Tilt hydrometer review

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Re: Tilt hydrometer review

Post by PeeBee » Mon Jun 17, 2019 12:40 pm

The "alternative" Tilt software for the Pi was a doddle to install like the default image. The hardest part was downloading the image as it's not glaringly obvious where to find it. I haven't a dedicated little screen for the Pi yet (about £25-65) but plugged in a full-size screen. The "alternative" image works exactly like the default, and functions like the default when no screen (and keyboard, etc) is attached making me wonder why there are two versions and not one (hopefully nothing to worry about).

I've also configured logging to my own copy of the Tilt app in Google Sheets, but this does start to tread in "geek" territory (although the Tilt bunch have made it as easy as they can). Still, you don't need to do it although you are relying on the Tilt manufacturer maintaining their Google platform (you have to be a cynic like me to let that bother you). My cynicism will drive me to find a way of removing reliance on the last remaining third-party component of the Tilt: Google!

I've notice some things are more "enhanced" in the Tilt Pi app than the Tilt mobile app. Like calibration. So far my experience with the Tilt Pi as opposed to mobile phone is working out very well. But there will always be those who prefer to use a mobile phone; my experience using Tilt Pi is just dispelling the argument that using a mobile phone is easier to setup (and using a Pi is cheaper if you have to have a "Tilt Repeater" to get the extra range for a phone). I was reluctant to mess with a Pi, so I know all about that futile and unfounded reluctance first-hand.

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Re: Tilt hydrometer review

Post by f00b4r » Mon Jun 17, 2019 7:27 pm

One image is designed to be run headless, i.e. no graphical interface running so you use SSH or similar from another machine. The reason for running headless is that it uses much less resources and gives you more leeway for running other things on the Pi.

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Re: Tilt hydrometer review

Post by PeeBee » Mon Jun 17, 2019 11:49 pm

f00b4r wrote:
Mon Jun 17, 2019 7:27 pm
One image is designed to be run headless, i.e. no graphical interface running so you use SSH or similar from another machine. The reason for running headless is that it uses much less resources and gives you more leeway for running other things on the Pi.
That would be an explanation, except …

The Tilt Pi is setup as a dedicated appliance using half an 8Gb SD card (as small as they come these days) so there is a surfeit of resources. So I'm still mystified why there's two versions, one with an optional graphical interface, one without or "headless". There may be geeky reasons for wanting it this way, but the majority of users want a Tilt, not a Pi?

But I am a geek, and will soon find ways to multipurpose the Pi. I guess the software is still evolving, and the "choice" will be whittled away in time.

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Re: Tilt hydrometer review

Post by f00b4r » Tue Jun 18, 2019 5:24 pm

There is a big difference between storage space and processor or memory usage. The storage space isn't really relevant and is easy to change.

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Re: Tilt hydrometer review

Post by PeeBee » Tue Jun 25, 2019 6:26 pm

We're off, again. Yeast not in yet, bit warm so wort is being cooled a bit more. New Tilt still required some calibration (was reading 1.052, actual 1.058) but otherwise just cleaned and chucked in. Tracking with a TiltPi so I'm not waving my mobile phone about trying to get a connection. The screenshot is a MS "Edge" window on my workstation. So far the TiltPi option is proving miles better than a mobile phone and they really are cheap and a piece of cake to set up.
TiltPi.JPG

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Re: Tilt hydrometer review

Post by f00b4r » Tue Jun 25, 2019 6:32 pm

The RPi4 came out this week too, with a huge jump in performance along with different RAM options (1-4 gig).

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Re: Tilt hydrometer review

Post by normevans » Wed Jun 26, 2019 5:55 am

Hi, I was wondering whether anybody had used the Tilt with a top cropping yeast. Having just brewed a beer using WY2565 Koelsch yeast and having the yeast come through the airlock I am interested in how accurate the Tilt would be in these conditions.

Thanks

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Re: Tilt hydrometer review

Post by PeeBee » Wed Jun 26, 2019 7:54 am

normevans wrote:
Wed Jun 26, 2019 5:55 am
Hi, I was wondering whether anybody had used the Tilt with a top cropping yeast. Having just brewed a beer using WY2565 Koelsch yeast and having the yeast come through the airlock I am interested in how accurate the Tilt would be in these conditions.

Thanks
As the manufacturers point out, the Tilt floats with 95+% below the surface. Yeast crop can't have much effect. This current trial of mine is with an ale yeast. Bubbles from fermentation do have an impact, because when fermentation is going strong you can see the readings dance about as bubbles collect and detach. But I can live with that as I know its happening.


Current trial is going better than the first, with the Tilt registering a drop within 12hrs of pitching yeast (one or two points - some is due to temperature which decreased 4-5C in first few hours). The "broken" Tilt used previously showed a large lag at this point. (The Tilt is recording 1.055-56 whereas a refractometer gives 1.052 - but that discrepancy can be put down to geometry with the Tilt sampling in the bulk and the refractometer from the bottom in the sampling/racking port).

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Re: Tilt hydrometer review

Post by normevans » Thu Jun 27, 2019 5:14 am

Peebee, thanks for your reply. The Tilt has a 20% discount this weekend at local (Australia) on-line site so I'll take the plunge.

