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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > How important are the numbers?
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Old 06-11-2010, 07:28 PM   #1
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Default How important are the numbers?

How important is it to measure your gravity? If I don't care about my ABV% and so on, is it really important to get my numbers and calculate?

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Old 06-11-2010, 07:29 PM   #2
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they pretty much determine if you made water, beer, or paint stripper.

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Old 06-11-2010, 07:33 PM   #3
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The only one I worry about is the OG. Like Gila said, it tells me what I can expect but it really tells me how well I did as the brewer. Creating a recipe and getting within the target OG range is all that I am concerned about. I brew ales and just trust the yeast after that.

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Old 06-11-2010, 07:37 PM   #4
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Thanks. Sometimes I just get a little anxious and don't bother to measure. Does that make me a reckless brewer?

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Old 06-11-2010, 07:37 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by BendBrewer View Post
The only one I worry about is the OG. Like Gila said, it tells me what I can expect but it really tells me how well I did as the brewer. Creating a recipe and getting within the target OG range is all that I am concerned about. I brew ales and just trust the yeast after that.
I'd say estimating Alpha is pretty important too. lest you decide to pair 6 ounce of hops to 5 pounds Vienna.
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Old 06-11-2010, 07:39 PM   #6
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Thanks. Sometimes I just get a little anxious and don't bother to measure. Does that make me a reckless brewer?
Once you understand the numbers you can do that without being reckless and still create a beer within the range of balance you are looking for.

Otherwise, you just don't know til it's too late.
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Old 06-11-2010, 07:40 PM   #7
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I'd say estimating Alpha is pretty important too. lest you decide to pair 6 ounce of hops to 5 pounds Vienna.
Oh of course and its very relative to ones OG in terms of a balanced beer.

That's how I know that I am going to end up with an alcoholic version of Hop Tea when I miss my OG by a bunch. (Damn braid and its tendency to rise up in the grain bed.)

Much more consistent results thus far with the manifold!
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Old 06-11-2010, 07:49 PM   #8
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I'd say to a certain extent it depends on if you are doing All-grain or extract.

If you are doing an extract recipe (specifically some sort of kit), the numbers aren't that important, as they have all been figured out for you. The OG will be what they tell you it should be, and the hops will generally be pre-measured. All you do is follow the instructions.

If you are doing AG, then there is going to be more variability in the numbers. The efficiency of the mash might vary from batch to batch, and, if you plan on making a beer to a certain style or with a certain hop balance, you might be too far off. Knowing the gravity pre-boil means you might be able to adjust your wort (add some extract, or dilute with water).

Then, of course, you'll want to know when fermentation is done, so getting a stable FG is pretty important.

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Old 06-11-2010, 07:54 PM   #9
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If you do extract from kits it's really not that important, just make sure you let it ferment at least 3 weeks. Did that for years without taking gravity readings before I went all grain.

When you do all grain it becomes much more important. pretty much essential.

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Old 06-11-2010, 07:55 PM   #10
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The numbers matter when you come here asking for trouble shooting help or if you care to know your exactly ABV.

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