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If you plan to brew beer yourself, a hydrometer is an essential tool. The purpose of this tool is to show the gradation in which the yeast in your beer is converting sugar into ethanol. Finally, the instrument will help you judge the success of the fermentation process.
What is a Hydrometer
A hydrometer is otherwise called an aerometer. It is a tool that will aid in measuring the relative thickness of any liquid. It works based on the buoyancy concept. It’s fairly easy to learn how to use a hydrometer for brewing beer.
Types of Hydrometers
Before getting into hydrometer reviews of the top choices available, it is better to understand its types.
Triple Scale Hydrometers
A triple-scale hydrometer is the most affordable option among other types. It is a multi-functional device that will help with evaluating specific gravity.
- Most affordable option of all
- Multi-functional device
- Helps evaluate specific gravity
- Measures a wider specific gravity that range from 0.0000 to 1.165
- Values can be a little off
This type can also measure specific gravity and even temperature. The purpose of this type is to make sure that your beer has a consistent temperature. However, the calibrations can vary from one device to another. Temperature can lead to contraction and expansion. So, the facility to measure temperature is a handy feature.
- Both temperature and specific gravity measurements
- Quick response time of sensor
- Typically costs more
Manufacturers position the numbers in this meter on a smaller scale to get a more accurate reading with this type. The measuring range in this type will differ from one model to another. For instance, some can measure from 1.065 to 1.180, while some can measure between 1.000 and 1.060.
- Ideal for more accurate reading
- Measures over a much narrower range
You can choose a type based on your preferences for the level of accuracy you expect for brewing.
Best Hydrometers for Brewing Beer, Wine, Kombucha and Mead
Now, you look for hydrometer reviews of the best options available in the market. Here are the top choices you can consider. You can consider selecting a variant from our top choices here.
1. Brewer’s Elite Hydrometer
- Brewer's Elite Hydrometer - Premium Set - Handy Storage Case and FREE Microfiber cleaning cloth. Please note: NO TEST JAR INCLUDED. See our other Brewer's Elite combo if you require a full set.
- Easily calculate Alcohol % (ABV) - Graduated color bands help you know when you brew is ready, and our Crystal clear fonts are so easy to read.
- Create the perfect brew - with this durable all glass alcoholmeter make great beers, wines, ciders and Kombucha at home - The perfect tool to test when your sample liquid has finished the fermentation process.
If you are looking for the best hydrometer for home brewing, you can consider this option. This is a triple scale hydrometer that will help even with your wine, kombucha and mead preps. This variant from Brewer’s Elite comes as a specific gravity tester unit. The unit comes with a handy storage case and a microfiber cleaning cloth.
Brewer’s Elite has made this hydrometer with a hard case to measure specific gravity ranging from 0.99 to 1.16. It will help to check alcohol density easily and measure alcohol in the range 0 to 20%. When it comes to balling/Brix, it can measure 0-35.
- Calculates ABV with ease with graduated color bands
- Premium set with a handy storage case and microfiber cleaning cloth
- Does not have a jar included
2. Chefast Triple Scale Hydrometer
- THE PERFECT HYDROMETER TEST JAR SET: Whether your forte is beer, wine, mead or kombucha, make sure your alcohol, sugar, and gravity measurements are right in the sweet spot with this combo kit. Our user-friendly hydrometer helps you guard against errors that could ruin your product, while our EXTRA THICK & NARROW glass test jar helps you waste less of your precious home-brew and get the best readings every single time.
- EASY, SAFE AND ACCURATE: Measuring specific gravity from 0.99-1.17, brix/balling from 0-35 and potential alcohol by volume from 0%-20%, this essential proofer is easy to read and free of mercury, lead and other hazardous compounds. It’s your environmentally-friendly way to make pinpoint measurements of your home brew. Please Note: Our hydrometer will NOT work with maple syrup, moonshine, or other high-alcohol content home distilling beverages.
