All hydrometers are calibrated to be accurate at a given temperature. Most newer hydrometers are calibrated for 68 degrees (F). Because the density of fluids changes as their temperature changes if you dont measure your specific gravity at your hydrometers calibration temperature youre going to get an inaccurate reading.
While the correction may be small for a single reading if you dont adjust, it becomes increasingly difficult to compare readings over time. For instance, if you take an original specific gravity reading at 75 degrees (F) and a final reading at 65 degrees (F) you cant compare these readings because the fluid densities are different at the different temperatures. You must correct each of your readings for temperature differences before you can compare them.
Specific Gravity Temperature Correction Calculator
This calculator makes temperature corrections easy to figure out. Be sure to check and see what your hydrometer is calibrated for, while most hydrometers are calibrated to be accurate at 68 degrees (F) / 20 degrees (C) not all of them are.[sc:SGCalc]
The calibration temperature for your hydrometer should be printed on the scale. If its not printed there you can calibrate it yourself by putting your hydrometer in water samples at difference temperatures and seeing when it reads That will be your calibration temperature.
Hydrometer Temperature Correction Calculator
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Measuring gravity with a hydrometer can be affected by temperature, so we recommend using this hydrometer temperature correction calculator to make sure you're recording your gravity accurately!
I frequently find myself taking multiple gravity readings during the brew day and at various stages of fermentation. Save yourself time and make sure your readings are accurate but correctly adjusting to reflect your liquids temperature.
Hydrometer Reading: Place a sample of the liquid to be tested into a hydrometer testing jar, and lower the hydrometer into the sample. Spin thehydrometer to eliminate any air bubbles that might cling to the side of the hydrometer. Once the Hydrometer stops moving, take your first reading from the Specific Gravity (beer) or Brix (wine) scale. In beer making, the first reading is often called the “Original Gravity Reading”, which implies it was taken prior to the onset of fermentation. See Diagram A
Unit: The unit of temperature you are using. Our calculator supports either Fahrenheit or Celsius. Select what one you took the measurement with. Sorry fans of the kelvin unit
Temperature: The temperature reading of your liquid.
Calibration Temperature: Hydrometers are calibrated to be used at a specific temperature. Our standard Triple Scale Hydrometer is calibrated at 68 degrees. If your hydrometer is properly calibrated, it should read when floating in pure water (distilled or reverse osmosis water).
Calculate: Simply hit the "Go" button to perform the Hydrometer Correction Calculation!
Adjusted Value: This field will display the adjusted value calculation. Example if my wort was reading at a temp of degrees Fahrenheit the real "adjusted" reading would be
A hydrometer is one of a brewers most important tools—as least if you want to calculate the alcohol content of your homebrew. A hydrometer is a fairly straightforward tool to use, there are just a few tips you should know to ensure youre getting accurate results.
ABV calculator | Temperature adjustment calculator
How Does It Work? Quick and Dirty Explanation
A hydrometer measures a liquids specific gravity (density compared to water). In brewing, a hydrometer will measure the original sugar density in your wort (original gravity OG or potential alcohol) and then how much sugar is no longer present after the yeast has converted it into alcohol (final gravity FG). With these two readings, you can estimate your beers ABV.
Before we get into anything else, you should be aware of hydrometer calibration and temperature correction. Both of these items need to be addressed for accurate results!
How to Calibrate Your Hydrometer
This is something I failed to do when I first started because I didnt know it was a thing. True hydrometer calibration is basically learning how accurate your hydrometer is, to begin with, and applying that variance for the rest of your brewing life to every reading for the most accurate results. Hydrometers are usually calibrated at either 60°F or 68°F. You can find this number either on your hydrometer or with the instructions.
To calibrate your thermometer:
- Fill the hydrometer tube up to about 2 inches from the top with distilled or reverse osmosis RO water at your hydrometers calibration temp (60°F or 68°F).
- Insert the hydrometer. Give it a spin to shake off any bubbles. Wait for the hydrometer to come to a complete stop and take a reading.
- The hydrometer should read if its perfect. If its higher or lower by a few points, youll need to note the variance. For example, if the reading is , your hydrometer is reading lower by Record this and add to all gravity readings going forward.
Hydrometer Temperature Correction
Depending on the temperature of your wort/beer, you may have to adjust the hydrometer reading to compensate for the temperature. If your hydrometer is calibrated at 68°F and your wort/beer is 68°F, then no correction is necessary. You can do this with math/a chart or you can an online calculator.
Here is a handy temperature adjustment calculator. The calibration field is where you should enter your hydrometers factory calibration temp.
When to Take Original Gravity Reading
I take my OG just before pitching yeast. DO NOT take an OG reading after you have already pitched your yeast. Remember to sanitize anything you put in your fermenter for samples etc. When I first started out I used a turkey baster or glass measuring cup to fill my hydrometer tube. Now I draw off samples from my fermenters spigot which is super handy.
How to Take a Gravity Reading
- Fill the hydrometer tube up to about 2 inches from the top.
- Insert the hydrometer. Give it a spin to shake off any bubbles. Wait for the hydrometer to come to a complete stop (this is also incredibly satisfying).
- Read the hydrometer at the meniscus (the lowest point where the wort intersects the markings).
- Record this number as your OG. Note, most hydrometers are marked in increments of Depending on your recipe, this number will be around
- Adjust gravity reading for temperature if necessary.
Calculating Your Beers ABV
Once you have both your temperature-corrected OG and FG, you can calculate your homebrews ABV. You can use a really simple formula below or once again you can use this ABV calculator to do it for you.
Formula: Final Gravity-Original GravityX=ABV
Hydrometer Temperature Correction
Since hydrometers are calibrated to be accurate at very specific temperatures, it is useful to adjust your hydrometer reading based on the difference between the temperature of your wort and your hydrometers calibrated temperature.
About The Calculator
This formula has been adjusted to accommodate hydrometers with different calibration temperatures. Generally speaking, older hydrometers will be calibrated at 59°F, while newer hydrometers are mostly calibrated to 68°F.
If you are unsure of what temperature your hydrometer is calibrated at, you can generally find this information on the hydrometer itself, its documentation/packaging, or of course checking with the manufacturer.
Hydrometer Temperature Correction Formula
CG = corrected gravity
MG = measured gravity
TR = temperature at time of reading
TC = calibration temperature of hydrometer
CG = MG * (( – * TR + * TR – * TR) / ( – * TC + * TC – * TC))
Recommend Digital Hydrometer
Temperature calculator original gravity
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