American Standard vs Metric - Home Brew Forums

 Home Brew Forums > American Standard vs Metric

10-03-2013, 01:15 PM   #1
SagamoreAle
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Jan 2013
Posts: 162
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So do you use American Standard or Metric in your measurements? How far do you take it? Obviously this thread is of interest to American brewers more than International folks.

Do you use ounces or grams? Pounds or kiligrams? The answers are probably easy.

Taking it a bir further: do you use milligrams or grains? I bought a grain scale so I can avoid milligrams.

When you think of a wine bottle is it 750ml or a fifth?

I use the metric system in my yeast starters in the sense that my erlenmerer flask is graduated in ml. But I approximate a liter to a quart and the fermentable I add is measured in pounds. Sometimes I've been known to calculate ml/gallon.

Just curious what people are doing. Do you intentionally avoid metric or are you ambivalent. I tend to avoid out of a sense of tradition, but I'll use it when I can't get away from it.
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10-03-2013, 01:20 PM   #2
Sudstud
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Dec 2011
Garden City, Kansas
Posts: 75
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I'm all over the place with what I use.

Grain- Pounds
Hops- grams
Water- gallons
temp- Fahrenheit

I like to use milligrams for hops and water adjustments for accuracy, same reason I use Fahrenheit for temp.

10-03-2013, 01:24 PM   #3
JonM

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Aug 2010
Milwaukee
Posts: 8,442
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I use American Standard, but only because that's the standard around here. Every time I do, I curse about how stupid it is and tell myself to start using metric for brewing.

I hate how inelegant the whole system is. Say I need (making up numbers here ...) 1.85 gallons of something. I have to figure that's on gallon, three quarts, one pint, and 3 and 7/25ths oz. 1.85 liters is just 1.85 liters. The same ridiculous thing shows up when you want to increase/reduce an American measurement by X percent. So much simpler in metric.

EDIT: And the Fahrenheit scale is completely arbitrary.
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10-03-2013, 01:27 PM   #4
kh54s10

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Aug 2011
Tiverton, Rhode Island
Posts: 11,899
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Quote:
 Originally Posted by Sudstud I'm all over the place with what I use. Grain- Pounds Hops- grams water adjustment- grams Water- gallons temp- Fahrenheit I like to use milligrams for hops and water adjustments for accuracy, same reason I use Fahrenheit for temp.
Same here.

It depends on the step. In some it is easier American and others it is easier in metric.

10-03-2013, 01:37 PM   #5
eltorrente
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Aug 2011
baltimore, md
Posts: 495
Liked 64 Times on 46 Posts

American Standard. It's funny how goofy the measurements are, yet I stick with it because I usually can't see a metric unit and understand it immediately.

For instance, I have no idea what 31C means. Is that hot or cold? Oh.. it's 88F - o.k., that's pretty warm.

10-03-2013, 01:54 PM   #6
duboman
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Jul 2011
Glenview, IL
Posts: 6,368
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Quote:
 Originally Posted by Sudstud I'm all over the place with what I use. Grain- Pounds Hops- grams water adjustment- grams Water- gallons temp- Fahrenheit I like to use milligrams for hops and water adjustments for accuracy, same reason I use Fahrenheit for temp.
Same here and I also use grams for my starter weight of DME and priming sugar!
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10-03-2013, 02:02 PM   #7
IslandLizard
Progressive Brewing

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Jan 2013
Posts: 7,211
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American Standard for everything, except for measuring small amounts say starting under 7 grams (1/4 oz), and definitely under 1 gram.

I was born and raised in The Netherlands and lived there my first 30 years. I also have an education in chemistry. Metric is the language there. But it was really a breeze of freshness to buy a "pint of bitter" in England.

When I moved to the US I noticed I just had to get accustomed to the US units quickly. It became second nature in a short time.

When I see brew recipes in metric, I'm now clueless.

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10-03-2013, 02:14 PM   #8
mb82
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Apr 2012
Charlottesville, Va
Posts: 706
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Quote:
 Originally Posted by Sudstud I'm all over the place with what I use. Grain- Pounds Hops- grams water adjustment- grams Water- gallons temp- Fahrenheit I like to use milligrams for hops and water adjustments for accuracy, same reason I use Fahrenheit for temp.
Same here. I'd go all metric but my LHBS might keel over if I brought in a recipe that was all metric. I have to adjust my hops before I walk in to American Standard, usually I round up to the nearest 1/4 oz.
The only reason I use fahrenheit for temp is because my thermometer is a dial on and farenheit is the main temp scale otherwise I would mash in C. Starters are done in metric.
Being a biologist I have learned to bounce back and forth since so few people in the US even understand the basic measurements in Metric. It is kinda sad actually.
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10-03-2013, 02:27 PM   #9
ryan_george
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Jul 2009
Fergus, Ontario
Posts: 233
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As most homebrewers in north america, I started using all imperial units. Pounds of grain, gallons of water, ounces of hops, Fahrenheit for temp. Over the last year or two I've moved towards SI: kilograms of grain, liters of water, Celsius for temp, grams of salts, although still ounces for hops! Don't know why...

10-03-2013, 02:47 PM   #10
Moose1231
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Mar 2011
Montreal, Qc
Posts: 143
Liked 8 Times on 8 Posts

From Canada so I always use metric. When one of you put a Fahrenheit, pound or gallon measure, google becomes my best friend! :

X Fahrenheit to Celsius