Alcoholometers are used to read the alcohol content of DISTILLED spirits.
It will measure the alcohol percentage in alcohol/water liquid only. If you have sugar in your liquid you will get a wrong reading
They cannot be used to read the alcohol of a mash or wash, or a wine or beer.
How to use an Alcoholometer correctly:
For using an alcoholmeter you require a test jar to make an exact and easy reading!
Before and after use clean the alcoholmeter and test jar with warm water and dry before use. The alcoholmeter should also be wiped dry with a linen cloth. After cleaning, the alcoholmeter should be held only from the thin part above the paper scale.
The clean liquid is first poured into the test jar, leaving at least 2” / 5 cm from the rim free. Close the test jar with a clean plastic foil and with the palm of the hand, shake 10 times! Be careful if you have strong alcohol in your testing liquid ! The alcoholmeter is now dipped slowly into the liquid until it floats freely. The alcoholometer has to be free of bubbles!
Do not let the alcoholmeter fall into the test jar or it may break if it hits the bottom! The reading is taken at eye level at the spot where the thin part or stem intersects the liquid, i.e. at the level of the liquid surface. Record the temperature of the liquid. Take care of the temperature of room, liquid and instrument is the same. Store test jar, liquid, instrument about 4 hours in the same room you test!