Best Hydrometers [2023 Review]

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A hydrometer is one of the essential tools used during the brewing process. It helps measure the gravity of wort and beer, allowing brewers to adjust their recipes for a better-tasting end product. Therefore, having the best hydrometer guarantees better accuracy and precision when measuring your beer’s gravity.

Our Top Best Hydrometers

Getting the best hydrometer for your brewing needs can be daunting. You need to choose one with the right features and accuracy that fits your brewing budget. You don’t want to be stuck with a low-quality device that will give you inaccurate readings and lead to inaccurate recipes. To help you out, here are our top five picks for the best hydrometer in 2022:

Brand
American-Made Specific Gravity Hydrometer
Brewer’s Elite Hydrometer
Circrane Hydrometer & Glass Test Jar Set
Product
Brewing America American-Made Specific Gravity...
Brewer's Elite Hydrometer - for Home Brew Beer,...
Circrane Hydrometer & Glass Test Jar Set, Triple...
Material
Glass
Glass
Glass
Item Weight
0.15 Pounds
0.15 Pounds
0.75 Pounds
Brand
American-Made Specific Gravity Hydrometer
Product
Brewing America American-Made Specific Gravity...
Material
Glass
Item Weight
0.15 Pounds
Price
Brand
Brewer’s Elite Hydrometer
Product
Brewer's Elite Hydrometer - for Home Brew Beer,...
Material
Glass
Item Weight
0.15 Pounds
Price
Brand
Circrane Hydrometer & Glass Test Jar Set
Product
Circrane Hydrometer & Glass Test Jar Set, Triple...
Material
Glass
Item Weight
0.75 Pounds
Price

Best Hydrometer Overall: American-Made Specific Gravity Hydrometer Alcohol ABV Tester

Brewing America American-Made Specific Gravity...

The American-Made Specific Gravity Hydrometer is our pick for the best hydrometer overall. This device is made with 100% American components, ensuring high accuracy and precision. Its clear, easy-to-read markings make it great for homebrewers to get the exact gravity measurements for the beer.

Like others on the list, the hydrometer measures both specific gravity and alcohol by volume (ABV). Its accuracy ranges from 0.990 to 1.160 for specific gravity and 0-21% for alcohol by volume. This makes it an ideal tool for craft beer brewers looking to monitor the fermentation process and adjust their recipes. It also features a Brix of 0-35 scale, which is great for hard cider brewers who need to check the sugar levels.

Like the circrane hydrometer, this hydrometer is also environmentally friendly, as it does not contain lead or mercury, which is harmful to the environment. It is easy to use and comes with a plastic protective case for better storage.

The stainless steel balls at the bottom also make sure that it remains balanced when submerged in liquid. It also has a large microfiber cloth for easy cleaning. The only downside is that it does not have a thermometer attached to it.

Advantages

  • It can measure both specific gravity and alcohol by volume (ABV)
  • It has a Brix of 0-35 for hard cider brewers
  • It does not contain lead or mercury, making it environmentally friendly
  • It comes with a plastic protective case and a large microfiber cloth for easy cleaning
  • It has a gravity range of 0.990 to 1.160 and an ABV range of 0-21%. This makes it accurate and precise

Disadvantages

  • It does not have a thermometer attached to it. You need to buy it separately
  • It can break if mishandled
Brewing America American-Made Specific Gravity...
  • AMERICAN MADE, N.I.S.T. TRACEABLE, REDESIGNED - QUALITY. Easy to read. No ridiculous colors on the...
  • EASY TO READ & BEST PACKAGING - Color bands are not necessary and make it harder to read, your OG...
  • HELPS TROUBLESHOOT and ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY - Helps you troubleshoot problems by measuring the...

Best Hydrometer for Budget: Brewer’s Elite Hydrometer

Brewer's Elite Hydrometer - for Home Brew Beer,...

The Brewer’s Elite Hydrometer is the best hydrometer for budget brewers. This device is crystal clear, with a free-floating stainless steel ball at the bottom to ensure accuracy. The markings are engraved on both sides for easier readings. It also has a microfiber cloth included to help keep it clean and free from contaminants.

