Kegconnection Complete Starter Kit and More Giveaway!


Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > Hydrometer? Some say necessary others not?

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 04-17-2012, 07:32 PM   #1
justinm410
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Baltimore, MD
Posts: 10
Liked 5 Times on 1 Posts

Default Hydrometer? Some say necessary others not?

So I know a hydrometer is like 5 bucks at the brew store, but I'd have to drive an hour to pick it up making a total of 20 bucks accounting for gas.

I have all my grains and extract ready to make a Bock style beer and I was reading that a hydrometer may be particularly important when brewing a Bock? Is this so? I'll probably end up just sticking it out and doing the drive, but I was hoping someone would tell me it isn't at all necessary... -_-


P.S. I bought a good instructional book that said it's optional, but I was prompted to ask when I read that it is important for Bocks in particular.

Thanks!

__________________
justinm410 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 04-17-2012, 07:35 PM   #2
amandabab
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: spokane, wa
Posts: 1,971
Liked 236 Times on 181 Posts
Likes Given: 446

Default

If all you want to do is mix boil and hope, they aren't necessary.

__________________
amandabab is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 04-17-2012, 07:36 PM   #3
justinm410
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Baltimore, MD
Posts: 10
Liked 5 Times on 1 Posts

Default

So basically there is no other way to determine whether the desired fermentation is reached aside from pure guess based upon distilling duration if I do not have a hydrometer?

__________________
justinm410 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 04-17-2012, 07:37 PM   #4
Demon
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Demon's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Willowbrook, IL
Posts: 937
Liked 98 Times on 67 Posts
Likes Given: 9

Default

I only measure gravity on about 25% of my brews. I'm lazy and I've got my systems efficiency pretty well dialed in. Even when I do take readings, if the numbers aren't exactly what I want I don't do anything about it. The readings are purely a reference for me.

__________________
Demon is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 04-17-2012, 07:38 PM   #5
SenorPepe
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Madison, WI
Posts: 688
Liked 18 Times on 15 Posts
Likes Given: 20

Default

Well, most of the time you don't really need it...until you do. Most of the time, beer just wants to be beer so bad it works out despite you. But if you get stuck, or have any other kind of mash- or fermentation-related problem, you could be SOL and not even know it.

__________________

Last edited by SenorPepe; 04-17-2012 at 07:39 PM. Reason: grammar
SenorPepe is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 04-17-2012, 07:44 PM   #6
justinm410
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Baltimore, MD
Posts: 10
Liked 5 Times on 1 Posts

Default

Hmm, fair enough... So if something DOES go wrong and I went out and got a hydrometer the same day I'd be just as well off. I can live with that. Besides I'm following a recipe assuming they already figured stuff like the ferment duration out.

As a beginner I'm pretty sure I'd be SOL if anything went wrong, anyway.

__________________
justinm410 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 04-17-2012, 07:45 PM   #7
ludomonster
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: berlin, nj
Posts: 507
Liked 33 Times on 29 Posts
Likes Given: 33

Default

I usually just measure FG and taste it.

__________________
ludomonster is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 04-17-2012, 07:46 PM   #8
djfriesen
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 1,144
Liked 19 Times on 18 Posts
Likes Given: 5

Default

For your first brew, it's not 100% necessary. For the future, if you care to have any ability to reproduce brews, you'll need a hydrometer. If you want to start from ground zero each time, hoping it comes out OK, don't get one. But you won't be able to post here asking how to know if your fermentation is done or if you're risking bottle bombs, or if your beer is ready to secondary. In fact, a majority of the questions you'd ask here, in search of advice or help, are going to require hydrometer readings to answer.

It depends on what kind of brewer you want to be be. If you want structure, get a hydrometer. If you want a more freeform experience, you can wing it.

Personally, I take an OG reading, and then let it sit for 3+ weeks. I usually don't take a reading to determine if fermentation is complete. I probably should, but I ferment at my brother's house, so I don't have the kind of hands-on control I would need to do this. I take an FG before bottling, and so far, it's been pretty close to where it should be. If it weren't, I would probably hold off and make sure I had done everything to ensure the yeast had finished.

__________________
djfriesen is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 04-17-2012, 07:47 PM   #9
HibsMax
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Westford, MA
Posts: 274
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by justinm410 View Post
So basically there is no other way to determine whether the desired fermentation is reached aside from pure guess based upon distilling duration if I do not have a hydrometer?
You could leave it in the primary for three weeks, fermentation should be done by then I would think.
__________________
HibsMax is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 04-17-2012, 07:48 PM   #10
TyTanium
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 3,946
Liked 545 Times on 383 Posts
Likes Given: 417

Default

I wholeheartedly disagree. It's necessary.

You can brew without it if you're ok guessing on the numbers. I.e., you'll be fine if you don't drive out there right now, but I'd get one quick. It's also nice knowing when fermentation is complete so I don't have to leave it in the primary for 15 months or something.

__________________
TyTanium is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply


Quick Reply
Message:
Options
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Hydrometer Help! kooklife Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 6 11-16-2011 01:22 PM
Do i not know how to use a hydrometer? msarro Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 9 01-31-2011 01:28 PM
Hydrometer - When/How and Why? BeerNoob Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 10 08-10-2010 12:35 PM
Hydrometer help Teufelhunden Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 1 11-06-2009 11:22 PM
Q: How to use a Hydrometer BrewRI Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 9 10-08-2009 07:10 PM