your home-brewed beer while getting the best results every time.
- This essential proofer measures specific gravity from 0.99-1.17, Brix/balling between 0-35 and potential alcohol per volume from 0%-20%. It is easy to read, free from mercury, lead, and other harmful compounds. It’s your environmentally-friendly way to make pinpoint measurements of your homebrew. Please note that the hydrometer is not compatible with maple syrup, moonshine, or any other high-alcohol home distilling beverages.
- We’ve included some handy home-brew tools in this tester kit. The glass tester tube can be cleaned quickly with the cleaning brush. The cloth will keep your hydrometer clean. And the canvas bag will hold everything together so that you don’t have to search for the right component.
- Do you know someone who enjoys brewing their own beer? But they don’t have the right equipment to make accurate measurements. The combo kit is packaged in a beautiful box and could make a great gift. The attractive box organizes everything and keeps it safe until it reaches you.
3. Brewer’s Elite Hydrometer & Test Jar Combo
- This hydrometer will help you make the perfect beer. Brewer’s Elite made this triple-scale hydrometer. It measures specific gravity between 0.99 to 1.16 and alcohol between 0% to 20%, as well as Brix Balling. This hydrometer features helpful color bands that help you identify when your beer has finished the fermentation process.
- This set includes a hydrometer and a 250ml test jar. It also comes with a hard case that will protect your hydrometer. A bag and a brush are included for cleaning. This hydrometer is a must-have piece of kit, and it is of great value.
4. Brewing Hydrometer Alcohol Tester Kit
- American made, N.I.S.T. The Traceable Triple-Scale Hydrometer and & Test Jar Combo – with Cylinder Brush – Specific Gravity Alcohol ABV Tester. This glass tester was designed and manufactured in America by multi-generational American glassblowers. It is suitable for Homebrew Fermented Beverages. All the Elite Brewer Tools that you need!
- Use the best abv tester to get accurate gravity readings. (0.990 – 1.170), Brix/Balling instrument (0-35), and Potential Alcohol (0%-22%). We love home brewing and offer the best quality tools and supplies for wine-making. Our meter makes it easier to see the Brewing America scale. This GLASS Test Cylinder, which is narrow and made of thick, durable lab-grade borosilicate glasses, is of the highest quality.
- Glass test jar designed to reduce the amount of liquid wort, mash, or must be used for hydrometer testing. You can use the only 125ml, instead of the 250ml that most other laboratories require. Waste less, drink (or share) more! SOLID 1 piece THICK Boro 3.3 glass test flask, with bumper guard It is sturdy and stable. BREWERS PREFER Glass Test Jars: As we all know, sanitization plays a key role in alcohol production. Distillers must use glass and not plastic.
5. North Mountain Supply – NMSPT-H Glass Hydrometer
- The proof and trade hydrometer measures the alcohol content in distilled spirits or alcohol with a specific gravity of less than 1.000. The actual alcohol percentage is measured on the trade scale, which has a range from 0-100. The proof scale measures the proof of spirits or distilled alcohol and has a range from 0-200.
- The hydrometer can be calibrated to provide an accurate reading at 60F (15.6C) To use the hydrometer, you need to fill a Test Jar with the sample. The hydrometer can be used with the included tube or you can purchase a Test Jar separately. The hydrometer should be placed in the liquid so that it does not touch the Test jar sides.
- The reading should be taken on the scale located at the top of the liquid. This hydrometer can only give a general indication about alcohol content. Specialized equipment is required to measure alcohol content more precisely.
- This hydrometer can also be used to test pure distilled spirits like whiskey and vodka. It cannot be used with liquors with high sugar content or other ingredients like rum, Kahlua, and Jagermeister as well as cordials and liqueurs.
6. Homebrew Guys Triple Scale Hydrometer Kit
- The Homebrew Guys Triple-Scale Hydrometer Kit is the best option for those who want to brew beer at their home. You can check Amazon. It is versatile as it can be used to calculate the alcohol, potential BRIX, and gravity of the beer, wine, and cider, among other beverages. It can be used for many purposes.
