I hate hydrometers!!

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PeeBee
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Re: I hate hydrometers!!

Post by PeeBee » Sun Jun 13, 2021 2:09 am

Carnot wrote:
Sat Jun 12, 2021 10:28 pm
Wallybrew,

You are 100% spot on. You are the exception not the rule and you have a 0.1 mg scale, and I guess a whole host of other analytical kit incuding atomic adsorption. Not exactly a home brewers inventory. I have 25 ml and 50 my pycnometers. My weakness is the scales. 0.1 mg accuracy gets to be a little expensive in more ways than one.

A decent hydrometer calibrated for alcohol is a whole lot easier than a pycnometer. Not perfect I grant you but realtively easy to use.
0.1mg accuracy? No wonder you don't get on with pyknometers! Try a 100ml bottle and you might get away with it, but then some of the benefits of the bottles (small samples) is lost. More important than accuracy is repeatability which is why those cheap Chinese postage stamp "jewellery" scales are useless. The scales I use aren't perfect (dirt cheap at £35-40), they use electronic tricks to stabilise the reading, but repeatable within 0.03g (things might have got better than 0.1g if you haven't looked very recently) so work okay with 25ml bottles, might work better with 50ml. All over the place for 10ml bottles.

A decent hydrometer a whole lot easier? Huge samples to make them work. Meniscus to allow for (consistently!) - somewhat subjectively. Difficult to read if your eyes aren't great. Get glasses? Do they make glasses for "Saccadic Intrusions" (the answer is "no"). You have no idea how truly crap a hydrometer is until forced into a position that makes it obvious.

A pyknometer isn't calibrated for alcohol, but it will tell you the relative density of alcohol (<0.800).

Cask-conditioned style ale out of a keg/Cornie (the "treatise"): https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BwzEv5 ... V1bWc/view

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MashBag
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Re: I hate hydrometers!!

Post by MashBag » Sun Jun 13, 2021 8:04 am

An Ankoù wrote:
Sat Jun 12, 2021 10:18 pm
I come back to the question, Why? Are the results from a half-decent hydrometer, sample in a trial jar and corrected for temperature, not sufficient for homebrew purposes?
Does this separate the brewers from the lab geeks who've hit on brewing as a medium to further their own ends?
I am with you.


Does it matter? Do you need to know at all if it tastes good?

Competition brewing excluded.

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Re: I hate hydrometers!!

Post by guypettigrew » Sun Jun 13, 2021 10:20 am

MashBag wrote:
Sun Jun 13, 2021 8:04 am
An Ankoù wrote:
Sat Jun 12, 2021 10:18 pm
I come back to the question, Why? Are the results from a half-decent hydrometer, sample in a trial jar and corrected for temperature, not sufficient for homebrew purposes?
Does this separate the brewers from the lab geeks who've hit on brewing as a medium to further their own ends?
I am with you.


Does it matter? Do you need to know at all if it tastes good?

Competition brewing excluded.
It's impossible to know how efficient your process is without knowing the gravity. But not to several decimal points! Three is fine, ie a value of (say) 1.052 is good enough for me.

My refractometer allows me to know how well the mash has gone and the overall efficiency. A hydrometer would do the same, but is much more fiddly and wasteful. Hot wort can be taken from the boiler after sparging and just before boiling. The 1/2 ml or so needed for the measurement cools down really quickly on the refractometer. Taking 80ml or so would require more time and effort to cool and test.

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Re: I hate hydrometers!!

Post by Jim » Sun Jun 13, 2021 10:28 am

I hate to be pedantic (no I don't :) ) but the Greek character upsilon (Υ or υ) is pronounced 'i' as in Mick. In modern Greek at least; it only gets an 'oo' sound if preceded by 'o' .
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Re: I hate hydrometers!!

Post by Nitro Jim » Sun Jun 13, 2021 3:20 pm

I drink my beer as do others. I get a "glow", some others get drunk. What I produce is drinkable without knowing what the specific ABV is, drinking it is why I brew it. No need for any gravity measurements here!
Beer is my drug of choice.
I don't need anger management classes, I need people to stop pissing me off.

No beer, no fun - know beer, know FUN!

Carrots may be good for your eyes but alcohol is better as it gives you double vision!

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Re: I hate hydrometers!!

Post by PeeBee » Sun Jun 13, 2021 9:29 pm

Jim wrote:
Sun Jun 13, 2021 10:28 am
I hate to be pedantic (no I don't :) ) but the Greek character upsilon (Υ or υ) is pronounced 'i' as in Mick. In modern Greek at least; it only gets an 'oo' sound if preceded by 'o' .
Damn it! I thought I was doing okay blathering on about Welsh, even chucking in a bit of Latin. But I should have known speaking "authoritatively" about Greek was pushing it a bit too far.

