Testing for ABV

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by Aa_Aa_Ron, Sep 29, 2014.

  1. Aa_Aa_Ron

    Aa_Aa_Ron New Member

    Joined:
    May 24, 2014
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Friendswood, TX
    Are there alternative ways to test the ABV of your finished beer without having your O.G. reading and without expensive equipment? My hydrometer broke just before I took my O.G. reading, ugh. I'm entering this brew into my first home brew competition and I am required to put the ABV on my entry form.
     
  2. Ozarks Mountain Brew

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2012
    Messages:
    7,468
    Likes Received:
    3,625
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    IT Managment
    Location:
    The Ozark Mountains of Missouri
    you can guess off the recipe but the hydrometer is the cheapest way, a home brew shop might help with a Refractometer for the finishing or even a hydrometer and go off the recipe for the starting gravity but no other way I know of
     
  3. Aa_Aa_Ron

    Aa_Aa_Ron New Member

    Joined:
    May 24, 2014
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Friendswood, TX
    That's what I was thinking, take it up to my home brew store for some help. If not I'll just use the recipe ABV. Thanks!
     
  4. nzbrew

    nzbrew Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2014
    Messages:
    117
    Likes Received:
    44
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Was it extract or grain? If it was an extract; and you followed the instructions then the recipe OG will be fine.

    If it was grain then your efficiency will throw a huge unknown into the equation.
     
  5. The Brew Mentor

    The Brew Mentor Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2012
    Messages:
    988
    Likes Received:
    622
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Mentor, Ohio
    Do you have the recipe and the FG? That would help.
    Brian
     
  6. LevanteJim

    LevanteJim New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2014
    Messages:
    27
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Location:
    Downingtown, PA
    A refractometer can't be used to measure final gravity. Once alcohol is introduced, only a hydrometer can be used. Use a refractometer from pre-boil and OG gravity measurements.
     
  7. Hogarthe

    Hogarthe Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2014
    Messages:
    528
    Likes Received:
    264
    Trophy Points:
    63
    there are spreadsheets and things to correct the final gravity reading done with a refractometer, but it isn't always accurate. and different people have come up with different formulas for figuring the correction, so who knows which one is right. so you can use a refractometer for fg, but it isn't the best way.
     
  8. Norwaystout

    Norwaystout Member

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2013
    Messages:
    32
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    6
    If you ever break a hydrometer on a brew day you can always take a sample out and measure it the next day, or bring it into your LHBS. It happened to me before.
     
  9. sbaclimber

    sbaclimber Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2012
    Messages:
    936
    Likes Received:
    422
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Germany
    After breaking my 2nd hydrometer (only one was on brew day) I ordered 2, so I always have a spare. :p
     
  10. Arbe0

    Arbe0 Member

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2012
    Messages:
    100
    Likes Received:
    8
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Aurora , Co
    I have learned my lesson. Always have 2 hydrometers and thermometers, they are cheap and if one breaks I always have one.
     

Share This Page

arrow_white