Tilt hydrometer review

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PeeBee
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Re: Tilt hydrometer review

Post by PeeBee » Thu Jun 06, 2019 10:20 am

guypettigrew wrote:
Thu Jun 06, 2019 9:42 am
My thanks to PeeBee for the work done so far on the Tilt he's borrowed from me.

My disillusionment with the Tilt was mainly down to two problems.
  • It had to be calibrated against a hydrometer or refractometer reading of the final wort every time. It calibrated to 1.000 in water but never matched the gravity of the unfermented wort until calibrated. It was usually about 6-8 points off.
  • As fermentation progressed it got further and further away from the refractometer readings. Possibly due to the amount of yeast which sat on top of it causing it to tip
After many attempts with it I gave up and went back to watching the bubbles coming through the blow off tube and taking a refractometer reading when it looked as though the fermentation was lowing down.

I look forward to further reports from PeeBee and, I suspect, getting the Tilt back again in due course!

Guy
Cheers Guy! What you've written there seems to parallel my experience. We'll see what "Baron Brew" have to say.
Last edited by PeeBee on Thu Jun 06, 2019 10:28 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Tilt hydrometer review

Post by Kev888 » Thu Jun 06, 2019 10:25 am

guypettigrew wrote:
Thu Jun 06, 2019 9:42 am
My thanks to PeeBee for the work done so far on the Tilt he's borrowed from me.

My disillusionment with the Tilt was mainly down to two problems.
  • It had to be calibrated against a hydrometer or refractometer reading of the final wort every time. It calibrated to 1.000 in water but never matched the gravity of the unfermented wort until calibrated. It was usually about 6-8 points off.
  • As fermentation progressed it got further and further away from the refractometer readings. Possibly due to the amount of yeast which sat on top of it causing it to tip
After many attempts with it I gave up and went back to watching the bubbles coming through the blow off tube and taking a refractometer reading when it looked as though the fermentation was lowing down.

I look forward to further reports from PeeBee and, I suspect, getting the Tilt back again in due course!

Guy
Thats useful corroboration; the disagreement with basic, initial wort gravity certainly doesn't seem right. Admittedly refractometers can be affected by wort colour, but I'd have thought the tilt should agree reasonably closely with a decent hydrometer at that stage (and as Peebee has the same thing happening it seems unlikely to be the hydrometer's fault). To my mind, this is the sort of thing that might occur with a one point calibration (e.g. just water) rather than a 2-point calibration.

As alcohol starts to form then it would be expected to throw off the refractometer readings, which clouds the issue a bit. The hydrometer's readings too in fact, but I don't know if the tilt is expected to report apparent attenuation like a hydrometer, or actual/real attenuation (which should be different).
Kev

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Re: Tilt hydrometer review

Post by guypettigrew » Thu Jun 06, 2019 5:14 pm

PeeBee wrote:
Thu Jun 06, 2019 10:20 am
Cheers Guy! What you've written there seems to parallel my experience. We'll see what "Baron Brew" have to say.
Thanks PeeBee. Never struck me it might be a faulty Tilt.

Duh, stupid me!!

Guy

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Re: Tilt hydrometer review

Post by PeeBee » Fri Jun 07, 2019 4:32 pm

That lager I was testing the Tilt with is kegged now and the wayward Tilt retrieved. Put it plain water and it records 1.010, not zero as it was calibrated 10 days or so ago. It's bust, but I've to wait for "Baron Brew" to confirm that. But that graph with all the readings has been updated:
Zeitgeist - 2.jpg
Thermometer still seems good, whereas the hydrometer ... oh dear.
guypettigrew wrote:
Thu Jun 06, 2019 5:14 pm
Thanks PeeBee. Never struck me it might be a faulty Tilt.
Can't say it struck me either. Anticipating that it will go back … have you any proof of purchase?
Last edited by PeeBee on Fri Jun 07, 2019 4:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Tilt hydrometer review

Post by guypettigrew » Sat Jun 08, 2019 8:47 am

PM sent. Thanks for working on this.

Guy

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Re: Tilt hydrometer review

Post by PeeBee » Sat Jun 08, 2019 12:16 pm

Baron Brew have got back to me. I don't seem to be able to attach the entire thread, but in brief:
Paul,
Thanks for the follow up information. I suspect this Tilt was not calibrated correctly at the factory. We
offer a satisfaction guarantee. He it is on our website https://tilthydrometer.com/pages/warranty Since
you have this on loan, does the owner mind if a replacement is sent to you or should I send one directly
to that individual? What's the best address in this situation? Happy customers are #1. Tell the
"community" hello for the Tilt team and we're happy to answer any questions. We are here to help.
Cheers,
Marcus
(His last comment refers to me letting on that I'm publishing results to a wider audience. Well, disclosure always seems a fairer path.)
guypettigrew wrote:
Sat Jun 08, 2019 8:47 am
PM sent. Thanks for working on this.

