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Old 06-29-2010, 08:30 PM   #21
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I'm really surprised that many people said they don't.

I thought it was a law or something. How do you know your ABV? How do you know if you've actually acheived the beer the recipe calls for? You could have way too much residual sugar... or way too much body for what the style calls for... or you could end up at a lower FG than anticipated and have it dried out or not enough body. Maybe you fermented at too high of a temp. Maybe you didn't properly prepare your yeast. Maybe you mashed too high or too low (if AG)..... the list goes on... none of which can really be told without a hydrometer.

I'm surprised that many people go by "it tastes good".
Through reading and learning these are the reasons I have decided to start measuring my gravity instead of "eye-balling" the beer
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Old 06-29-2010, 08:36 PM   #22
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I used to be notorious on here as a hydrometer hater. I found that the things only made people worry. Numerous posts each day with people worrying about the fact that their OG was a little too high or a little to low, and even more posts with people worried about possible stuck fermentations.

I disowned my hydrometer years ago and just didn't check a damn thing.

I went back to checking gravity after switching from extra to AG, but I only check OG and not FG. My intent is just to find out the efficiency of my AG process.

I seriously don't have time in my life to worry about whether the beer really did or did not finish fermenting during the 4 weeks it sat in the carboys. If it didn't finish, f*ck it... I'm going to carb it and drink it anyway.

I don't give a hoot about my ABV. People sometimes ask me what the ABV of one of my beers is, and I just shrug and tell them I don't know.

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Old 06-29-2010, 08:40 PM   #23
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It has very little to do with knowing your ABV.


If you take an OG and am consistantly short-arming it by somethign significant, there's something wrong with your brew process. Then the search can start and 99% of the time, you'll figure it out and fix the process... and make better beer.

If you're not fermenting out completely each time (something you won't know without an hydrometer) you're making a different beer than the recipe intended. Sure it probably "tastes good" but you're not making the beer you meant to make.

Knowing your OG and FG will tell you whether or not you're doing things correctly... regardless of whether or not it tastes good.

And unless you know if you're doing it correctly... you're just winging it and being left in the dark on whether or not it could be even better.

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Old 06-29-2010, 08:52 PM   #24
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Yeah, but I still don't want to get myself all worried about it. I make beer because I enjoy making beer and the end product comes out very good.

Could it be better? Maybe.

Is it still pretty damn good? Definitely.

Do I want to start measuring everything, find some flaw I never knew was there in the first place, and then struggle and worry about it to try to make it my damn good beer damn better? Absolutely not.

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Old 06-29-2010, 08:55 PM   #25
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To me, the argument that taking a couple hyrdometer samples takes too much time just doesn't make sense. It would be like not measuring your ingredients. Sure, you could eyeball your grain and your hops and it would be quicker than getting the scale out, but why? Taking a hydrometer sample takes all of about 2 minutes including sanitation and it gives you useful information.

My big rule of homebrewing is that it's your beer and you can do whatever the hell you want with it and to hell with anyone who says you should do it different, but I just don't understand sometimes.

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Old 06-29-2010, 08:55 PM   #26
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I use a refractometer and a hydrometer. I went without either a couple of batches ago and will never do that again. Not that the beer turned out badly. It's just that I found myself concerned about the damn batch.

Walker said hydrometers tend to make people worry too much. I was the opposite. It's like a comfy blanket to me.

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Old 06-29-2010, 09:01 PM   #27
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I use hydrometer readings as a scorecard of how my brew went. I know what I am targeting so why not see how close I got?

I may or may not take a FG reading depending how much I care at the time. But I don't brew multiple styles like a lot of people where staying within parameters matters.

But I should get into the habit of taking pre-boil readings in the event I screwed up my mash. Those things can be corrected if you have the data to know and that's what hydrometers are for.

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Old 06-29-2010, 09:04 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by ChshreCat View Post
My big rule of homebrewing is that it's your beer and you can do whatever the hell you want with it and to hell with anyone who says you should do it different, but I just don't understand sometimes.
+1 on the "do whatever the hell you want".

For me, it's not a matter of time that makes me not take readings.... it's simply that I don't really care. If I took a reading of FG and found that it wasn't as low as I expected, I wouldn't attempt to do anything about it anyway, so why bother checking?

Now, if my beer TASTES too dry or TASTES too malty, I might adjust the mash temp the next time I make it, but it's all based on my taste. Numbers don't mean nearly as much to me as does the experience of actually drinking the beer.

But... to each his own.

brew on!
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Old 06-29-2010, 09:05 PM   #29
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Yeah, but I still don't want to get myself all worried about it.
You know, you can have it both ways. Check it, but don't worry about it. Just use that little piece of information next time around to make corrections. Mash temps, grain bill, fermenting temps . . . whatever. There’s a difference between obsessive worrying and being an informed brewing.
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Old 06-29-2010, 09:14 PM   #30
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You know, you can have it both ways. Check it, but don't worry about it.
Unfortunately, this is incompatible with my personality.
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