Originally Posted by grrtt78
i only looked once which took alot of self control! haha! i dont really kno how to use a hydrometer
Good for you as far as self control! I know how tough it can be - I have the least patience of anyone I know. If someone told me there was a way to brew beer and drink it (finished) the same day, I'd be the first to try!
As for hydrometers and your lack of knowledge about them, that's what we're here for! A hydrometer measures the specific gravity of a liquid. Simply put, it measures the density, or "thickness," of said liquid. The more fermentable sugars are dissolved in your wort, the higher the specific gravity. As the yeast digests those sugars into alcohol, the specific gravity drops, since alcohol is much less dense (or "thinner") than water. When the specific gravity stops decreasing, fermentation is complete. It's helpful to measure the original (starting) gravity of your beer (SG or OG) to determine if you've gotten good results from your brewing. It's also helpful to measure the final gravity (FG) to determine if you have a stuck fermentation, how well the yeast performed, and the alcohol content of your beer.
A hydrometer is very easy to use - simply float it in some liquid! The reading is taken at the liquid level on the side of the hydrometer. The "thicker" the liquid, the higher the hydrometer will float. The temperature of the liquid will impact the reading as well. Most hydrometers are calibrated for 60 degrees F. There are conversion charts/formulas for correcting the reading for temperature if your sample is not at 60.