Tilt hydrometer review

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guypettigrew
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Re: Tilt hydrometer review

Post by guypettigrew » Fri Oct 25, 2019 3:28 pm

LeeH wrote:
Fri Oct 25, 2019 3:20 pm
It does not tilt that much though, surely a cone surface would help reduce the build up.


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Except that yeast is a bit sticky and would probably cling on no matter what shape the top is.

Ideally it would be weighted so it sits half way down the fermenting wort. A bit impossible though, I suspect!

Guy

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Re: Tilt hydrometer review

Post by PeeBee » Fri Oct 25, 2019 4:05 pm

guypettigrew wrote:
Fri Oct 25, 2019 3:28 pm
… Ideally it would be weighted so it sits half way down the fermenting wort. A bit impossible though, I suspect!
A full-on submersible? I was only thinking semi-submersible. I guess by comparison to you I've only got my nose in the clouds.
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Re: Tilt hydrometer review

Post by PeeBee » Wed Nov 20, 2019 7:02 pm

Here's another fermentation trace. Still using S-33 yeast and another "Burton Ale" type beer:
Nyrs Gron 3a.JPG
Nyrs Gron 3a.JPG (21.78 KiB) Viewed 746 times
There's another "event" occurring in the first half of the second day, but hardly significant and might only be responsible for subsequent SG readings over-reading by one gravity point (0.001). It is difficult to get accurate refractometer readings at this stage anyway, because the suspended yeast in the beer blurs the "line" in the refractometer.

But, more evidence that the geometry of the fermenter severely effects the Tilt: This trace is being recorded from my larger (65L) fermenter, and I don't think the fermenting beer surface is subjected to the upheaval that occurs in the smaller (30L) GF conical.
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Re: Tilt hydrometer review

Post by Cobnut » Mon Apr 27, 2020 2:16 pm

I have soldiered on with the Tilt hydrometer, completing 23 batches over a 16 month period.

One thing I have noticed is that it has become less accurate as time has gone by (formerly, there was good alignment between the measurements by Tilt and refractometer/glass hydrometer) and the most recent batch showed a significant degree of "noisiness" in the log.

I began to wonder whether the battery might be the root cause (i.e. it could be running low), despite the indicator LEDs seeming to do what they're supposed to do.

I contacted the support line and we "agreed" to replace the battery.

I have replaced the battery and simply performed a "calibrate in water" (didn't have the time or inclination to make up additional solutions for multi-point calibration :oops: ), but already the accuracy seems better (OG measured by Refractometer and Tilt are very close on yesterday's beer).

I will report as the fermentation proceeds, but I feel the portents are good. :-)
Fermenting: Amarillo Golden ale
Conditioning: Summer ale
Drinking: Banks's Bitter clone, SMASH Keeping Ale (Chevallier, First Gold, Voss Kveik), Haflinger (rather odd weizenbock), 'Ol 'Enry Brut IPA, Cherry Chocolate Dubbel Trubbel, A Galaxy Far, Far Away Black IPA (or maybe it's an American Stout?), Quickie Voss Kveik IPA, Make American Stout Great Again
Planning: Quick German Pilsner, London Porter, Schonramer Helles clone, Sussex Bitter,

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Re: Tilt hydrometer review

Post by guypettigrew » Mon Apr 27, 2020 2:38 pm

I remain confused by the Tilt. If you're also using a refractometer, what's the point of the Tilt?

As Peebee has very ably demonstrated, there are significant problems with the Tilt. Yeast build up on the top of it being the most obvious.

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Re: Tilt hydrometer review

Post by Cobnut » Mon Apr 27, 2020 2:42 pm

guypettigrew wrote:
Mon Apr 27, 2020 2:38 pm
I remain confused by the Tilt. If you're also using a refractometer, what's the point of the Tilt?

As Peebee has very ably demonstrated, there are significant problems with the Tilt. Yeast build up on the top of it being the most obvious.

Guy
I can monitor progress without needing to "interfere" with the beer - no need to take any sample as the Tilt is continuously reporting on SG and temperature.

Maybe it's another case of "boys' toys", but when it works - which I think it does pretty well (on the whole) - I like it.

You pays your money...
Fermenting: Amarillo Golden ale
Conditioning: Summer ale
Drinking: Banks's Bitter clone, SMASH Keeping Ale (Chevallier, First Gold, Voss Kveik), Haflinger (rather odd weizenbock), 'Ol 'Enry Brut IPA, Cherry Chocolate Dubbel Trubbel, A Galaxy Far, Far Away Black IPA (or maybe it's an American Stout?), Quickie Voss Kveik IPA, Make American Stout Great Again
Planning: Quick German Pilsner, London Porter, Schonramer Helles clone, Sussex Bitter,

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Re: Tilt hydrometer review

Post by PeeBee » Mon Apr 27, 2020 7:32 pm

Cor, someone's awoken my old "Tilt" thread.