- SPECIAL EXTRAS INCLUDED: In this tester kit, we’ve also included a few handy home-brew helpers that could really save the day. The cleaning brush will make short work of cleaning your glass test tube and other brewing equipment; the cloth helps you keep the hydrometer clean; and the canvas carry bag keeps it all together so you’re not running around hunting for a key component.
The narrow and extra-thick test jar in this user-friendly hydrometer will ensure less waste for you. The meter is designed to give the right readings for you every time you use it. With this triple scale hydrometer from Chefast, you can measure specific gravity in the range of 0.99 to 1.17 and balling/Brix between 0 and 30.
- Easy to read
- Free of lead, mercury and other hazardous compounds
- Comes with a jar, carrying case, cleaning brush and cloth
- Needs a lot of test beer to evaluate the content
3. Brewing America Thermo Hydrometer
- ✔️ BEST BEER & WINE MAKING TOOL (NOT FOR HAND SANITIZER) : American-made, N.I.S.T. Traceable Triple Scale Hydrometer with built-in Thermometer and conversion chart & Test Jar Combo – with Cylinder Brush - Specific Gravity Alcohol ABV Tester handblown by multi-generational American glass blowers in America, Glass Test Tube Beaker - for Wine, Beer, Cider, Mead - Homebrew Fermented Beverages Borosilicate 3.3 Cylinder and temperature compensated hydrometer. An elite brewer tool!
- ✔️ KNOW YOUR BREW & CRAFT YOUR BEST EVERY TIME: Take accurate gravity readings by simultaneously knowing your temperature and gravity, quickly. We are home brewers too and love offering the highest quality brewing equipment, tools and wine making supplies to help you succeed in crafting the tastiest brews. Our Brewing America meter scale is easier to read. We designed our GLASS Test Cylinder to be the highest quality with thick and sturdy lab grade borosilicate glass.
- ✔️ WASTE LESS PRECIOUS HOMEBREW! We designed our glass test jar to use less liquid (wort or must) to conduct your hydrometer tests. Use only 125 ml instead of a 250 ml as most others require. Waste less, drink (or share) more! SOLID 1-piece THICK borosilicate (Boro) 3.3 glass test flask with bumper guard. It is STURDY and STABLE. BREWERS Prefer Glass Test Jars: We all know sanitization is key to alcohol making. And distillers need to use glass, not plastic. The Brewing America Test Jar is CLEAR.
The meter encompasses a NIST traceable thermo hydrometer for accurate testing results and internal temperature reading simultaneously. It comes with borosilicate, narrow and perfectly sized test jar and stainless steel cleaning brush for easy cleaning.
The good thing about Brewing America’s hydrometer is that it needs a little beer for testing, and you don’t have to wait for it to cool.
- Temperature resistant thick borosilicate 3.3 glass to ensure longevity
- Hydrometer and thermometer in a single piece with a built-in conversion chart
- Comes with a storage box
- Use only after reading the instructions given in the pack
4. Midwest Homebrewing Thermo Hydrometer
- Package Dimensions: 11.8 L x 0.9 H x 1.5 W (inches)
- Package Weight : 0.4 pounds
- Country of Origin : United States
Measure both potential alcohol and specific gravity. As both are present in a single unit, you can correct your reading for the temperature of the sample. It is a small device that gives a more accurate reading from Midwest Homebrewing. If you look for a simple hydrometer without any additions, you can go for this meter. Examples of additions include carrying case, jar and other such stuff.
- Also for wine making
- Eliminates need for two separate devices
- Can measure potential alcohol and specific gravity
- No storage unit included
5. Chase Instruments Baume Precision Hydrometer
- For liquids heavier than water; dual scale
- Approximate total length 310 mm, approximate length of graduated scale 140 mm
- Country of Origin: UNITED STATES
Chase Instruments dual scale in this unit will make reading easier to obtain from any angle. The approximate entire length of the unit is 310 mm, while the approximate length of the graduate scale is 140 mm.
