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Confessions of a bad brewer...

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timgman

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Brewing a red ale.. I just wanted to confess..I NEVER use a hydrometer.... NEVER... I just let everything go for a month primary minimum...


Geesh, Glad to have that out of my system.........
 

JoeMama

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Meh, I am a lazy brewer as well. I use my hydrometer (or at least plan to) since going AG for my next batches. I will admit that I didnt let my priming water cool before I dumped it in the keg and siphoned my beer into it. I almost felt bad for those yeasties that were killed as a result of that, but the fact that I had so damn much starsan foam coming up I didnt care long.
Its carbing. :)
Now to piece together my serving setup.
-Me
 

ohiobrewtus

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It was still, beer, right? :D

It's not like failure to use a hydrometer magically makes your beer horrible :rolleyes:
 

kryolla

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same here I don't take an OG due to only using extract with steeping grains. You always hit your OG when using extract kits I believe. I do take a FG to make sure it is done fermenting. When I start going PM or AG then I will take an OG and see if I have to add any DME to make up for my low efficiency.
 

MassMark

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I'm curious as to how many other "lazy brewers" are out there. I have tasted a lot of my fathers home brews, (some to excess) and with only one exception, they were all terrific, (one I remember was excessively bitter). Otherwise, he made some of the best beer, (not just home brew) that I've ever had and he was an admitted "lazy brewer". This, despite his years as an engineer/designer in the defense industry, he said that brewing was something he just "did" and never got involved with hydrometers, etc....
 

Stef1966

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You can count me in the club.

I take my OG once in a while to see if I'm hitting the spot i want it to be in, since i don't change my recipes (unless for adjuncts) that much, it's usually around the same.

I do take FG when in doubt, some yeasts are kinda puzzling and don't give you much signs of their current works.

I don't use any fancy equipment and don't plan to, cause IMO homebrew has to remain a simple thing to still be fun.

I just throw hop pellets in my wort and leave it there, heck, my beer comes clear after a while in their bottles anyways.

I do mash my grains, but i have also tried just as with the hops with decent results.

I don't boil priming sugars, I just pour a measured amount of 'em in the bottling bucket and stir like mad.

I never followed a given recipe, i just go by feel and sometimes take small notes about what comes out of what i tried.
 

Kronin

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art usually cant be measured accurately with a device. :)

I expect an old guy whose been brewing for years, just *knows* when his beer says "bottle me!".

Brewing to me is like cooking and love, Jump in with reckless abandon! (albeit sanitary reckless abandon!)
 

ohiobrewtus

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There are folks on this forum that insist that hydrometers are evil................
As well as those who insist that not using them is evil...........

I say to each their own. Do what you're comfortable with. Me, I use 'em all the time.
 

Lindyrig

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Yeah... I have a confession.. although I did it unintentionally. I was making some Irish Red Ale last weekend and boiled the grains right along with the extract. Some people say it might turn out alright, some people say it won't. I guess I'll just wait and see.
 

SkewedBrewing

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I'm with the OP, although I think I might want to start taking a FG eventually, especially with PM recipes, I usually just let the beer go and taste it at every step and it always turns out fine...
 

Joos

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I'm with the OP, although I think I might want to start taking a FG eventually, especially with PM recipes, I usually just let the beer go and taste it at every step and it always turns out fine...
Me too.If mash is sweet time to boil,If fermented beer tastes like beer,time to bottle.I'm still working on the time to drink:DTaking just ONE sample bottle is so hard:D
 
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timgman

timgman

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Still a lazy brwewer.. and not alone I see...
 

retired_young

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I took a FG on my first batch. It seemed to stop somewhat short of what the recipe suggested. It didn't move after a couple more days. But I kegged it anyway and fell completely in love with it. So my hydrometer doesn't make an appearance much anymore.

(I will admit that I don't experiment too much...make the same lovely brew over and over and over...)
 

blueblue

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I like to take hydrometer readings whenever possible just so I can look like a scientist. I also like to watch my friends' eyes glaze over when I try to explain specific gravity to them.
 