"Pick me nose" it will have to be then.

Cask-conditioned style ale out of a keg/Cornie (the "treatise"): https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BwzEv5 ... V1bWc/view

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Re: I hate hydrometers!!

Post by Carnot » Sun Jun 13, 2021 10:24 pm

Pee Bee do not blow a gasket. Sure, the bigger the sample the less the error will be on a basic scale. You could use a volumetic flask of 1 ltr and your 1035 SG will weigh 1035 g. Now take your pycnometer, which looks like it is 25 ml and that means 1/40 of the size of a 1 ltr sample. Are your two decimal place scales up to it? I would not bet on it. Have you calibrated your scale? 1 unit of SG- 1 g/1000 ml would be 25mg in 25 ml pycnometer. So when you measure to two decimal places is it 0.01 or 0.02. That is why a pycnometer is only as good as the balance. For such a size pycnometer then I would be aiming for 4 decimal places to be on the safe side. You might get away with 3 decimal places but it would not be my preference. Better keep the balance out of drafts.What you have to remember is the density correction for distilled water is normally to 4 decimal places.

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Re: I hate hydrometers!!

Post by PeeBee » Mon Jun 14, 2021 3:21 am

Carnot wrote:
Sun Jun 13, 2021 10:24 pm
... Have you calibrated your scale? ...
I think the clue was in the picture posted earlier in the thread (more calibration weights than you can shake a stick at). Those scales helpfully came with its own calibration weights too.

As for the rest ... I provided ample opportunity for "correction" when I was establishing all this last year. Barely a squeak of opposition back then. Perhaps you'd like to check through that (long established) work? viewtopic.php?f=6&t=82494.

I did not post in this thread to have to go through all that again, and I don't think others on this forum want to go through all that again!

But as you have repeated, the scales need to weigh repeatably and accurately within 0.025gms. I might of given the wrong impression of +/-0.025gms in this thread. The cheap Chinese postage-stamp "drug dealer" scales cannot do that. I've been using the pyknometers alongside refractometers (they are best for quick and dirty tests) for over a year and not once have I had reason to doubt the pyknometer in comparison. Two decimal place scales are quite adequate (provided they are half decent).



I haven't mentioned "hydrometers" in this post until now. If anyone wants to tell me I should use a hydrometer, it will prove to me you haven't read the rest of this thread and the older thread I've linked here. So you can expect a suitably abusive flame response from me, or I'll just ignore the post as pathetically irrelevant! :twisted:

Cask-conditioned style ale out of a keg/Cornie (the "treatise"): https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BwzEv5 ... V1bWc/view

WalesAles
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Re: I hate hydrometers!!

Post by WalesAles » Mon Jun 14, 2021 6:57 am

Pee,
What is a `Hydrometer`?

WA

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Re: I hate hydrometers!!

Post by PeeBee » Mon Jun 14, 2021 12:45 pm

WalesAles wrote:
Mon Jun 14, 2021 6:57 am
Pee,
What is a `Hydrometer`?

WA
According to "Strange-Steve" on another forum, it's a lead washer and it should float in your unfermented wort. I can't verify this, but he is a respected member of the other forum so I guess there's no reason to doubt it.

Cask-conditioned style ale out of a keg/Cornie (the "treatise"): https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BwzEv5 ... V1bWc/view

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Re: I hate hydrometers!!

Post by PeeBee » Mon Jun 14, 2021 3:20 pm

Carnot wrote:
Sun Jun 13, 2021 10:24 pm
... You could use a volumetic flask of 1 ltr and your 1035 SG will weigh 1035 g. ...
Ooo, didn't notice that first time around. But as I was getting bored I do a bit of re-reading here and there. And as you are trying very hard to prove what a cloth-head I am using pyknometers, I couldn't let this slip up pass.

SG is not the same as density (grams per Litre)!

SG (specific gravity) = relative density. And in this case it's relative to pure water at 20°C (yeah, hydrometers have two calibration points, not just the one everyone knows about). There is one exception, where the reference water sample is 4°C (3.98°C to be un-necessarily precise) and the main scale is probably calibrated to read at another temperature (20°C is normal, and supposedly the "standard" if the Lab-rats could be persuaded to stop using 60°F calibrated hydrometers) - these hydrometers are known as "density hydrometers" 'cos they do read density.


Now lay down your armaments and concede!

Cask-conditioned style ale out of a keg/Cornie (the "treatise"): https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BwzEv5 ... V1bWc/view

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