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View Poll Results: How Important is a Hydrometer to Your Brewing
Necessary "Helps me brew better" 93 65.03%
Could Take it or Leave it. 32 22.38%
Not Necessary "Doesn't make me a better brewer" 13 9.09%
What's a hydrometer? 5 3.50%
Voters: 143. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 11-03-2007, 07:13 PM   #1
...My Junk is Ugly...
BierMuncher's Avatar
Jan 2007
St. Louis, MO
Posts: 12,418
Liked 805 Times on 438 Posts

It's probably been asked before, but I thought it time to revive the debate.

For me, it's invaluable. Brewing without knowing the gravity of your beer would be like flying a plane in the fog without instrumentation.

What say you other brewers...?

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Old 11-03-2007, 07:15 PM   #2
mr x
May 2007
Mainly Halifax
Posts: 1,576
Liked 4 Times on 4 Posts

Use them everytime. I have 7 between 2 houses.
This place really went to hell. Follow the OF standard stout. Bye.

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Old 11-03-2007, 07:15 PM   #3
Beerrific's Avatar
Mar 2007
Posts: 5,562
Liked 55 Times on 47 Posts

A hydrometer shouldn't make or break your brewing, it should be there to tell you that have done everything correctly, IMO.

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Old 11-03-2007, 07:18 PM   #4
Sep 2006
Posts: 695
Liked 6 Times on 6 Posts

If you want to be sure of your %ABV and be sure that your fermentation is complete, you need one.

If you want to wing your ABV and are willing to risk bottle bombs, skip it.
Planning: Agave Witbock, Raisin Beer
Primary: GF Hazelnut Stout
Tertiary: Cranberry-Pom pLambic (est. bottle date: 03/01/08)
Drinking: Cab.Sav/Merlot Wine, Grand Cru, Hazelnut Stout #3, Ordinary Bitter

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Old 11-03-2007, 07:32 PM   #5
Yuri_Rage's Avatar
Jul 2006
Posts: 14,296
Liked 814 Times on 514 Posts

My hydrometer acts as my all grain report card. Based on its reading, I can tell how well I did with the mash. If the result is unexpected, I try to find a reason and fix it for next time. The added bonus is that I know exactly how potent my beer is.
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Old 11-03-2007, 07:40 PM   #6
May 2007
Posts: 4,474
Liked 27 Times on 25 Posts

Originally Posted by Beerrific
A hydrometer shouldn't make or break your brewing, it should be there to tell you that have done everything correctly, IMO.
That's basically how I use it, to provide confirmation that I haven't screwed up. I keg nearly everything, so I take a measurement before pitching and right before kegging...unless I think something has gone wrong, that is pretty much it. Typically, four weeks have passed between those two measurements, and once kegged the beer conditions at least another month before I even consider tapping it.

Nearly all of my beers are medium to low OG, and they ferment in a very predictable manner. So far, so good. Should I try making something substantially bigger, I'll probably take a few more measurements to make sure I'm on track.

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Old 11-03-2007, 07:40 PM   #7
Ryanh1801's Avatar
Mar 2007
Posts: 2,676
Liked 13 Times on 10 Posts

I don't use mine except on brew day, most of the time I forget to take a reading before bottling. I could take it or leave it, I just use it to know how good I did on my mash.

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Old 11-03-2007, 08:14 PM   #8
mrkristofo's Avatar
Sep 2007
Behind the zion curtain
Posts: 922
Liked 6 Times on 6 Posts

I have 3 and a refractometer. I like numbers.
Coming Soon:
Primary: Stone Vertical Epic 08.08.08
Secondary: Oaked Arrogant Bastard
Conditioning: Dead Guy Ale clone, Double-Dubbel
Drinking: Not for a while

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Old 11-03-2007, 09:26 PM   #9
Bernie Brewer
Grouchy Old Fart
Bernie Brewer's Avatar
Feb 2006
Eldorado, WI
Posts: 7,507
Liked 149 Times on 59 Posts

I use it just to satisfy my curiosity on my efficiency, ABV etc. It's not like the beer is going to taste any different if I don't use it.
I like to squeeze the nickle until the buffalo craps-mt rob

"Why don't we get drunk and screw?" Jimmy Buffett

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Old 11-03-2007, 09:32 PM   #10
bradsul's Avatar
Sep 2006
Ontario, Canada
Posts: 4,898
Liked 32 Times on 25 Posts

I use it every brew. I do like the numbers (plan to get a refractometer) to use as a gauge of how well my equipment and process is performing. I also like to know the alcohol percent because everybody always asks. I don't plan to stop using it.
Canadian Brewers Unite!

Projects: Sylvania Kegerator Conversion, Tower Cooling, Grain Milling Station

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