HillbillyDeluxe

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HELL, WITH THE EXEPTION OF REALLY DARK STOUTS, I JUST DO TWO WEEKS OF PRIMARY AND THEN BOTTLE, SAMPLE AFTER 1 WEEK, TWO WEEKS, AND USUALLY OUT OF THE BATCH BY WEEK 3. bEST BEER I EVER HAD WAS IN A BOTTLE LESS THAN TWO WEEKS. FELT LIKE A PEDO BUT DRANK IT AFTER TWOO WEEKS(5 GAL) GOT HAMMERED AND LOVED IT!
 

Glubki

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I'm just the opposite - an anal brewer I guess. I have a dry erase board and track everything from room temperature, humidity level, S.G. all the way to my final gravity. That being said I've tasted the brews of friends who don't and some of their beers are better than mine...
 

Panzermann

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same here I don't take an OG due to only using extract with steeping grains. You always hit your OG when using extract kits I believe. I do take a FG to make sure it is done fermenting. When I start going PM or AG then I will take an OG and see if I have to add any DME to make up for my low efficiency.
:confused:

I am baffled by this statement. It just simply doesn't make sense. Hear me out, I am confident you make good beer regardless but how do you know what is "done" without taking readings? Now I know you can just wait it out 10-14 days and rack or bottle. But when you take your OG & FG this not only lets you know that fermentation is complete but also lets you know the attenuation percentages etc. This is very vital information for a brewer IMO.

I like to know what I have created, the little details are what counts.


Make no mistake about it though, send me some of your Beer and i'll drink it. :D
 

anderj

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:confused:

I am baffled by this statement. It just simply doesn't make sense. Hear me out, I am confident you make good beer regardless but how do you know what is "done" without taking readings? Now I know you can just wait it out 10-14 days and rack or bottle. But when you take your OG & FG this not only lets you know that fermentation is complete but also lets you know the attenuation percentages etc. This is very vital information for a brewer IMO.

I like to know what I have created, the little details are what counts.


Make no mistake about it though, send me some of your Beer and i'll drink it. :D
I think that he means that he just uses the anticipated OG, X amount of extract in Y amount of water will give you Z for an original gravity.
-ander
 

Henny

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nope, i think he means: brew, wait two weeks, bottle, wait 1 week, drink. Recipe for success so far for me anyways. I don't need a calculator to tell me it is yummy.
 

kryolla

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:confused:

I am baffled by this statement. It just simply doesn't make sense. Hear me out, I am confident you make good beer regardless but how do you know what is "done" without taking readings? Now I know you can just wait it out 10-14 days and rack or bottle. But when you take your OG & FG this not only lets you know that fermentation is complete but also lets you know the attenuation percentages etc. This is very vital information for a brewer IMO.

I like to know what I have created, the little details are what counts.


Make no mistake about it though, send me some of your Beer and i'll drink it. :D

I only used AHS kits and 1 BB so far and the instructions give you an OG so as long as you dilute the concentrated wort i.e extract with the recommended amount of water you will get the OG or come very close to it. Now I do take FG and compare it to the instructions to make sure it is done after 2 weeks in the primary then I keg. And yes if you have a pound of LME and 1 gallon of water the gravity will equal X also with DME. With PM and AG I will take an OG because I need to know if I should boil longer because the OG is too low or add DME to bring it up. Hope this makes sense
 

Whisler85

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im not gonna lie- sometimes i just forget to take the gravity, probably because ive been waiting for the wort chiller to do its thing, its 1030 at night, and i want to have a damned beer after nine hours of brewing

also, i frequently forget to add the irish moss- like, in my last four beers
 

lordbeermestrength

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also, i frequently forget to add the irish moss- like, in my last four beers
I've only used irish moss once, and then it was because my inlaws bought me a 'beer of the month' kit that came with it.

But on the same recipe I forgot to take hydro readings. It was extract though so I think I should be able to figure it out. I need a new refractometer...
 

kryolla

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I need to find my PH pen and refractometer from my reef tank keeping days
 

missing link

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I only used AHS kits and 1 BB so far and the instructions give you an OG so as long as you dilute the concentrated wort i.e extract with the recommended amount of water you will get the OG or come very close to it. Now I do take FG and compare it to the instructions to make sure it is done after 2 weeks in the primary then I keg. And yes if you have a pound of LME and 1 gallon of water the gravity will equal X also with DME. With PM and AG I will take an OG because I need to know if I should boil longer to reduce the gravity or add DME to bring it up. Hope this makes sense
Boil off will affect your OG and so will the accuracy of your water measurements. A better way to make sure your finished beer tastes the way the kit maker intended is this.....