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Re: Tilt hydrometer review

Post by chris2012 » Thu Jun 27, 2019 10:21 am

I'm wondering, are you applying corrections to the brix from the refractometer during fermentation?

It seems as well as applying a wort correction factor, you need to use a formulae that takes into account the alcohol such as that of Petr Novotný.

There's apparently an English article in Zymurgy on his formulae, which I haven't managed to get yet.

But putting his website into google translate - https://diversity-pivo.blogspot.com/201 ... metru.html seems to work ok.

I think, someone correct me if I'm wrong the main formulae appears to be:
-0.002349 * bxi + 0.006276 * bxf + 1

Where you plug in the original and final brix values, to give an output as specific gravity.

I'm going to calculate the wort correction factor and use Novotný's formulae when I next brew to see how it goes with both my refractometer and hydrometer.

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Re: Tilt hydrometer review

Post by PeeBee » Thu Jun 27, 2019 10:59 am

Fermenting a day-and-half now. Refractometer reads 12.0 BRIX which when corrected for fermenting wort gives SG1.041. The Tilt reads …
TiltPi.JPG
Temperature from the Grainfather Conical is 19.2C, all of 0.3C higher than the Tilt, but this is also early morning and the GF "skin" (where the GF thermometer is) will warm quicker than the beer bulk (where the Tilt is) (it's warmer outside - yeah, it's Summer!). And the SG reading is on the nail. Fermenting strong so the Tilt does bob about a bit (1.039-1.043) but this will be CO2 bubbles as mentioned earlier. The displayed uncalibrated SG remains at -0.006 as previous calibration, suggesting it isn't following the modified "slope" established by "multi-point" calibration? But as that value ("Uncal. SG") has no value to us at all, so be it.

Keen eyed Tilt users will see I haven't properly setup logging yet, so the beer name is a dummy "Setup (HDMI)" similar to the setup instructions. I am using the "HDMI" version of the TiltPi software, but the Pi is actually "headless" (no screen, or keyboard) and the screen shot is on my workstation connected to the TiltPi's built-in Web site. Remember the TiltPi software is a freebie and keeps all the geeky stuff under the hood (Technophobe safe!).

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Re: Tilt hydrometer review

Post by PeeBee » Thu Jun 27, 2019 7:02 pm

Well it's been hot today and I've only got limited cooling on this. I'll probably have to move in the shelf cooler tomorrow. Lets check …
TiltPi2.JPG
Could be worse; I had 21.1C on the GF display. The Tilt has an advantage here floating in the bulk rather than just sampling the edge. And the gravity … hang on, this looks very dodgy. The fermentation lock is glugging like a crazy thing, and the Tilt has budged one point. Good job this is a trial and I'm taking refractometer readings. Let's see; 11.2 BRIX, adjusted for fermenting wort, is … SG 1.036. It's all been going so well so far, and now? This needs a bit of investigation, back in a minute …
Thump, thump, thump,
Thump, thump, thump,
Thump, thump, thump,
Shake, shake, shake,
Thump, thump, thump,
Thump, thump, thump,
Thump, thump, thump.
Right, what have I got now … (as I dry the contents of the airlock off my face, rocking a fermenter has its risks!) … Not budged! At least the temperature has gone down (it's 19.4 now). But the Tilt is not otherwise being very impressive.
normevans wrote:
Thu Jun 27, 2019 5:14 am
Peebee, thanks for your reply. The Tilt has a 20% discount this weekend at local (Australia) on-line site so I'll take the plunge.
Are you sure?

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Re: Tilt hydrometer review

Post by PeeBee » Thu Jun 27, 2019 8:02 pm

TiltPi3.JPG
Okay, too hasty. That bit of fermenter agitation is very slowly ungumming things.

But I don't fancy repeating my "agitating" on my 1/2 barrel conical fermenter! And the thermometer is annoying me now: It'll jump from 19.4C to 20.0C, i.e. 0.5-0.6C or suspiciously like 1.0F. So 0.1C resolution my foot!

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Re: Tilt hydrometer review

Post by PeeBee » Fri Jun 28, 2019 2:51 pm

The blasted Tilt is stuck again, but this time is not showing any sign of "freeing up". Tilt is reading 1.033 and has been reading that for a few hours now, whereas a refractometer reading gave 1.029. Lots of other folk having the same trouble, I guess I can list myself amongst those people now. I'll conclude the same as those other folk; that it is the build up of "krausen" that is dampening the Tilt. This contradicts the development team who say krausen does not have a significant effect. Or maybe it is defective calibration like last time?

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Re: Tilt hydrometer review

Post by PeeBee » Sat Jun 29, 2019 1:08 am

Okay, this Tilt business is driving me nuts. All that's saving me is that I'm already nuts, so bring it on. Who's going to be brave enough to explain this:

I've been grumbling that the Tilt is getting "stuck" and registers the same SG reading for hours on end. Like this:
TiltPi4.JPG
But tonight the TiltPi declared it had "lost connection". So I grab my mobile phone, it connects fine, and gives me:
Screenshot_20190629-005149_Tilt 2.jpg
The two screenshots are minutes apart

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