- You also get a test tube and a protective plastic case. The set also includes a guide sheet that provides detailed instructions on how to use the hydrometer. This product is easy to use, and you don’t need any technical knowledge.
- All you have to do is follow the instructions. It’s easy to use, and it is even easy to clean. The ingredients are safe for the user, environment, and flavor of the beverage. This product is safe and sustainable. The test tube is also made from plastic so it can be used for a long period of time.
- It is also a cost-saving option due to its low price. You can also save time with the 3-in-1 tool, which allows you to quickly and accurately calculate all the information you need as an expert.
7. HYDROMETER – ALCOHOL, 0-200 PROOF and Tralle
- Sometimes, all you need to know is the hydrometer. This will allow you to determine specific gravity without having to see through scales and colors. The Home Brew Stuff Hydrometer & Tralle by Bellwether is a good option.
- The hydrometer is easy to use and understand. The scale only has a range of gradations from 0 to 100. The hydrometer is suitable for many alcoholic beverages, including wine and strong spirits like whiskey or brandy.
- The 60°F calibration of the hydrometer may be lost if the beverage temperature is not the same.
- It is important to note that although many winemakers find the hydrometer simple to use, it does not accurately measure low-alcohol beverages such as beer and wine. This should be considered before you decide if it is the right product.
8. The Brew Supply Alcohol Hydrometer and Cylinder
- The kit includes everything you need for measuring your brews. It was very easy to use and we didn’t find any negatives. It’s functional, precise, has a measuring cylinder, and is super easy to use. This hydrometer is also more durable than most. Although the testing vial is made of plastic, it seems strong.
- The storage bag is an excellent addition to ensure everything stays put together. Although we don’t rate things 5 stars, this product was very close.
- You should measure both specific gravity and potential alcohol. You can adjust your reading to correct for temperature since both alcohol and specific gravity are contained in one unit.
- This small device gives you a more precise reading from Midwest Homebrewing. This meter is a basic hydrometer that does not require any additional features. You can add a case, jar, or other items to your hydrometer.
10. Thermo-Hydrometer ABV Tester Triple
- Brewing America offers a thermohydrometer that can be integrated into your hydrometer. This hydrometer was constructed by American glassblowers using lab-grade borosilicate glasses.
- It is durable and well-designed. It can not only take precise gravity readings but can also tell the temperature of your beer, which allows you to keep a consistent temperature during the fermentation period.
- This set also includes a glass test container. It is designed to extract as little liquid from your wort as possible, so you don’t waste beer. A bottle brush is included to clean the test container, as well as a sturdy box to keep your hydrometer safe and a microfiber towel.
- A helpful instruction booklet is included to help you use your hydrometer correctly. This hydrometer set is also made from recycled materials. It is non-toxic, which is another plus.
11. Home Brew Ohio PF-KS8O-08O0 Hydrometer
- Both wine and beer can use Lt. This allows you to track your fermentation process and determine the final product’s alcohol level by taking readings prior to and after fermentation, and comparing them. It also allows you to determine when your beer is ready for bottling.
12. North Mountain Supply – NMSTS-H Glass Triple Scale Hydrometer
- The specific gravity (SG), or sugar content, is a measure of the sweetness of beer and wine. This scale ranges from 0. The scale is between 0. 150 Take an initial reading prior to fermentation, and another after fermentation has ended to determine the alcohol content.
- The potential abv scale is the percentage of potential alcohol in volume. This reading must be taken prior to fermentation. The sugar per Liter gives you the grams per liter. The hydrometer can be calibrated to provide accurate readings when the liquid is at 68F (20C).
- To use the hydrometer, you need to fill a Test Jar with the sample. The hydrometer can be used with the included tube or you can purchase a Test Jar separately. The hydrometer should be placed in the liquid, making sure it is not touching the Test jar. The scale should be placed on the liquid’s surface.
Buying Guide for the Best Hydrometer For Brewing
People brew beer at home in modern times. It is possible to create delicious flavors with the help of many useful and modern equipment. You can make a drink at home that is delicious and enjoyable. This trend is well-known by many brands, which focus on high-quality tools. The best drinkable will be as delicious as the experience. We have some tips to help you make the best product.