- Dual scales ensure better accuracy in reading
- 300 millimeters length makes it easy to handle
- Needs nearly 260 ml of beer to measure
6. Kimble Chase 52110-1012 Precision Hydrometer
- Graduation range of 1.000-1.220 SG
- Graduated in intervals of 0.002 SG
- Stem OD 8 mm; Body OD 16 mm; Length 300 m
With a gradation range of 1.000 to 1.220 SG and gradation interval of just .0002SG, this Kimble Chase precision hydrometer will help you achieve a precise reading. With a stem OD of 8mm and a body OD of 16mm, this hydrometer looks good. The length of this hydrometer is 300m. It needs a sample volume of 500ml to give you the appropriate value. The manufacturer recommends using this hydrometer with a specific model of Kimble Cylinder.
- 300m length ensures easy handling
- Smaller gradation range for perfection in reading
- Needs 500 ml of beer to sample
- Cylinder not included
7. Home Brew Ohio Triple Scale
- Easy to read and Use
- Measures specific Gravity, potential alcohol and brix
- All-in-one hydrometer
This Home Brew Ohio triple scale unit is ideal for use both for measuring beer and wine. The measurements are easy to read in this triple-scale hydrometer. This all-in-one hydrometer can measure brix, potential alcohol and specific gravity.
- Multi-color indicators make reading easier
- 1.6 ounces of item weight makes easy handling.
- Container for measuring not included
8. Home Brew Stuff Hydrometer
- Proof and Tralle Hydrometer
- Proof range 0 to 200%
- Not accurate for lower alcohol products like beer or wine
Even though it is for measuring beer, this Home Brew Stuff hydrometer is typically designed for distilled spirits. It can measure when all the sugar has been fermented out or the cider has distilled.
- Proof and Tralle hydrometer
- Proof range of 0 to 200%
- Cannot give accurate values for lower alcohol products
9. Brew Tapper Triple Scale Hydrometer
- TRUSTED! Color bands indicate start and finish for wine and beer (Dessert Wines, Table Wines, and Beer)
- REMARKABLE RESULTS! Calculate alcohol, see when the fermentation is finished and troubleshoot problems - FAST!
- CRITICAL! Triple Scale: Specific Gravity (0.99 - 1.17), Potential Alcohol (0%-20%), Brix/Balling (0-35)
The Triple Scale Hydrometer from Brew Tapper has been designed for wine and beer measuring. It works on all types of wines like dessert wines, beer and table wines. As quick results are possible to be obtained, it will be easier to calculate alcohol. You can see once the fermentation is over and can troubleshoot issues with your beer instantly. With free replacement guarantee, you can stay confident that you will get your money back if the product sucks.
- Easy to use and read
- All-in-one hydrometer
- Measures brix, potential alcohol and Brix
- Long in length to use in a 1Gal Container
From these models, we recommend Brewer’s Elite Hydrometer to be the best hydrometer. The reason is that it comes as a set. After every use, you can clean the hydrometer with the microfiber cloth to ensure long-term use. Most importantly, this hydrometer gives a clear reading. This is one of the essential factors that you will have to consider when shopping for a hydrometer.
Also, this triple scale hydrometer can perfectly measure brix/balling, potential alcohol and also specific gravity. You might feel others can also measure these values. But, the color-indicated readings will make it easier to make changes to your beer if required. It is the best hydrometer to check the beer once the fermentation process is completed. It means that you need not have to wait for long after completing the fermentation process. The high durability is yet another factor you will have to consider when shopping for the best hydrometer. You can stay assured about durability with the Brewer’s Elite Hydrometer. Once invested, it is going to stay with you for long to bring the best success to your brewing process. The handy conversion table that is part of this hydrometer will help with easily swapping units. Accordingly, you can bring temperature correction to ensure the best brewing.