Like others on the list, the hydrometer also has a triple scale which makes it easier to measure the specific gravity, potential alcohol by volume (ABV), and Brix. The gravity ranges from 0.990 to 1.160, while the ABV ranges from 0-20%. This makes it an ideal tool for both home brewers and commercial brewers. The Brix scale ranges from 0 to 35, making it perfect for checking the density of the wort.

Unlike others on the list, the Brewer’s Elite Hydrometer has a 4-inch diameter and is made of durable plastic that can withstand the rigors of brewing. It is also certified to be accurate to +/- 0.001 specific gravity points and has a temperature compensation chart included for more accurate measurement. The only downside is that it doesn’t have a test jar included in the package.

Advantages

  • It has a triple scale for measuring specific gravity, ABV, and Brix
  • It is certified to be accurate to +/- 0.001 specific gravity points
  • It has a temperature compensation chart included for more accurate measurement
  • It is made of durable plastic that can withstand the rigors of brewing
  • It is crystal clear and has markings etched on both sides for easier reading

Disadvantages

  • It does not come with a test jar. You have to buy it separately
  • It has a short stem, so you may have difficulty reading the scale from a distance
Brewer's Elite Hydrometer - for Home Brew Beer,...
  • Brewer's Elite Hydrometer - Premium Set - Handy Storage Case and FREE Microfiber cleaning cloth....
  • Easily calculate Alcohol % (ABV) - Graduated color bands help you know when you brew is ready, and...
  • Create the perfect brew - with this durable all glass alcoholmeter make great beers, wines, ciders...

Best Value Hydrometer: Circrane Hydrometer & Glass Test Jar Set, Triple Scale Alcohol Hydrometer

Circrane Hydrometer & Glass Test Jar Set, Triple...

The Circrane Hydrometer & Glass Test Jar Set is the best value hydrometer for home brewers. This device comes with a triple scale (specific gravity, ABV, and Brix) to help you measure the density of your beer. The gravity range is 0.990 to 1.170 and the ABV range is 0-20%. The Brix range is 0 to 35, which is ideal for checking the sugar content of your beer.

Unlike The  Brewer’s Elite Hydrometer, this one has a test jar made of glass which helps to take precise readings. It also comes with an extra narrow measuring cylinder to reduce the wastage of your beer. The markings are etched on both sides of the hydrometer for easier reading and there is a temperature adjustment table included in the package to help you get accurate readings.

Like the Chefast Hydrometer, the hydrometer is also free from lead and mercury, making it environmentally friendly. The material is also robust and able to withstand the rigors of brewing. This makes it an ideal tool for home brewers. The fiber cloth included in the package also helps to keep the hydrometer clean and free from contaminants. The only downside is that it doesn’t come with a thermometer.

Advantages

  • It comes with a triple scale for measuring specific gravity, ABV, and Brix
  • It has a glass test jar included in the package for more accurate readings
  • The markings are etched on both sides of the hydrometer for easier reading
  • It has a temperature adjustment table included in the package to help you get accurate readings
  • It is free from lead and mercury, making it environmentally friendly
  • It is made of durable materials such as stainless steel and glass to withstand the rigors of brewing.

Disadvantages

  • It does not come with a thermometer. You have to buy it separately
  • You need to be careful when handling the glass test jar to avoid breaking it
Circrane Hydrometer & Glass Test Jar Set, Triple...
  • 🧪[The Accurate Hydrometer & Glass Cylinder Kit]: Whether your forte is beer, wine, mead or...
  • 🧪[Triple Scale & Easy to Read]: Measuring specific gravity from 0.99-1.17, brix/balling from 0-35...
  • 🧪[Save Precious Liquid]: You only need 125ml rather than 250ml beer or wine for testing. Our test...

Best Easy-To-Use Hydrometer: Chefast Hydrometer and Test Jar for Wine, Beer, Mead, and Kombucha

Chefast Hydrometer and Glass Test Jar for Wine,...

