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View Poll Results: Hydrometer a necessity?
I gotta have one! 20 43.48%
I like having it, but don't need it. 22 47.83%
Never use it, never will. 4 8.70%
Voters: 46. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 10-10-2005, 06:29 AM   #1
Brewsmith
 
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While brewing today I broke my hydrometer. I've brewed several batches before without it's use, but I still like to know the gravity and calculate the ABV. So do I replace it, or say screw it and continue without it?
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Old 10-10-2005, 08:32 AM   #2
ScottT
 
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I voted got to have it. Basicly just for my sanity. I want to know about my beer. Did I hit my OG? If I didn't, now is the time to adjust. My last batch, a wee heavy was 1.069 just before I pitched. That didn't meet the style requirement of 1.073. So I boiled up an adjustment using DME and cooled it down and added it to the carboy. Tested again, 1.074. Now it was ready to pitch my starter.

This also allows me to calculate ABV at racking to secondary and at bottling.
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Old 10-10-2005, 01:19 PM   #3
El Pistolero
 
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You forgot the option for "I gotta have two".
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Old 10-10-2005, 01:24 PM   #4
Waldo
 
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They are nice for the OG, gets you off on the right foot, after that aren't you kind of at the mercy of the beer fairies? It's still nice to know if you hit your target, but I bet there'd be a lot less beer related stress if you didn't know and didn't care.
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Old 10-10-2005, 02:15 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScottT
I voted got to have it. Basicly just for my sanity. I want to know about my beer. Did I hit my OG? If I didn't, now is the time to adjust. My last batch, a wee heavy was 1.069 just before I pitched. That didn't meet the style requirement of 1.073. So I boiled up an adjustment using DME and cooled it down and added it to the carboy. Tested again, 1.074. Now it was ready to pitch my starter.

This also allows me to calculate ABV at racking to secondary and at bottling.
I've actually gotten into the habit of checking my gravity pre-boil. Using the starting volume vs. your projected post-boil volume you can know exactly what your pre-boil SG should be to hit your target. I'm never significantly above. If I'm within a point or two I don't worry about it. If I'm several (or more) points low I add LME using a formula from BYO to shore it up. You can actually use most any fermentable if you know the potential gravity points of it. This way you only wind up doing one boil per session.

 
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Old 10-10-2005, 03:16 PM   #6
Walker
I use secondaries. :p
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I rarely ever check gravity, and on those occasions that I DO check it, it's not for calculating ABV.... it's to make sure the fermentation is done in the secondary and I can go ahead with bottling. I've only checked starting gravity a total of 3 times ever.

I think I use my hydrometer on 5% of my batches.

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Old 10-10-2005, 04:33 PM   #7
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I put down for the "nice but not needed" category. I like knowing where the brew is at for OG and if it's in the right neighborhood for FG, but I'd be okay without it.

If you can spare the cash, pick one up. If not, don't worry about it for the time being.
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Old 10-10-2005, 04:49 PM   #8
david_42
 
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I've used a hydrometer since the gitgo. I like to know how well a batch is doing as it progresses. It is also handy in detecting a stuck ferment.

 
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Old 10-10-2005, 05:40 PM   #9
Brewsmith
 
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I started brewing without one, but the more I brew, the more I like to know what's going on with the gravity. Especially now since I built my mash/lauter tun, I'm curious about my efficiency. Except that now mine is broken
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Old 10-10-2005, 06:11 PM   #10
gibfried
 
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I have one, and I like to think that I will use it, but I ussually don't. You know how it goes, projectiles are flying around, beer is getting swallowed, etc.
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