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Brew Day without a Hydrometer

I bought 2 hydrometers about 18 months ago because I had broken mine and wanted a spare. I used them both for that whole time then last week broke both in the same brew session! I meant to pick up a new one but haven’t gotten around to it.

So today I’m brewing a Vienna Lager, hydrometer-less. Feels weird. I usually take gravity readings of first runnings, late second runnings, pre boil kettle, then OG. I’ve brewed this recipe so many times it’s kind of like relying on brunwater and base line pH when I don’t use my pH meter. I know what I’m going to get if my volumes and timing are correct but still seems like driving at night with no headlights…

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ugh… my wife cleaned up our storage room, where I keep all my stuff. I can’t for the life of me find my refractometer. I usually am kind of lax, and just measure partway through the boil, into the kettle, and to check at the end of fermentation, but just winged it on my last IPA, where I had introduced a couple of variables (tightened my crush on the mill, used a new-to-me yeast). I’m totally unsure of where I ended up. The still not quite carbed beer tastes kind of sweet, so I have a feeling this one’s biting me.

I’m actually going to save a test cylnder’s worth of wort and get a hydrometer later today…I want to have some idea where it ends up though as I said from experience I can guess pretty closely on this batch.

I have done lots of batches without taking on OG. I figure it will still come out beer without one. :grinning: Punch all the ingredients into a recipe calculator and get a pretty close expected gravity.

To me the FG is what you need to take to see if you are done, waiting or stalled.

I do tend to not get too scientific though and have done batches where I never wrote anything down or measured (except temps) anything.

All that said, most of the time I do take an OG and I’m up to three hydrometers now.

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