The hydrometer is good news as that is essential.I picked about 10 pounds of valiant grapes and I'm ready to crush them. I did not wash them or de-stem them. Nor have I used sulphite for anything. I'm not going to add yeast either! I DO have a hydrometer and will use it.
And keep learning. I remember a winemag article about a couple of guys that intentionally made all the mistakes they could so they would recognize them. Me, I seem to do them naturally. Anyway, all the mets, yeast, Malo bacteria etc. are solutions to problems that folks have had. So if you go without them, power to the basics, you may experience them. As long as you learn, who cares?I want to try it the old fashioned way so I have a baseline. I will use the stuff that clarifies it. Just learning.