Hydrometer for people with bad eyesight

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Paddington
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Hydrometer for people with bad eyesight

Post by Paddington » Tue Oct 09, 2018 10:33 am

My laser vision deserted me a few years ago and, even with my reading glasses on, my hydrometer is not easy to read. I'm sure I'm only slightly above the average demographic on here, so can anyone recommend a hydrometer which is a bit easier to read.

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Re: Hydrometer for people with bad eyesight

Post by vacant » Tue Oct 09, 2018 10:44 am

Take a picture, maybe in macro mode, then zoom in?
I brew therefore I ... I .... forget

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Kev888
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Re: Hydrometer for people with bad eyesight

Post by Kev888 » Tue Oct 09, 2018 11:17 am

They're all a bit small unfortunately. But it doesn't help that many homebrew ones also cram a huge and unnecessary (often combined beer & wine) range of gravities into one short hydrometer. I have a <1.000 - 1.060 one from the malt miller, the increments are easier to distinguish (a tall trial jar may also be needed, as its quite long). There is another one that starts at 1.050 if you want to go beyond 1.060 without resorting to a wide range hydrometer. Here is a picture compared against a combined wine/beer one:
Image
You can see my generic wine/beer one crams 150points into the same length of scale that the MM's devotes to about 45points (they're all the same manufacturer, Stevenson)

That said, its hard to beat actually being able to focus on the scale, however clear it is. A magnifying glass can be a big help - or a pair of generic reading glasses (e.g. from Wilkos or similar for about £6) that are stronger than you'd normally use for reading. Lots of bright light can make a surprising difference too. Along the lines of what Vacant suggested, you can also get magnifying apps for smartphones.
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Re: Hydrometer for people with bad eyesight

Post by LeeH » Tue Oct 09, 2018 11:33 am

There is an expensive but digital refractometer option.


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Re: Hydrometer for people with bad eyesight

Post by chefgage » Tue Oct 09, 2018 11:33 am

Have you got a glass trial jar instead of the opaque plastic type as that should help a little. Everytime i use my plastic trial jar i say to myself i must buy a glass one. But i never get round to it. I will have to see if santa brings me one :)

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Re: Hydrometer for people with bad eyesight

Post by Kev888 » Tue Oct 09, 2018 11:38 am

Yes, glass is clearer, the tall two-piece one I got from the malt miller isn't brilliant in this respect, though its a very good fit for the hydrometer so doesn't waste much wort. However, by filling the trial jar to the top, or overflowing, it means you don't need to look through the jar at all.
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Re: Hydrometer for people with bad eyesight

Post by sonicated » Tue Oct 09, 2018 12:41 pm

LeeH wrote:
Tue Oct 09, 2018 11:33 am
There is an expensive but digital refractometer option.
Yes but then you need to read a hydrometer to calibrate it! Well, I did my first calibration with a refractometer which seemed to go quite well but I couldn't get consistent readings the second time.

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Re: Hydrometer for people with bad eyesight

Post by PeeBee » Tue Oct 09, 2018 12:47 pm

LeeH wrote:
Tue Oct 09, 2018 11:33 am
There is an expensive but digital refractometer option.
Wow! A digital refractometer. I've got too have one. Let's look 'em up ... ah; that's what you mean by expensive! Guess I'll just have to wait.

You can buy a handful of "Tilt" hydrometers for the price of one of them. Tilts might be a bit dodgy accuracy-wise in fermenting beer (as are refractometers, and probably hydrometers), but you don't need accuracy then and they should be good for "original gravity". Bit pricy, but digital refractometers put that into perspective.

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Re: Hydrometer for people with bad eyesight

Post by Paddington » Tue Oct 09, 2018 12:59 pm

Kev888 wrote:
Tue Oct 09, 2018 11:17 am
They're all a bit small unfortunately. But it doesn't help that many homebrew ones also cram a huge and unnecessary (often combined beer & wine) range of gravities into one short hydrometer. I have a <1.000 - 1.060 one from the malt miller, the increments are easier to distinguish (a tall trial jar may also be needed, as its quite long). There is another one that starts at 1.050 if you want to go beyond 1.060 without resorting to a wide range hydrometer. Here is a picture compared against a combined wine/beer one:
Image
You can see my generic wine/beer one crams 150points into the same length of scale that the MM's devotes to about 45points (they're all the same manufacturer, Stevenson)

That said, its hard to beat actually being able to focus on the scale, however clear it is. A magnifying glass can be a big help - or a pair of generic reading glasses (e.g. from Wilkos or similar for about £6) that are stronger than you'd normally use for reading. Lots of bright light can make a surprising difference too. Along the lines of what Vacant suggested, you can also get magnifying apps for smartphones.
I like the look of those, plus a glass trial jar and the smart phone photo. Put them all together, I'd say!

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Hydrometer for people with bad eyesight

Post by LeeH » Tue Oct 09, 2018 12:59 pm

My tilt was quite a way off pre calibration.

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Hydrometer for people with bad eyesight

Post by LeeH » Tue Oct 09, 2018 1:02 pm

sonicated wrote:
LeeH wrote:
Tue Oct 09, 2018 11:33 am
There is an expensive but digital refractometer option.
Yes but then you need to read a hydrometer to calibrate it! Well, I did my first calibration with a refractometer which seemed to go quite well but I couldn't get consistent readings the second time.

No, you use water to calibrate it according to the instructions.


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Re: Hydrometer for people with bad eyesight

Post by sonicated » Tue Oct 09, 2018 2:04 pm

LeeH wrote:
Tue Oct 09, 2018 1:02 pm
No, you use water to calibrate it according to the instructions.
Water and sugar, you need to set different gravities, using a hydrometer or refractometer.

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Hydrometer for people with bad eyesight

Post by LeeH » Tue Oct 09, 2018 3:19 pm

Page 8 advises the use of distilled or deionised water for calibration.


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Re: Hydrometer for people with bad eyesight

Post by WalesAles » Tue Oct 09, 2018 9:07 pm

Kev888 wrote:
Tue Oct 09, 2018 11:38 am
However, by filling the trial jar to the top, or overflowing, it means you don't need to look through the jar at all.
Then you blow off any excess bubbles, take your reading and drink the trial jar! :D
And then say BLM! =D>

WA

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Re: Hydrometer for people with bad eyesight

Post by Paddington » Tue Oct 09, 2018 9:18 pm

WalesAles wrote:
Tue Oct 09, 2018 9:07 pm
Kev888 wrote:
Tue Oct 09, 2018 11:38 am
However, by filling the trial jar to the top, or overflowing, it means you don't need to look through the jar at all.
Then you blow off any excess bubbles, take your reading and drink the trial jar! :D
And then say BLM! =D>

WA
I always drink the trial jar for quality control purposes.

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