A hydrometer is a thin tube of glass with one or more scales on a paper or plastic insert. A larger bulb is below that for buoyancy. To calibrate and balance the instrument, a weighted plug is located at the bottom. It usually contains steel balls. The plug used to be filled with mercury or lead in the past. However, these metals can cause severe health problems and could result in the loss of your drink. Hydrometers that contain mercury or lead have not been found. However, make sure your instrument is safe.
A hydrometer is not complete without a test tube, jar, or another vessel. Most hydrometers require 250 ml (minimum) of liquid. However, some models come with a tube that requires the only 125ml. The latter will reduce the amount of waste you produce by preventing you from returning the sample to your brew.
Because of its clarity, glass is preferable. Plastic can fog up or distort. Some manufacturers offer graduated jars. However, it is easier to read the readings of the hydrometer if the jar is not marked. Tubes can be easily knocked over because they are usually very thin. To protect them from being damaged, some tubes come with a “bumper” ring.
Case and care
Hydrometers that are cheap can be fragile so they don’t come with a case. A hard case, or padded box, is a great addition. You can also add a brush and a cleaning cloth.
The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) traceability/certification is a guarantee that the hydrometer was made to the same standard as a reference product that’s known to be accurate, so the certified instrument has the same level of accuracy.
There are a few digital WiFi hydrometers available now. Many are intended to be part of the brewing equipment and remain in place throughout the entire process. They transmit information wirelessly to a smartphone or tablet, as well as a website. These devices provide detailed information wherever and whenever you want it. These are however expensive so they will not appeal to casual enthusiasts or professionals.
Prepare for the necessary equipment
To ensure a perfect brewing experience, and a delicious finished product, you need to be careful. You will need a stirring spoon, tongs, and a pump. A strainer and funnel are also necessary for fermentation. A consistent temperature hydrometer is also necessary to calculate.
The bottling equipment is crucial in the final step. You can use it with your home-brewing beer kit. For fermentation, keep the product in a dark and dry place. It could take up to 2-4 weeks.
Clean the equipment
Brewing beer at home requires many steps. All of them are crucial. You must ensure that the tools and ingredients are fresh and clean from the beginning. This will ensure that you get the best beer taste and a healthy environment. Before and after each use, clean the product. Next, rinse out all sanitizers.
To prevent bacteria from growing during fermentation, you will need to prepare a sealed container. The kettle must be large and clean.
Pay attention to temperature and time
Brewing beer is a time-consuming process. A thermometer and a timer are two things you may need when making beer. It is important to pay attention from the beginning to temperature and time. 170°F is too high. You need to keep it below 170°F. Beer will go sour if it does.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is specific gravity?
It is the ratio of a substance’s density to that of a standard. It can be used to describe liquids, gases, and solids. It is the ratio of alcohol to water for winemakers and brewers. To calculate the alcohol content (ABV), you can use specific gravity. This is done by measuring before fermentation (original gravity) and after fermentation. ABV = OG-FG /.00753. Although it isn’t scientifically exact, it’s good enough for home brewers.
2. Do I need another hydrometer to distill spirits?
While a beer/wine hydrometer can be used for the initial mash you will need a Proof and Tralles hydrometer to assess alcohol content after distillation. The standard triple-scale hydrometers typically read at 35% alcohol. This is often not enough to handle spirits or liquors. The larger scales are less accurate than those required for winemaking or brewing, so they cannot be interchanged.
When choosing the best hydrometer to use for brewing, the most important thing is its accuracy. We chose the most popular hydrometers because they have great performance.
A hydrometer is a great tool for home brewing. It can accurately calculate ABV, measure sugar content, complete fermentation, and create your favorite brews with greater consistency. A hydrometer allows you to have greater control over the entire process of brewing, which will give you more control over the final product.
These criteria make the Chefast Hydrometer the best wine-hydrometer on the market. This instrument comes in a set that includes a plastic test container, a cleaning brush, and a storage bag. The hydrometer has a triple scale and can be used to grade wine and beer.