Hello my name is Gila, I have been a zymurgist obsessive for nearly 3 years now, and I am a lazy brewer!
I mean I shouldn't even own a hydrometer, let alone 2. I use them so infrequently I have to read the inserts to remember the calibration point (is it 60 or .....).
Don't get me wrong. During brewday I am a refractometerizing fool. pH, water chemistry, rest temp control, conversion, all things I obsess about while brewing but after the wort is oxygenerated, the yeast is swimming, and the whole party is in the cool dark, I go all torpid. Generally, after fermentation has commenced, I may not even look at the fermenter for another month.
With Ales, this is no problem. My Ale have even improved since I have learned to just let them be but, the lagers, oh the lagers how they torment me.
I have been doing this long enough to know what I should
be doing. That is, check the progress with the hydro and when they get to about 70% pull em out for a D-rest. But alas, I rarely even think about them until well after fermentation has completed, the yeast have gone dormant (mostly), a flocc'd themselve gently out of the way. Thus, even tho' I do pull the beer out to room temp and let it set for another 7 days, I still end up buttered.
The issue isn't a dis-interest in the beer, I have no problems with checking in on the beer periodically. Nor with periodically pulling a small sample to taste. But, for some reason I loath
my hydrometer. The finding it, sanitizing, the wasted wort, cleaning, drying, and putting away of it all.
So, I ask is there a general correlation of time in the chill that works on average as a countdown to D day?
We all know the 1-2-3 method for Ales and have adopted some manner of this to our own berewery but what for Lagers?
How do you guage the beers preparedness without the Hydro? Do you watch the Krausen? Taste it through the greenery?
Thoughts, comments, welcome.