How to use alcoholmeters
The alcohol concentration of a distillate is determined by measuring its density using a special hydrometer also known as an alcoholmeter,
The scientific formula to calculate this density is:
Density = ro, Weight = m, Volume = V ro = m / V
Alcohol being less dense than water means that the decrease in density, relative to water, will directly correlate to the volume of alcohol present. If the alcohol solution is greater or less than 20 degree C, the density will be less or greater than the true value.
The distillation and hydrometry method of determining alcohol concentration in distillate is one of the cheapest and simplest to perform with the least chance of errors being introduced.
In order to use an alcoholmeter you can decide on one of two methods:
Method 1: Use a copper parrot spout, which is attached to the existing tube of the condensing recipient. This spout is made to hold an alcoholmeter and provides distiller with alcohol percentage readings with relative ease.
Use a measuring cylinder. First insert the alcoholemeter carefully into the measuring cylinder, while holding the measuring cylinder horizontally, until it touches to bottom of the cylinder. Then carefully fill the cylinder with alcohol until the alcoholmeter floats. Make sure ethere are not bubbles clinging to the alcoholmeter. Leave the alcohol metre for about 10 minutes to let the temperature of the alcoholmeter equalises with that of the liquid.
The reading is taken on the alcoholmetre where it runs level with the liquid surface. Record the temperature of the liquid. Take care that the temperature of room, liquid and instrument is the same. Store test jar, liquid, instrument about 4 hours in the same room you test!
Distillique's alcoholmetres have been calibrated at 20 degree C. If the liquid temperature deviates from this, a correction factor should be used to adjust the reading.
Distillique provides alcohol meters for:
General use: These alcoholmetres have a scale from 0% - 100% with readings in 1% intervals.
Accurate use: Meters with a scale from 30% - 60% which is easier to read
Laboratory use: Each alcohol metre has a range of only 10% alcohol but with reading scales of 0.1% alcohol for taking very accurate readings.