The Chefast Hydrometer and Test Jar is the best easy-to-use hydrometer for home brewers. This device comes with a test jar to make taking readings easier and more accurate. The hydrometer itself is made of durable stainless steel, so it won’t break easily.

Like the Soligt Triple Scale Hydrometer, it has three scales for measuring specific gravity, potential alcohol by volume (ABV), and Brix/balling, so you can get the most precise readings. The gravity ranges from 0.990 to 1.170, the ABV is from 0-20% and the Brix/balling ranges from 0-35.

Like the Soligt Triple Scale, this hydrometer is easy to use and comes with clear instructions, making it perfect for beginners. The test jar also makes taking readings easier and more convenient, as it can hold up to 12 ounces of liquid. It comes with a cleaning brush and a protective storage case, so you can keep your hydrometer in great condition.

The Chefast Hydrometer is also lead and mercury-free, so you can rest assured that it’s safe to use. The device also has extra thick and narrow glass test jars, which helps to ensure accuracy.  Included is a guide that explains how to use the hydrometer, so you can get the most out of your device. The only downside to this device is that it does not work with high-alcohol content beers.

Advantages

  • It has three scales for measuring specific gravity, ABV, and Brix/balling
  • It comes with a test jar to make taking readings easier and more accurate
  • It is made of durable stainless steel, so it won’t break easily
  • It has extra thick and narrow glass test jars to ensure accuracy
  • It comes with a cleaning brush and a protective storage case
  • It is lead and mercury-free, so it’s environmentally friendly

Disadvantages

  • It does not work with high-alcohol-content beers
  • Needs regular calibration to ensure accuracy
Chefast Hydrometer and Glass Test Jar for Wine,...
  • THE PERFECT HYDROMETER TEST JAR SET: Whether your forte is beer, wine, mead or kombucha, make sure...
  • EASY, SAFE AND ACCURATE: Measuring specific gravity from 0.99-1.17, brix/balling from 0-35 and...
  • SPECIAL EXTRAS INCLUDED: In this tester kit, we’ve also included a few handy home-brew helpers...

Best Value Hydrometer: Soligt Triple Scale Hydrometer and Glass Test Jar

SOLIGT Triple Scale Hydrometer and Glass Test Jar...

The Soligt Triple Scale Hydrometer and Glass Test Jar is the best value hydrometer for home brewers. It comes with a triple scale for measuring specific gravity, ABV, and Brix/balling. Each scale is engraved on both sides, making it easier to read.

The specific gravity scale is from 0.990 to 1.170, while the ABV scale reads from 0-21%. The Brix/Balling scale ranges from 0-35. A heavy-duty glass test jar is included as part of the package to ensure accuracy and convenience.

Unlike others on the list, the Soligt features a weighted base for increased stability. The sample chamber also features an extra-wide design that allows for an easy view of the results. It is easy to clean since it comes with a stainless steel brush. The device also features a narrow-diameter stem, making it easier to take readings in narrow spaces as it helps you waste less of your beer.

Like the Chefast Hydrometer, this one also has an instruction sheet with a conversion chart to make sure you get the most accurate readings possible. The Soligt is a great buy for the price, offering exceptional accuracy and value for home brewers. The only downside to this device is that the ABV scale isn’t very accurate. You need to use a refractometer for a more accurate ABV reading.

Advantages

  • It comes with a triple scale for measuring specific gravity, ABV, and Brix/balling
  • It has an extra-wide sample chamber for easy viewing
  • It comes with a weighted base for increased stability
  • It has an instruction sheet with a conversion chart
  • The device is easy to clean as it comes with a stainless steel brush

Disadvantages

  • The ABV scale isn’t very accurate and needs to be used with a refractometer
  • It needs to be calibrated regularly for accurate readings
SOLIGT Triple Scale Hydrometer and Glass Test Jar...
  • Complete Set for Home Brewer- Package includes 1*triple scale hydrometer, 1*clear glass cylinder...
  • Accurate & easy to read- Get the perfect measuring result with our high quality hydrometer which...
  • Save precious liquid- You only need 125ml rather than 250ml beer or wine for testing. Our jar is...

