Originally Posted by tnlandsailor
If someone pipes up and says that pH measurement is an absolute necessity and that same person elsewhere on this board said that a hydrometer is optional - I'm going to scream.
I don't think comments like this are really necessary. Just because you don't agree with another person's brewing practices, doesn't mean it is wrong. I respect the opinions of you guys who have been brewing for a while, but that doesn't mean its gospel. Whether or not someone else thinks a hydrometer is a waste of time, I don't. I use it EVERY time.
Somewhat the same with PH. This one is a bit more optional--but I HIGHLY recommend reading PH at least once to get a handle on the water you use. If you don't change your water (switching from botled to tap, etc.) then its not necessary every time you brew. But balancing PH is a very underutilized practice in brewing, IMHO. It can have a huge effect on off-flavors that you can't nail down otherwise.