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Old 12-09-2012, 04:27 AM   #1
Mikecbrid
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I've very new to brewing and looking for some help. I've been reading up a lot on home brewing before I even start. I plan on starting my first brew in the next couple days. I ordered the northern brewer deluxe starter kit (good decision or no?) for my first brew. But anyways what I'm wondering is I see a lot of people talking about gravity levels? What is this, do I have to be worried about this my first couple brews?
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Old 12-09-2012, 04:54 AM   #2
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from wikipedia - Gravity, in the context of fermenting alcoholic beverages, refers to the specific gravity, or relative density compared to water, of the wort or must at various stages in the fermentation. The concept is used in brewing and wine making industry. Specific gravity is measured by a hydrometer, refractometer, pycnometer or oscillating U-tube electronic meter.
The density of a wort is largely dependent on the sugar content of the wort. During alcohol fermentation, yeast converts sugars into carbon dioxide and alcohol. The decline in the sugar content and the presence of ethanol (which is appreciably less dense than water) drop the density of the wort. The percentage of alcohol can be calculated from the difference between the original gravity (abbreviated OG) of the wort and the current specific gravity (abbreviated SG) of wort. By monitoring the decline in SG over time the brewer obtains information about the health and progress of the fermentation and determines that it is complete when gravity stops declining. If the fermentation is finished, the specific gravity is called the final gravity (abbreviated FG). For example, for a typical strength beer, OG could be 1.050 and FG could be 1.010.


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Old 12-09-2012, 04:55 AM   #3
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Oh, and WELCOME Mike! This is a strange bug when it bites ya!
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Old 12-09-2012, 04:56 AM   #4
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Not a bad kit, nut it doesn't include a hydrometer. If you got the glass version, be Very careful. Else, expect large shards of glass at random moments. As for gravity, see below:

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gravi...holic_beverage)

Edit: Oops. At least we were on the same page. Lol
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Old 12-09-2012, 05:02 AM   #5
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So should I order a hydrometer before I even start brewing or what? Is it something I need to keep on top of?
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Old 12-09-2012, 05:05 AM   #6
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And yea I did order the glass kit. Ill watch my feet haha
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Old 12-09-2012, 05:05 AM   #7
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You will need one. I dont have one (yet) but will have one come Monday. Being a noob, too, I started with Mr. beer. I brewed an oatmeal stout as my 2nd batch (only using the Mr Beer keg as a fermenter) and will need it to make sure carbonation is finished. Supposed to check it before capping, as well...but as I didnt have one, I winged it.
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Old 12-09-2012, 05:07 AM   #8
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Ok, thank you guys! Ill post how my first brew goes here in a couple days. Wish me luck!
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Old 12-09-2012, 05:08 AM   #9
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It's a nice kit. I started with the same one. I happen to like the glass carboys, but the kit is also available with the plastic carboys also. The only thing I would have done different is replace the 5 gal secondary with a 6 gal primary. That way you can have a couple batches going without having to rack to another fermenter. Definitely invest in a hydrometer and test jar, and throw in a beer thief. You won't regret it as the hydrometer used for measuring gravity is one of the most important tools in brewing. I think Northern Brewer has the Mad Brewer kit which has all those plus an extra or two. Welcome to the obsession!
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Old 12-09-2012, 05:38 AM   #10
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Do yourself a favor and get 2 hydrometers. Because you WILL break one. Not a matter of IF you break one... but WHEN you break one...

Always good to have a back up. Plus they're cheap.

Gary


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