Best Digital Hydrometer: Tilt Wireless Hydrometer and Thermometer

Tilt Wireless Hydrometer and Thermometer (Black)

The Tilt Wireless Hydrometer and Thermometer is the best digital hydrometer for home brewers. The device measures the specific gravity (SG) and temperature of your beer, cider, or wine with Bluetooth connectivity. This allows you to simply take a sample and collect your readings. The Tilt is simple to set up and use, with no need for complicated calibrations or adjustments.

To ensure accurate readings, the Tilt is built with a highly-accurate digital thermometer. It has an adjustable temperature compensation (ATC) which ensures that the readings are always accurate, even in changing temperatures. It also has a visual alarm that warns you when the readings move outside of your desired range.

Unlike others on the list, the device is also compatible with both Android and iOS devices, making it easy to use with almost any device. Additionally, the Tilt app allows you to track fermentation progress over time, giving you real-time monitoring of your brew. It also has a triple-axis accelerometer that detects when your beer is ready to be bottled or kegged.

Unlike the Circrane Hydrometer, this one has a specific gravity (SG) range of  0.9900 to 1.1200 and the temperature range is 0-140.Freiheit. The ABV scale of the Tilt is 0-20% and a Brix scale range of 0-50. This makes it perfect for both beer and winemaking. The only downside of this device is that you may have challenges if you don’t have a smartphone or tablet.

Advantages

  • It is very simple to set up and use because it comes with a leaflet that explains everything in detail
  • The readings are always accurate due to the ATC feature
  • Can easily be used with both Android and iOS devices
  • You don’t have to open the lid of your fermenter as the Tilt device can detect when your beer is ready to bottle or keg
  • You can store data in the cloud for easy access in case you need to refer back to it

Disadvantages

  • You may have challenges if you do not own a smartphone or tablet as the app is
  • It can be difficult to convert the Brix readings into SG accurately
  • It may be expensive for some people
Tilt Wireless Hydrometer and Thermometer (Black)
  • Designed for home brewing.
  • Instantly check the specific gravity and temperature of your brew while it's fermenting.
  • Don't have to open your fermenter or take a sample for a SG or temp reading.

Features to Consider Before Buying a Hydrometer

The Specific Gravity (SG) RangeBrix Scale AngeThe ABV Scale
The Tilt Wireless Hydrometer and Thermometer0.9900 to 1.12000-500-20%
The Soligt Triple Scale Hydrometer0.990 to 1.1700-350-21
The Chefast Hydrometer 0.990 to 1.1700-350-20%
The Circrane Hydrometer0.990 to 1.1700-350-20%
The American-Made Specific Gravity Hydrometer0.990-1.1600-350-21%
The  Brewer’s Elite Hydrometer0.990-1.1600-350-20%

The hydrometer you buy will determine the readings you get from your beer, cider, or wine. It is important to consider the features when shopping for a hydrometer. The following are some of the features to consider:

Accuracy

An accurate hydrometer is essential as it will give you reliable readings. An accurate hydrometer has a clear, easy-to-read scale, a wide sample chamber for accurate readings, and an adjustable temperature compensation (ATC) feature. All these features will ensure that you get accurate readings every time.

Therefore, look for a device with adjustable temperature compensation (ATC) feature for more accurate readings. For instance, the Tilt hydrometer has an ATC feature that helps ensure that the readings are always accurate, even in changing temperatures.

Four different sizes of a graduated cylinders and a dropper

Durability

A durable hydrometer is also important as it will last you for a long time. Look for hydrometers made from high-quality materials such as stainless steel, aluminum, or plastic that are designed to stand up to wear and tear. Remember that the fermentation chamber is always full of liquid and heat, so make sure that the hydrometer you choose is resistant to heat, corrosion, and rust.

For example, the American-Made Specific Gravity Hydrometer is made from stainless steel and is designed to withstand extreme temperatures and pressures.

