A densimeter is a device that is used to measure the density of a solution or liquid. Beer and winemakers commonly use them that the specific gravity allows the brewer to estimate the success of the fermentation process and measure the amount of sugar in the mix. Before each use, a hydrometer must be calibrated. This is a simple procedure where the instrument is allowed to float in a substance of known density, usually water. The specific gravity is recorded, and the measurements are then adjusted accordingly. The guide below describes the steps required for essential density meter calibration.
- Keep a container of distilled water near the liquid you want to test. This ensures that both substances are at approximately the same temperature.
- Pour water into the glass test cylinder until it is ¾.
- Place the hydrometer gently into the water of the test cylinder. As you release the densimeter, please give it a slight twist, rotating inside the bottle. This will eliminate air bubbles attached to the base of the device.
- Check that the densimeter is not in contact with the cylinder walls and is floating without restraint in the water.
- Observe the curve of the forms of water in the container. The water levels on the cylinder walls are higher than the center level. This curve is known as the meniscus.
- Note marking densimeter where it crosses the center of the meniscus or the point of the lowest curve. The water should give a reading of 1000 specific weight.
- Adjust your measurements based on these results. For example, if your water test has given you a reading of 1004, every reading you take that day will have to be subtracted from being accurate. If your water test gave a result of 990, then all other effects of the day should have added.
Tips and Warnings
- A densimeter must be calibrated before each use, as the surrounding atmosphere may affect the accuracy of the reading. If your densimeter also directly measures the sugar content, be sure to note that if readings are given in grams per liter or ounces of sugar per gallon.
- Make sure the test cylinder you buy is large enough to hold your hydrometer easily.