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bobdude1

Hydrometer readings...1st time

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Just got done brewing my Patriot Lager/Pale LME and did the Hydro reading. If I'm reading the 3 scales right, here's what I have...

SG-1.34

Brix-10

Alcohol %-5

This is the standard hydro sold by Mr. Beer on their site. 

Do these #'s sound right? 

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If this reading was taken at the end of brewing and before pitching the yeast, then it is your OG (original gravity). To determine ABV you need to measure the SG at the end of fermentation as your FG (final gravity). You then subtract FG from OG and multiply by 105. This will give you a reasonable estimate of ABV.

Normally the SG would have 3 digits after the decimal. I am assuming that your reading is actually 1.034. 5% ABV is in the ballpark for the Patriot Lager with Pale LME.

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Here's a video on how to use a hydrometer:  

You read only one set of numbers, no brix or alcohol.  

An OG of 1.034 for Patriot Lager plus a pale LME is a bit low, should be closer to 1.041.  That's either due to you putting in too much water or reading the hydrometer wrong, but it's nothing to worry about.

When you take your final reading, you then use this formula (docpd is off by a bit):  OG - FG x 131.  So if you get a final reading of 25% of your original (1.0085 - 25% is the expected final), you'd have an ABV of 3.34%.  Mr. Beer refills generally come in light from what they say, then you add the LME packet and get it up some.  Had you got 1.041 you'd likely end up with 4% ABV or just under.  

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Ok. Thanks. The scale has lines, but no numbers, so I could be reading it wrong. But at least I have a general idea of what I'm looking at. 

RickBeer, thanks. That video was very informative. Now, next time I'llI know exactly what i'm looking at. 

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Thanks for correcting the formula, Rick. I use the ABV calculator built into q-brew, and had not remembered the formula correctly.

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