Guy
No problem! I'm hoping you can accept the suggestion by Marcus that the replacement comes here. I'll then post a review with an unbroken Tilt before returning the item to you. I don't appear to gain anything from this, but this is my "job"! One of my psychologists once said to me (What??? He sees psychologists? :shock: ) if you can't have a (paid) occupation, you can still have a (unpaid) vocation.

f00b4r wrote:
Mon Jun 03, 2019 8:07 pm
… my experience with multiple Tilts isn't consistent with yours so it might be faulty. They are pretty quick to send out replacements if they think it is. …
Thanks. Like Guy I probably wouldn't have suspected it as faulty without your intervention.

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Re: Tilt hydrometer review

Post by guypettigrew » Sat Jun 08, 2019 5:37 pm

Wonderful customer service. The new Tilt can come to you, PeeBee. Are you expected to send the faulty one back?

Guy

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Re: Tilt hydrometer review

Post by chris2012 » Sat Jun 08, 2019 7:23 pm

Good that they're replacing it.

I'm intrigued, what does calibration at the manufacturer mean. I thought you could calibrate it yourself?

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Re: Tilt hydrometer review

Post by guypettigrew » Sat Jun 08, 2019 7:39 pm

chris2012 wrote:
Sat Jun 08, 2019 7:23 pm
Good that they're replacing it.

I'm intrigued, what does calibration at the manufacturer mean. I thought you could calibrate it yourself?
Yeah, me too. Which is why it didn't occur to me that it was 'broken'.

Mind you, the calibration process always completely confused me. There's a factory set figure, then another you have to calibrate (alter) using your 'phone. the two never agreed as far as gravity was concerned. The temperature I couldn't ever calibrate.

Guy

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Re: Tilt hydrometer review

Post by chastuck » Sun Jun 09, 2019 2:52 pm

I have had eight of these Tilts, right from four of the original version 1s, which incidentally I gave away to other home brewers, when I got the latest version 3s. I only had to send one back - this was a version two and this was because a small component fell off when I changed a battery. There were no quibbles about a free exchange. The customer service is excellent. They do arrive factory calibrated, but you will find you may need to recalibrate if you fit a different battery as slightly different battery weights affect the accuracy.

All of mine have proved to be very accurate both on gravity and temperature. Yeast and/or foam can build up on them and affect their buoyancy. The way to stop this is to give the ferementer a sharp nudge periodically to bounce the Tilt around a bit. This stops any build up on it and it soon settles to its proper buoyancy condition and correct readings.

I have to say I have been home brewing for nearly 48 years and the Tilt to me is probably the most single important innovation I have had in that time. I now use a Tilt repeater with my stainless steel conicals and find this greatly helps with Bluetooth transmission through metal.

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Re: Tilt hydrometer review

Post by PeeBee » Tue Jun 11, 2019 8:11 am

Replacement on its way it seems:
Sounds good. I’m sending you (per the customer) a new Tilt. Here’s your tracking number <link removed> We truly want customers to be happy with our product and we stand by them 100%. If you would, please let your "community" know that it's best to reach out to us directly with any questions or concerns. We always take care of our customers. …
I'll start a new thread with the "fixed" Tilt. I'm looking at the Tilt Pi options too: looks fascinating and seemingly does away with any need of a Tilt Repeater, third party devices and services (apart from the Pi)? I'd not stuck my head in the Raspberry Pi world before thinking it to be too involved, geeky and school-kid-ish (another project to gather dust in a cupboard), but its not like that at all.

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Re: Tilt hydrometer review

Post by Cobnut » Tue Jun 11, 2019 10:21 am

PeeBee wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2019 8:11 am
Replacement on its way it seems:
Sounds good. I’m sending you (per the customer) a new Tilt. Here’s your tracking number <link removed> We truly want customers to be happy with our product and we stand by them 100%. If you would, please let your "community" know that it's best to reach out to us directly with any questions or concerns. We always take care of our customers. …
I'll start a new thread with the "fixed" Tilt. I'm looking at the Tilt Pi options too: looks fascinating and seemingly does away with any need of a Tilt Repeater, third party devices and services (apart from the Pi)? I'd not stuck my head in the Raspberry Pi world before thinking it to be too involved, geeky and school-kid-ish (another project to gather dust in a cupboard), but its not like that at all.
I'm using TilT Pi with my v2 Tilt. It's not without its' foibles, but means the Tilt continually logs to Brewfather for me (other places supported too), so I can check my brew progress anytime, any place.
Fermenting: Flying Dutchman (American Pale)
Conditioning: nothing
Drinking: Hazelweiss (7th edition), Voss Kveik 19th century style mild ale (what??!!), Party bitter (Challenger/Goldings), Cherry Chocolate Dubbel Trubbel, 19th century mild ale, Kilmister blonde (strong Belgian blond), Single hopped Sussex bitter, ...
Planning: Keyworth mid-season SMaSH, Brut IPA, Weizenbock (1100+ OG)

