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Hide Your Hydrometer - or at Least Keep it Safe!

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Mothers, it's not your daughters you have to worry about when you see me walking your way. It's your hydrometers that you better hide... or at least put them somewhere safe (stable and away from elbows, auto-siphons, bottling canes, etc.). Chip's Tip for the Day: take care of your hydrometer. In the last year, I have broken four of them. Two of those times they broke before I could even get the reading I needed. Nooooooooooo! This can usually be chalked up to doing too many things at once in too confined a space. My suggestion is to get your wort/wine sample in the test jar, insert the hydrometer, and then PUT IT ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE ROOM while you finish your racking, bottling, moving fermentors. Two of my fallen hydro-soldiers cracked on the floor, one barely hit the wall while in test jar, the other -- well, it's too embarrassing to admit. Let's just say he didn't make it to see the end of that mead he worked so hard to determine the original gravity. While a hydrometer is not the most expensive piece of equipment to replace - five of them in 10 months can get pretty pricey. So do yourself a favor and treat them with care. Get your reading and put it back in that handy plastic tube it came in. Then put it away. I even keep a cotton ball in that tube now so they hydrometer is not at risk of knocking around in there. Learn from my mistakes, dear homebrewers. Cheers, Chip Walton Brewing TV