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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Equipment/Sanitation > Simple Poll - How Important is a Hydrometer to Your Brewing?

View Poll Results: How Important is a Hydrometer to Your Brewing
Necessary "Helps me brew better" 92 64.79%
Could Take it or Leave it. 32 22.54%
Not Necessary "Doesn't make me a better brewer" 13 9.15%
What's a hydrometer? 5 3.52%
Voters: 142. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 11-03-2007, 07:13 PM   #1
BierMuncher
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Default Simple Poll - How Important is a Hydrometer to Your Brewing?

It's probably been asked before, but I thought it time to revive the debate.

For me, it's invaluable. Brewing without knowing the gravity of your beer would be like flying a plane in the fog without instrumentation.

What say you other brewers...?

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Old 11-03-2007, 07:15 PM   #2
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Use them everytime. I have 7 between 2 houses.

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Old 11-03-2007, 07:15 PM   #3
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A hydrometer shouldn't make or break your brewing, it should be there to tell you that have done everything correctly, IMO.

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Old 11-03-2007, 07:18 PM   #4
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If you want to be sure of your %ABV and be sure that your fermentation is complete, you need one.

If you want to wing your ABV and are willing to risk bottle bombs, skip it.

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Old 11-03-2007, 07:32 PM   #5
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My hydrometer acts as my all grain report card. Based on its reading, I can tell how well I did with the mash. If the result is unexpected, I try to find a reason and fix it for next time. The added bonus is that I know exactly how potent my beer is.

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Old 11-03-2007, 07:40 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beerrific
A hydrometer shouldn't make or break your brewing, it should be there to tell you that have done everything correctly, IMO.
That's basically how I use it, to provide confirmation that I haven't screwed up. I keg nearly everything, so I take a measurement before pitching and right before kegging...unless I think something has gone wrong, that is pretty much it. Typically, four weeks have passed between those two measurements, and once kegged the beer conditions at least another month before I even consider tapping it.

Nearly all of my beers are medium to low OG, and they ferment in a very predictable manner. So far, so good. Should I try making something substantially bigger, I'll probably take a few more measurements to make sure I'm on track.
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Old 11-03-2007, 07:40 PM   #7
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I don't use mine except on brew day, most of the time I forget to take a reading before bottling. I could take it or leave it, I just use it to know how good I did on my mash.

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Old 11-03-2007, 08:14 PM   #8
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I have 3 and a refractometer. I like numbers.

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Old 11-03-2007, 09:26 PM   #9
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I use it just to satisfy my curiosity on my efficiency, ABV etc. It's not like the beer is going to taste any different if I don't use it.

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Old 11-03-2007, 09:32 PM   #10
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I use it every brew. I do like the numbers (plan to get a refractometer) to use as a gauge of how well my equipment and process is performing. I also like to know the alcohol percent because everybody always asks. I don't plan to stop using it.

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