1. Clean hydrometer (sanitation is not necessary as it is not touching your wine).
2. Put room temperature, distilled water into test jar ensuring there is enough for the hydrometer to float freely (see picture 1).
3. Place hydrometer in middle of jar (see picture 2). It may naturally want to stick to the side of the test jar, so give it a gentle tap to encourage it to move towards the middle of the jar.
4. With the jar on a flat surface and your eyes level with the hydrometer (see picture 3), note the reading at the bottom of the curve (meniscus) of the liquid surrounding the hydrometer (like liquid in a measuring cup for baking).
5. Your hydrometer should read approximately 1.000 (see picture 3). The reading can vary slightly depending on water temperature and the paper position inside the hydrometer.