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Old 02-11-2013, 12:36 PM   #1
BobbiLynn
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Default I confess. Have never done a gravity reading.

I might have told a little white lie if I ever inferred that I knew something about gravity readings. I have bought 2 hydrometers, broke the first one before ever getting to use it and never took the second one out of the package. I don't even know how to use a hydrometer. There, I confessed my beer making sin.

I mostly just brew low ABV beers on purpose, 2.9 to 4%(max) but of course that's just a guess since I don't do gravity readings. I've been brewing up to 100 gallons a year for the past 4 years by just winging it.

By drinking 12 ounces, I pretty much know the final ABV of the beer. Another home brewer was impressed that I could guess his ABVs so accurately. Of course it has to be when I've had nothing else to drink that day and only the first one.

I like to have 2-4 nice tasting, low ABV beers each evening. Sometimes I'll skip a couple nights if someone recently called me an alcoholic.

Besides figuring out the final ABV, what's the point of gravity readings? Or since my style of drinking/brewing, I really don't have to pay attention to that?

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Old 02-11-2013, 12:40 PM   #2
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Taking readings are great but only if you want that information and you are trying to replicate it later... I know people that brew kits and just follow instruction and.have never used a hydrometer either ...I'm a info hoe so it drives me nuts but to each its own... their brew isn't bad so if it works for them and they are.happy then be it

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Old 02-11-2013, 12:40 PM   #3
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nice. all it does is make you worry about the OG being too low or the FG too high. screw it!
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Old 02-11-2013, 12:41 PM   #4
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There's no problem with that. One other function of the reading is to see how much of your fermentables were consumed by the yeast.

Belgian beers are so great with food because they are generally fermented down to the low 1.002 it so - which gives it a thin body.

On the flip side you might want a chewy malt profile and more unfermentables which will lead to a higher finishing gravity of say 1.020

There's also calories to consider - the higher the Fg the higher the calories.

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Old 02-11-2013, 12:48 PM   #5
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Way to go Bobbilynn, unconventional is good as far as Im concerned.

Cheers

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Old 02-11-2013, 12:50 PM   #6
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You'd also need to know your gravity if you wanted to figure your mash & brew house efficiency.

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Old 02-11-2013, 01:02 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BobbiLynn View Post
Besides figuring out the final ABV, what's the point of gravity readings? Or since my style of drinking/brewing, I really don't have to pay attention to that?
The only thing I can think of that would make a FG reading useful is to avoid bottle bombs.
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Old 02-11-2013, 01:24 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yooper View Post
The only thing I can think of that would make a FG reading useful is to avoid bottle bombs.
I always just figure when it's clear, it's done. And also taste, wait for any sweet maltiness to disappear to the point that I like it, then bottle. I like clean beers, nothing thick or malty. Well, except maybe the occasional honey dark ale, but even then I look for sweetness from the honey, not malt type of sweetness when sampling. Haven't had a bottle bomb yet! *knock on wood*
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Old 02-11-2013, 03:48 PM   #9
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Gravity readings can be very useful for determining efficiency in your system, figuring ABV, preventing bottle bombs, finding out if you are consistent and adjusting as necessary, or maybe just to try a somewhat tricky high gravity beer and to know how the brewing went and how the yeast is performing.

But I have brewed a few times without taking a reading, even brewing AG without measuring. It's not a big deal if you are used to your method and aren't brewing anything unusual. Knowing what the yeast looks like when it's working, and being able to taste the sugar content in the end is good enough to evaluate your fermentation sometimes.

Sat. night I kegged a cream ale that was brewed 2 weeks ago. I did not take a reading. I am not worried about bottle bombs and the sample wasn't sweet so I'm fairly certain it's done. But this is not my usual process. I usually like to know what happens.

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Old 02-11-2013, 03:58 PM   #10
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say 3 hail mary's and your sins will be forgiven

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