Here's where I'm at:

I recalibrate in water whenever battery is changed as before, but (cunning plan) I subtract 0.002 from the reading (so if Tilt is measuring water at 1.000, I enter a calibration point of 1.000 = 0.998). This allows for the build up of crud on the Tilt during fermentation which makes the Tilt over-read.

Whenever I start a brew I take the OG with a refractometer (or trusty hydrometer?) and pop in another (temporary, this brew only) calibration point for the OG (so if Tilt is measuring 1.052 and the OG is 1.050 on the refractometer then the calibration point is 1.052 = 1.050).

So far this seems to be working okay, but I'll need a few more goes to be confident the fudged under-read means the Tilt is displaying the correct FG value. I guess certain yeasts will need radically different fudge factors (with boring US-05 needing zero fudge factor)?


This fudge is recognising the Tilt is entirely useless for measuring OG and FG. But also recognises the Tilt is a useful (but not essential) tool for monitoring fermentation.

The fudge factor might also prove to be too ham fisted to be useful, but I'll see.
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Re: Tilt hydrometer review

Post by guypettigrew » Mon Apr 27, 2020 9:16 pm

PeeBee wrote:
Mon Apr 27, 2020 7:32 pm

This fudge is recognising the Tilt is entirely useless for measuring OG and FG. But also recognises the Tilt is a useful (but not essential) tool for monitoring fermentation.
Beautifully put!

For me, watching the bubbles through the blow off tube and occasionally taking 0.5ml out with a pipette to drop onto the refractometer is more than good enough.

The Tilt misled me every time I used it. A great idea which, quite simply, doesn't work in practice.

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Re: Tilt hydrometer review

Post by Cobnut » Tue Apr 28, 2020 9:56 am

PeeBee wrote:
Mon Apr 27, 2020 7:32 pm
This fudge is recognising the Tilt is entirely useless for measuring OG and FG. But also recognises the Tilt is a useful (but not essential) tool for monitoring fermentation.
This seems a little harsh.

How do you know whether hydrometer, Tilt or refractometer is giving the "true" reading of OG? I never seem to get 100% agreement between my glass hydrometer (which had to be recalibrated in distilled water due to over-reading), my refractometer and my Tilt. So which should I believe? And why?

Using distilled water can give you near certainty at one point, but doesn't guarantee that any of these devices remains accurate over the range of gravities required.

You could make up solutions of other "known" gravities, but there is also error in making up the solution: For example, how accurate are your scales?

I accept that the Tilt has its' imperfections, but for me it's a good way to track progress of the fermentation to completion. Regardless of whether the readings agree with the refractometer or hydrometer, I can "see" via my logs that the fermentation has completed.

And I can also see when the Tilt is staring to behave more oddly than normal - at which point I will now change the battery (lesson learned!).
Fermenting: Amarillo Golden ale
Conditioning: Summer ale
Drinking: Banks's Bitter clone, SMASH Keeping Ale (Chevallier, First Gold, Voss Kveik), Haflinger (rather odd weizenbock), 'Ol 'Enry Brut IPA, Cherry Chocolate Dubbel Trubbel, A Galaxy Far, Far Away Black IPA (or maybe it's an American Stout?), Quickie Voss Kveik IPA, Make American Stout Great Again
Planning: Quick German Pilsner, London Porter, Schonramer Helles clone, Sussex Bitter,

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Re: Tilt hydrometer review

Post by PeeBee » Tue Apr 28, 2020 12:53 pm

Cobnut wrote:
Tue Apr 28, 2020 9:56 am
PeeBee wrote:
Mon Apr 27, 2020 7:32 pm
This fudge is recognising the Tilt is entirely useless for measuring OG and FG. But also recognises the Tilt is a useful (but not essential) tool for monitoring fermentation.
This seems a little harsh. …
I didn't think I was being "harsh", realistic perhaps and I was still able to say the Tilt was "useful", you just need a good idea of its issues.

My Tilt always reads the OG the same as the refractometer, because it is always calibrated to read the same before every brew! The "fudge", which I hope stays reasonably true, ensures the Tilt reads fairly close to FG when the time comes.

