hydrometer, is it necessary for extracts?

Mon Nov 18, 2013 9:20 pm

Im wondering, is it absolutely necessary to use a hydrometer when fermenting? Is it possible to simply to use visual clues along with smelling and tasting to determine if the wort is finally fermented before moving to secondary or bottling? I mean how did people in the past know when it was done before the advent of the hydrometer? The reason I ask is cause I dont have a hydrometer and my first batch came out decent. (well I think so at least..no bad smell and tasted like beer.) Yet I read everywhere that people always advise on absolutely using a hydrometer. Is it truly necessary? (especially for extract kits)
ed71
 
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Re: hydrometer, is it necessary for extracts?

Mon Nov 18, 2013 10:24 pm

A Hydrometer isn't necessary to make beer but it is an extremely useful tool for diagnosing and getting your beer recipes dialed in. Also it is essential for measuring fermentation and then calculating Alcohol level.
Making beer without measuring is like riding a bike at night without a light......it can be done but half the time you don't know what the fuck is happening.
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Re: hydrometer, is it necessary for extracts?

Tue Nov 19, 2013 5:09 am

ed71 wrote:Is it possible to simply to use visual clues along with smelling and tasting to determine if the wort is finally fermented before moving to secondary or bottling?


Yes, it's possible. You can make beer that way. But the gravity readings are going to help you make the next beer better. The more data you have the better off you'll be, and a hydrometer is a cheapt tool.
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Re: hydrometer, is it necessary for extracts?

Tue Nov 19, 2013 5:24 am

+1. It's a lot cheaper than an underattenuated batch being undrinkable, blowing up bottles or the cleaning products you'll use to clean up said mess. It can be done, but even if you don't run into those problems, why? They're cheap.
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Ozwald
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Re: hydrometer, is it necessary for extracts?

Tue Nov 19, 2013 1:18 pm

Ozwald wrote:+1. It's a lot cheaper than an underattenuated batch being undrinkable, blowing up bottles or the cleaning products you'll use to clean up said mess. It can be done, but even if you don't run into those problems, why? They're cheap.



Excellent point chief, it's always a good idea to take multiple gravity readings until it stops dropping that way you know it's done and won't keep converting sugar to alcohol in the bottles causing possible bottle bombs and junk. :jnj
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ScottyB-Brewing
 
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Re: hydrometer, is it necessary for extracts?

Tue Nov 19, 2013 3:52 pm

Ahhh ok. So basically everyone here is saying it can be done without one, but a person would have much better control over the process than without one. Sorta of like putting a sniper scope on a rifle to have a more accurate shot.... than shooting without one.
ed71
 
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Re: hydrometer, is it necessary for extracts?

Tue Nov 19, 2013 5:22 pm

ed71 wrote:Ahhh ok. So basically everyone here is saying it can be done without one, but a person would have much better control over the process than without one. Sorta of like putting a sniper scope on a rifle to have a more accurate shot.... than shooting without one.


Less that it gives you control, and more that it lets you monitor the progress, and take the steps to control the process.
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Re: hydrometer, is it necessary for extracts?

Tue Nov 19, 2013 10:48 pm

spiderwrangler wrote:
ed71 wrote:Ahhh ok. So basically everyone here is saying it can be done without one, but a person would have much better control over the process than without one. Sorta of like putting a sniper scope on a rifle to have a more accurate shot.... than shooting without one.


Less that it gives you control, and more that it lets you monitor the progress, and take the steps to control the process.


+1. The hydrometer let's you reel in the target and see where your shot(s) landed.
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