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Re: Tilt hydrometer review

Post by PeeBee » Tue Jun 11, 2019 5:25 pm

Cobnut wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2019 10:21 am
I'm using TilT Pi with my v2 Tilt. It's not without its' foibles, but means the Tilt continually logs to Brewfather for me (other places supported too), so I can check my brew progress anytime, any place.
I've ordered a Raspberry Pi earlier today to be used for monitoring a Tilt. I'll be using the Pi to monitor the Tilt and get real time readings on a Web page - I'll not bother myself with continuous logging just yet.

I tried to get hold of a "Tilt Repeater", but it seems "We always take care of our customers" doesn't include giving away expensive items of equipment to cheeky potential customers (i.e. not even an actual customer yet)! I don't understand why not :roll: I intend to use the "Pi" as a repeater anyway but I'm a bit unsure whether the Bluetooth signal will be strong enough for me to cover two or more fermenters with one Pi. I'm not interested in logging just yet, I can carry on doing that manually for now.

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Re: Tilt hydrometer review

Post by Cobnut » Tue Jun 11, 2019 9:40 pm

I’m currently only logging a single Tilt via my Pi Zero W. The fermenter (fermentasaurus) sits inside a brew fridge which is 2-3m from where the Pi sits and I have no apparent Bluetooth issues.

The Pi then uses WiFi to send samples every 15 mins to brewfather which creates the charts for me.

This is my latest brew log:

https://share.brewfather.app/6SjfSCfjn1kmb5

I’m thinking seriously about getting another Tilt to go in a second fermenter (& a second fridge). I don’t expect any problems with logging two Tilts via the Pi.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Fermenting: Flying Dutchman (American Pale)
Conditioning: nothing
Drinking: Hazelweiss (7th edition), Voss Kveik 19th century style mild ale (what??!!), Party bitter (Challenger/Goldings), Cherry Chocolate Dubbel Trubbel, 19th century mild ale, Kilmister blonde (strong Belgian blond), Single hopped Sussex bitter, ...
Planning: Keyworth mid-season SMaSH, Brut IPA, Weizenbock (1100+ OG)

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Re: Tilt hydrometer review

Post by PeeBee » Sat Jun 15, 2019 5:20 pm

Cobnut wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2019 9:40 pm
I’m currently only logging a single Tilt via my Pi Zero W. The fermenter (fermentasaurus) sits inside a brew fridge which is 2-3m from where the Pi sits and I have no apparent Bluetooth issues. …
Well the Fermentasaurus isn't an issue 'cos it's made of non-conducting plastic. The fridge though …

My fermenters are conductive stainless steel and I couldn't understand how a Tilt could possibly work inside such a "Faraday Cage". A bit of research was in order. On Wikipedia I found:
A common misconception is that a Faraday cage provides full blockage or attenuation; this is not true …
Well that wasn't a good start, but I'm used to having "misconceptions" …
… The reception or transmission of radio waves, a form of electromagnetic radiation, to or from an antenna within a Faraday cage is heavily attenuated or blocked by the cage; however, a Faraday cage has varied attenuation depending on wave form, frequency or distance from receiver/transmitter, and receiver/transmitter power. Near-field high-powered frequency transmissions like HF RFID are more likely to penetrate. Solid cages generally attenuate fields over a broader range of frequencies than mesh cages. …
So a mobile phone can talk to an active Tilt in the fermenter, but the phone must be very close.

So my Raspberry Pi (I have a Pi 3 Model B+, but a cheaper Pi Zero W obviously does the job and a lot of expense is avoided - not that there is much "expense" to associate with a Pi) is configured as a "bridge" to get the readings on the network (not a "repeater" like I've said earlier). Hopefully I can arrange for it to pick up signals from both of my fermenters.

I was impressed with how easy the Pi is to put together and configure. I was expecting a geeky battle. Not at all! Well they are designed for school kids and are a lot easier than Blue Peter used to expect of you in knocking something up out of an egg carton. And the software (a free download from the Tilt makers) is a simple task to copy on to a micro SD card, stick it in the Pi, and restart.

So the Tilt Pi is configured (I've got to try this "alternative" software that will also display live data on a diminutive screen, you don't have to have the continuous logging via Google, it's linked on the download page but not obviously) and the replacement Tilt has arrived. Next step is arrange a new brew and begin the review afresh. Give us a bit of time for that …

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