How to Calibrate Your Hydrometer

So in my last few batches, I’ve been missing my OG and FG by a lot, like 0.006 lot. I haven’t been doing anything different. My mashing temps are where I want them, the boils went fine, seemingly no issues with fermentation (minus the FG issue). I couldn’t figure it out.

I was bottling some beer the other day and I need to clean off my hydrometer. So I rinsed out the graduated cylinder, then on a whim filled it up and dropped the hydrometer in. W-T-F? My tap water was registering 0.994. Holy shit, my hydrometer is inaccurate!

Time to calibrate

If you’re not hitting your numbers either, check your hydrometer. Calibrating is easy.

  1. Tap water can vary a little from 1.000, so get yourself some distilled water from the grocery store.
  2. Make sure it’s at 68 degrees.
  3. Drop in your hydrometer.
  4. Whatever your off, add/subtract from your future readings. For example if in distilled water your reading is 1.003, subtract 0.003 from your wort readings. On the other hand, if it reads 0.998, add 0.002 to your readings.

Now if your numbers are still off, you know that it’s an issue somewhere in the brewing process, not the equipment. Not the best news, but hopefully you’ll be able to hone in, find the issue, and fix it. Godspeed.

(Image via Beeraucratic)

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