I'll eventually stop using the refractometer when my pycnometer bottle arrives. This is my "other" project to use density (g/ml) instead of SG. That isn't so straight-forward 'cos SG is a ratio with no units, as illustrated by your comment "Using distilled water can give you near certainty at one point" ("near certainty" based on what criteria?). What are you expecting the hydrometer to read? 1.000? But it might be 0.998 at 20C (but I think it will be 1.000 for most brewing hydrometers - which isn't as it should be). That's where this mucking about with a Tilt and desire to use pycnometers (no meniscus) has got me; farting about with SG "reference samples" (the other half of that ratio) and attendant twaddle :out
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Re: Tilt hydrometer review

Post by guypettigrew » Tue Apr 28, 2020 1:14 pm

Gosh, Peebee, it seems ages ago you talked about getting a pycnometer! When do you reckon you'll get one?

There's a very nice digital one here on Amazon. Seems a steal at £675, plus only £12 for delivery!!!

No doubt it's much better than these cheapy glass ones--not!

Guy

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Re: Tilt hydrometer review

Post by Cobnut » Tue Apr 28, 2020 1:55 pm

Oh! Now you've got me heading off down another wormhole! Pycnometer...
Fermenting: Amarillo Golden ale
Conditioning: Summer ale
Drinking: Banks's Bitter clone, SMASH Keeping Ale (Chevallier, First Gold, Voss Kveik), Haflinger (rather odd weizenbock), 'Ol 'Enry Brut IPA, Cherry Chocolate Dubbel Trubbel, A Galaxy Far, Far Away Black IPA (or maybe it's an American Stout?), Quickie Voss Kveik IPA, Make American Stout Great Again
Planning: Quick German Pilsner, London Porter, Schonramer Helles clone, Sussex Bitter,

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Re: Tilt hydrometer review

Post by PeeBee » Tue Apr 28, 2020 2:47 pm

guypettigrew wrote:
Tue Apr 28, 2020 1:14 pm
Gosh, Peebee, it seems ages ago you talked about getting a pycnometer! When do you reckon you'll get one? …
The estimate is 6-May to 1-June (it's coming from China).

It was "ages". I'm just a bit persistent. Always takes forever; always get there in the end.

(EDIT: Just looked at your link. Nay, I've gone really cheapo and can do without that inbuilt thermometer gumph.)
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Re: Tilt hydrometer review

Post by PeeBee » Wed Apr 29, 2020 11:37 am

Another little issue I had with the Tilt (partly my fault) was with temperature calibration. I'd entered one more entry for "actual points" than I had for "uncalibrated points". The effect was to display any temperature over 20C as 20C.

So I saw the temperature as 20C and pitched the yeast (I'd normally cool to 17-18C, but I was having a difficult brewday and it was late). But the temperature was actually 23C! I suppose I was lucky the temperature wasn't higher. I got suspicious when fermentation was going well after only two hours!



The reason I could make such a mistake was having a dozen calibration points (i.e. a lot!). The Tilt does not round its Fahrenheit temperatures* to the nearest 0.5 Celsius so I do it with calibration points (the resolution of a Tilt is no better than 0.5 Celsius, or 1 Fahrenheit, but you don't get that impression when it tells you "18.3C").

Uncalibrated points:
14.4,15.0,16.1,16.7,17.2,18.3,18.8,19.4,20.0,20.6,26.7
Actual points:
14.5,15.0,16.0,16.5,17.0,18.0,19.0,19.5,20.0,20.5,26.5

The "18.8" was missing (might be 18.7?).


(EDIT: *The Tilt itself doesn't deal with calibration, it's the Tilt client that does that, be that a mobile phone app or a TiltPi, etc.).
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Re: Tilt hydrometer review

Post by Cobnut » Wed Apr 29, 2020 2:53 pm

@PeeBee, I'm sorry to say that this counts as "user error".

That's not to discredit what you're saying about the resolution to which the Tilt works. From your post, I conclude it "measures" in F and converts to C, hence the reporting to a seeming high degree of precision.

I admit I hadn't cottoned onto this, nor worried over it.
Fermenting: Amarillo Golden ale
Conditioning: Summer ale
Drinking: Banks's Bitter clone, SMASH Keeping Ale (Chevallier, First Gold, Voss Kveik), Haflinger (rather odd weizenbock), 'Ol 'Enry Brut IPA, Cherry Chocolate Dubbel Trubbel, A Galaxy Far, Far Away Black IPA (or maybe it's an American Stout?), Quickie Voss Kveik IPA, Make American Stout Great Again
Planning: Quick German Pilsner, London Porter, Schonramer Helles clone, Sussex Bitter,

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