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Old 06-15-2011, 10:34 PM   #1
Nov 2009
Manchester, NH
Posts: 508
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When I was a new brewer, all it did was unnecessarily freak me out, (hence my hilarious sig.) Now that I'm a more experienced brewer, I look at my grain bill, make sure I hit my mash temp and just go with it.

If you take your OG on brew day, and its too low then you just stressed yourself out and there's nothing you can really do about it. If its too high you might hastily splash some water in there in hopes to balance it out, but thats never gonna be right.

As far as FG, maybe I have too much faith but the yeast always seem to do their job, and a few points one way or the other isn't gonna make a difference.

A lot of hydrometers are based on a really low temp (55F I think), so their readings must be scaled, thats a pain.

Plus you gotta waste like half a beer to do all this!

Am I justified or is this taking a major step backwards in my quest to brew awesome beer?
Originally Posted by wildwest450 View Post
I call panicky pete on you.

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Old 06-15-2011, 10:37 PM   #2
Dr. Francois
Dr. Francois's Avatar
Jan 2009
Okemos, MI, Michigan
Posts: 614
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Your new method will work until it doesn't!

Then: Kaboom!
Dr. François

"We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be."
--Kurt Vonnegut

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Old 06-15-2011, 10:37 PM   #3
brewmcq's Avatar
Apr 2011
Houlton, ME
Posts: 1,800
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Yanno... I effing HATE my hydrometer, and I'm pretty sure it hates me. I still check gravity and make accurate notes, but I always tell my friends that my beer is like 5.5%.

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Old 06-15-2011, 10:39 PM   #4
Sep 2010
Aurora, Colorado
Posts: 1,451
Liked 141 Times on 95 Posts

I've only taken an OG reading twice, and I've never taken a FG reading!!!

Why did I spend $8 on a hydrometer? Because everyone was doing it. I knew I should've listened to mom, don't do it just because everyone else is!

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Old 06-15-2011, 10:46 PM   #5
boo boo
Jun 2005
Hearts's Delight, Newfoundland
Posts: 4,165
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My hydrometer and refractometer are among some of the tools I use to make increasingly great beer. I'd be lost without either.
How do you BBQ an elephant....first you get your elephant....

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Old 06-15-2011, 10:46 PM   #6
Sep 2008
Posts: 2,061
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I always take readings,but then I am one of those people who also measure out their grains and hops. It doesn't really matter, it all makes "beer".
Check out my nanobrewery!

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Old 06-15-2011, 10:52 PM   #7
OlieNH's Avatar
Mar 2011
Auburn, NH
Posts: 96
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Start with a cage containing five monkeys.
Inside the cage, hang a banana on a string and place a set of stairs under it.
Before long, a monkey will go to the stairs and start to climb towards the banana.
As soon as he touches the stairs, spray all of the monkeys with cold water.
After a while, another monkey makes an attempt with the same result - all the monkeys are sprayed with cold water.
Pretty soon, when another monkey tries to climb the stairs, the other monkeys will try to prevent it.
Now, turn off the cold water.
Remove one monkey from the cage and replace it with a new one.
The new monkey sees the banana and wants to climb the stairs.
To his surprise and horror, all of the other monkeys attack him.
After another attempt and attack, he knows that if he tries to climb the stairs, he will be assaulted.
Next, remove another of the original five monkeys and replace it with a new one.
The newcomer goes to the stairs and is attacked.
The previous newcomer takes part in the punishment with enthusiasm.
Again, replace a third original monkey with a new one.
The new one makes it to the stairs and is attacked as well.
Two of the four monkeys that beat him have no idea why they were not permitted to climb the stairs, or why they are participating in the beating of the newest monkey.
After replacing the fourth and fifth original monkeys, all the monkeys that have been sprayed with cold water have been replaced.
Nevertheless, no monkey ever again approaches the stairs.
Why not?
Because as far as they know that's the way it's always been around here.

And that's why we always take gravity readings.
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Old 06-15-2011, 10:58 PM   #8
Oct 2009
Posts: 127
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I could see brewing that way for extract... But not for All Grain. You say there isn't anything you can do about it anyway... you can learn, and adapt your techniques for the next batch.

How are you going to know that your process is on track if you have no idea what your efficiency or attenuation numbers are?
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Old 06-15-2011, 10:59 PM   #9
TotemWolf's Avatar
Jun 2010
Granite, OK
Posts: 284
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I never took readings at first but the more I learned the more I did. My beer got better and the results more repeatable. Now I always take readings because it makes my beer better. And I don't care what the rest of you do this monkey will keep taking readings.
The best brew is the brew you brew.

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Old 06-15-2011, 11:03 PM   #10
Haputanlas's Avatar
Jan 2010
Austin, TX
Posts: 2,975
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I take pre-boil gravity readings so that I KNOW what my starting gravity will be.

I just boil off the specific amount of water necessary to be @ 1.25 gallons of water higher than the final volume required for my Target gravity.

This is why taking gravity readings is very important to me.

I want make sure my brew comes out the way it is intended. I'd rather sacrifice volume for correct gravity.
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