Ease of Use

A good hydrometer should be easy to use and set up. Look for one that comes with instructions or a leaflet so you can easily understand how to take readings accurately. Some hydrometers are very complicated making it difficult for brewers to understand.

Look for a hydrometer that comes with an app or downloadable software so you can take readings easily and track your fermentation progress over time. The Tilt hydrometer, for example, comes with an app that you can use to monitor your brew in real-time. This makes your work easy and efficient.

Portability

If you’re a home brewer, it’s essential to consider the device’s portability. Some hydrometers come with a stand that allows you to set it up on the countertop, and others are hand-held.

A portable hydrometer is also handy if you’re an on-the-go brewer. Look for lightweight and easy devices to carry around so you can take readings wherever you go.

From our list, the Tilt hydrometer is the most portable device as it can be used with both Android and iOS devices. You only need to link it with your mobile device through Bluetooth and you can start taking readings wherever you go.

Specific Gravity Range

This is a significant factor to consider when shopping for a hydrometer. Different hydrometers have different specific gravity ranges, so you should select one that fits the range of your beer or wine.

The hydrometer should have a range of 1.000 – 1.170 specific gravity for most home brewers. The Chefast Hydrometer has a gravity range of 0.9990 – 1.170, so it can be used for most home brewing applications. This gives you accurate readings regardless of the ABV.

ABV Range

The ABV range is also an important factor to consider when buying a hydrometer. If you want to brew beer with a higher ABV, then look for a device that can measure a wide range of ABV. This will give you an easy time testing the beverage’s alcohol content.

For example, the American-Made Specific Gravity hydrometer can measure up to 21% ABV, which is ideal for more advanced home brewers.

A measuring device with a yellow case and black print of numbers

Availability of Spare Parts

At times, you may need to replace some parts of your hydrometer, so it’s important to check if the device comes with spare parts. This will help you save some money and time, as you won’t have to buy a new hydrometer or look for replacement parts from other sources.

For instance, the Tilt hydrometer comes with a spare cap that can replace the existing one whenever it gets worn out.

Price

Lastly, price should also be taken into consideration when buying a hydrometer. Prices vary due to design and size, as well as additional features.

For instance, the Chefast Hydrometer and Refractometer Combo is a bit pricier than other hydrometers. This is because it comes with a refractometer. It also has more features, so you can get more accurate readings when testing your beer.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is the Most Important Thing to Look For in a Hydrometer?

The most important thing to consider when buying a hydrometer is its accuracy. Accuracy will help you come up with consistent readings, so you can make sure your beer or wine is on the right track. Ensure you get a device that can measure the specific gravity, ABV, and temperature accurately and with +/- 0.001 accuracy.

How Do You Take the Hydrometer Readings?

To take readings with your hydrometer, fill the testing container with a liquid sample and slowly lower the device into it. Once you settle on the bottom of the container, wait for a few seconds until the hydrometer stabilizes and takes its readings. You can then note down the reading from the scale on the device.

Does Meniscus Play a Role in Hydrometer Readings?

Yes, the meniscus plays a role in hydrometer readings. To get accurate readings, you should aim to take the reading at the bottom of the meniscus. This will ensure that you take accurate readings and come up with consistent beer or wine.

Is It Possible to Take Real-Time Readings With a Hydrometer?

Yes, it is possible to take real-time readings with a hydrometer. Some devices, such as the Tilt hydrometer, have Bluetooth connectivity that allows you to link it with your mobile device. This lets you take readings in real-time and monitor the fermentation process remotely.

Is It Possible to Take Real-Time Readings With a Hydrometer?

Yes, it is possible to take real-time readings with a hydrometer. Some devices, such as the Tilt hydrometer, have Bluetooth connectivity that allows you to link it with your mobile device. This lets you take readings in real-time and monitor the fermentation process remotely.

Conclusion

Hydrometers are essential devices for any home brewer or winemaker. They help you take accurate readings of your beverage’s specific gravity, temperature, and ABV, so you can ensure it’s on the right track. With this guide, you can get a model that fits your needs. Cheers!