Hey so brand new here. Have talked about brewing for years but have always had an excuse (usually money) to put of getting started. This year I found myself with an assortment of Father's day gift cards and no idea what to spend them. Decided to take the plunge and finally do it. Got what I think is pretty decent setup for right around $75. Put it together myself as opposed to buying a kit. All that's really left is to go shopping for my ingredients which I plan to do this week. Found recipes for a Hefeweizen and a Dunkleweizen and will probably decide while shopping for ingredients. In the meantime I've just been checking out the forum here and trying to soak up as much information as I can. The only real question that I've seen contrasting thoughts on is should I have a hydrometer if I'm using a tried and tested recipe and not experimenting with my own? It stands to reason that if I follow the same fermenting time as the recipe under similar conditions I should be fine right? But I've also seen on here that the only way to truly know if it's done is to take gravity readings with a hydrometer. I typical would ask my father-in-law but he's a pretty laid back brewer (he told me it wasn't essential that the fermenter be a food grade bucket) so I can guess his response. I do plan on buying one eventually and upgrading and adding to my setup over time. My question is just whether I actually should have one for my first couple brews or if I can go ahead without it?