Why do some people OBSESS over gravity?

Seriously I just don’t get it. At least final gravity anyway. I build a recipe and based on my systems efficiency and can figure out about what the OG’s gonna be, then estimate where the FG is gonna be, but if it’s two or three points off, hell even four or five, WHO CARES! For some reason the yeast is gonna do what it wants anyway. Yeast is a biological organism and if it doesn’t feel like working to the top of the attenuation range than so be it, don’t piss it off next time.

My recipe calculations are for a flavor profile and strength. If I want it dry, mash it low. Thick, mash it high. The only reason I even take an FG reading is to calculate % ABV and to take a swig of the product :twisted:

OMG it finished at 1.014 instead of my calculated 1.012 what can I do to save my beer?!?!? :roll:

Ya could shaddup and drink it…

Maybe I’m just weird… :mrgreen:

Usually it the new brewers that are so concerned about messing something up, when they read the FG sould be 1.0XX and it turns out to be 1.0yy they assume they screwed up.

Though I think there is at least one post by someone recently that has a member date from over 5 years ago.

personally FG bugs me. I know a few point difference isn’t a big deal, but I wish i could predict it like i can my OG. For me, I think it’s just a little OCD.

Although, i do agree that people get overly concerned about it.

The last time i was really concerned about it - was a RIS that finished at 1.030. Sure enough, after some aging it tasted great.

Knowing my gravity keeps me well grounded.

I just like to know if I can have one or five for breakfast. :wink:

Now this is funny…

I don’t even really care about the OG…For all 3 of my first AG batches I have been off by 10…so it was supposed to be 1.058 and I get 1.048…bah…whatever… In the end if it tastes good, which all of them have so far I don’t care. :slight_smile:

I think the issue with final gravity is that if it’s higher by 5 ticks or so, it can effect the taste and be sweeter than you might want. There can be quite a difference between 1.010 and 1.015 in a light-bodied beer. I did see a thread recently where someone was concerned that their OG was off by .006. Okay, that’s too precise for me. Honestly, I don’t measure OG or FG anymore. I use software to tell me where my OG is going to be and I know my brewhouse efficiency. I design beers that are around 5% or so, generally. If it comes in at 4.8%, I don’t really mind. I do want the yeast to finish their job and get the gravity down the last few ticks so I might warm it up, rouse the yeast or just be patient while the yeast does its important work. Some of this just gets easier with time.

If you bottle it can be important to know that you’ve reached FG in order to avoid bottle bombs. I don’t really obsess over it though.

I’m not obsessed by gravity, other than planetary, but I take it for granted.

If I miss my OG, no big deal. I keg 95% of my beers, even if my FG is higher than where I anticipated I can go ahead and keg it and not worry about bottle bombs.

That said, right after the holidays a lot of new brewers are posting about when to transfer to secondary, mainly because the instructions are sketchy at best or dead wrong, so we have a lot of posts about it and the answer is…check your gravity! Then again, NB’s starter kits don’t even come with a hydrometer these days so I guess it’s not important.

I bought a refractometer , maybe 3 years ago. :?

Since then, I take OG and FG readings. Easy, easy, easy.

The 7 + years prior to that I have been brewing, 10 years total for me this spring, I never once took a gravity reading of any kind. NONE. :shock:

Extract / Partial mash / All grain.

I’ve had exactly ONE bottle ever explode while I was still bottling. Always gave my beer time to finish and just didn’t care about the FG as long as it did what it was supposed to do. 3~4 weeks in the primary is my SOP.

Now I like to see OG’s for efficiency and FG’s for attenuation and alcohol. 2 pipettes and it’s done. If I never got the refractometer, I still might not measure gravity.

If you really care, :lol:

Good Luck

[quote=“Duder”]I bought a refractometer , maybe 3 years ago. :?

Since then, I take OG and FG readings. Easy, easy, easy.


Do you have an easy way to adjust your refractometer readings for alcohol? I have only been using my refract on brew day, since I thought once alcohol was in the mix, they weren’t accurate.

Many, many online calculators.

Use the Brix for OG and calculate for FG with another Brix reading.

Sean T’s OG/FG/Refractometer Excel page works for all of this. :slight_smile:


Nice and orderly.

Good Luck

[quote=“Duder”]Many, many online calculators.

Use the Brix for OG and calculate for FG with another Brix reading.

Sean T’s OG/FG/Refractometer Excel page works for all of this. :slight_smile:


Nice and orderly.

Good Luck[/quote]

Oustanding thanks!

Suppose I could have just googled that.

Some people are numbers people. Some are not. That’s what’s great about brewing, it’s a beautiful blend of art and science. I don’t obsess over FG, but if I do like my APA’s and IPA’s a little more dry. So I’m shooting for 1.010 or lower. If I end up with 1.015-1.020 range, well then yeah I’ll be concerned and trying to figure out what went wrong and how to fix it next time.

As for OG, I’d think most would be concerned with this numbered. This tells you so much about your brewing process and what the final beer will be like.

Obsessed, no. Interested, yes.


Last beer, I hit the FG I was expecting on the nose and it came out tasting way too dry.

Beer before that, I came out a full 10 points above the FG I was expecting and it was excellent.

I’m starting to think I’ve got a long, long way to go before I know enough about beer to be able to obsess over gravity in a productive way. Until then, I’m just taking notes and trying to learn.

I didn’t read the O/P as a question of taking sg readings or not; just a mild rant on obsessing over .002 OG versus FG. No, I wouldn’t ever worry to much about it. The reading is what it is. There are so many variables involved, that .002 is pretty meaningless IMO on the home brewer, 5 gallon level. We ain’t talkin’ a whole lot of money here and no accounant is on my back about efficiency.

Personally, I’ve taken readings and not taken readings over the years. More recently, I’ve tried to improve my note taking in hopes of becoming a more consistent brewer batch to batch. Gravities are just more data.

I’m new to this and I obsess over it because, well, I obsess over every step of the process right now.

And I realize I shouldn’t, but it’s hard not to in the early stages. For me anyway.

Having just switch to AG, I’m more concerned about OG than I likely will be after a few more batches because the OG helps to dial in the system and the efficiency - for me, it’s about learning and being able to hit the target consistently.

I think because so much of brewing is “magic” (invisible biological processes, transformations that happen inside a closed fermentor, etc) that the one real hard measurement of his or her beer a brewer can take… Specific Gravity (SG), we tend to latch on to.