Original gravity or OG is the specific gravity reading of a beer’s wort prior to having the yeast pitched for fermentation. The original gravity reading is important because it gives the brewer an idea of how much sugar is available for fermentation and what the approximate alcohol by volume will be once fermentation completes. The original gravity reading also permits a brewer to calculate his or her brew house efficiency to determine what percentage of starches and sugars were extracted from the grain bill used to make the beer. Typically either a hydrometer or refractometer are used to take the original gravity reading.
Below is the photo of a hydrometer which is used to take original gravity readings.