Brew per instructions.
Top up with 80% of recommended top up water.
Stir well.
take gravity reading
add small increments of water until OG is reached being sure to stir after each water addition.

I think everybody will be surprised by how often they require more or less than 5 gallons total volume to hit the OG number. Too many new brewers focus only on getting exactly 5 gallons and then wonder why the OG is off or why the FG is not what they expected.

Not following the above steps can have a huge impact on the finished gravity and the final flavor of the beer. Granted not hitting your OG will not make the beer "bad" it just might taste slightly different than it is supposed to.

Linc
 

kryolla

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^^^
If the kit says it makes 5 gallons and you have 5 gallons in your fermenter then you more than likely hit your OG with extract. This isn't rocket science or that complicated for that matter.
 

JPicasso

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+1 on not taking OG readings for my extract batches anymore.

I just use the calculated gravity. Everytime I've measured I've been +- 0.002.

However, most of my brews consist of pre-measured cans or bags of malt, so there's no reason to think that some of the malt sneaked out.

If I mini-mash, I take it, and when I start AG I'll do it also. But for extract, Meh.
 

ruprplxd

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My confession......
OG, FG, hydrometer, refractwhatever, DME, attentuation, mash, partial mash, cold crashing, dry hopping.....huh???? What???? I just wanna make beer. Just follow the instructions, put it in your secondary after 1-2 weeks then bottle it after another 2 weeks. Wait at least 3 weeks. Then drink.
 
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timgman

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Yep, I do exacting CS work at work ALL day... admin 1000's of pc's and 50 or so networks on several dozen vpn's.
I want brewing to be mind numbing.
I like the fact that it's a magical-organic process...... and I'd like to keep it that way.
In general I follow ALL principles / metods and routines set by the well defined masters on this forum. In that manner I have blind faith and feel that I can't go wrong. I use their direction more that the instructions that came with any kit....
ahem... (thanks revvy and others)



timg
 

wilserbrewer

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Well I think I may have everyone beat at at being a fine and talented extremely lazy brewer. Brewed my first batch in the mid eighties w/ two friends. Been brewing on and off ever since. Over the years I feel I have skillfully maximized quality and also minimized labor.

Don't even own a hydrometer, been brewing all grain for a couple of years now. I wouldn't even consider letting someone "muck around" with my brew and take readings for three consecutive days to check completeness of fermetation. I pitch healthy yeast at the proper temps and it has yet to fail me!

I brew 1/6 and 1/4 keg batches and feel I have a pretty darn good idea how much grain I need to make a tasty brew.

Ok, you want lazy, sometimes I brew up 8 gallons in my 11 gal. stainless pot. Cool the wort w/ either my IC or a big ass ice/water bath (and who says ice baths don't work well...hah...w/ enough ice and a big enough tub they work great!). Either pitch dry yeast directly to wort in kettle (no airation req'd for dry yeast per manufactur) or airate wort using a pitcher dipping and pouring if I am using a saved slurry from a previous batch. Once the yeast is pitched I place the lid on the kettle and fermentation starts. Usually at high kreusen, I place a plasting bag over the kettle and secure w/ a long piece of string wrapped twice tightly around the kettle and tied tight. With this set up you can see positive pressure as the plastic is ballooned up. If I can see positive pressure in the fermenter, I assume little to nothing is making it's way back in. After two weeks plus or minus I will rack to a keg and purge w/ CO2.

Follow sound mashing techniques, Boil vigorously, cool wort promptly, pitch and ferment at proper temps, and follow sanitation practices (yea star san!) and all the other details willl take care of themselves.

Anyone who doubts this crude method is surely welcome to stop by the brewery for a free sample.

Mike
 

Laughing_Gnome_Invisible

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I got lazy in the end with extract batches. Gravities always hit the mark and evreything, it seemed superfluous in the end, so I brewed extracts without one. Since going AG I would not brew without it. I need all the info I can get. I don't see a time in my future now where I will be ditching it. There are too many variables where things can go wrong, so I need the info it gives me for trouble shooting at the very least. I'm not all that interested in the ABV of my beer, but I AM interested in poor brewhouse efficiency etc. Each to their own, it's all beer! :)
 
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