Attempts at a DIY aphrometer

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Birrofilo

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In my brewing practice I always try to use an aphrometer when I bottle.
An aphrometer is a tap with a pressure gauge on it, which shows the internal pressure of the beer.

This instrument is useful for:
- checking that carbonation has actually started;
- seeing that carbonation has ended and the internal pressure is stabilized;
- seeing that something very wrong happened during bottling and there might be excess carbonation in some bottles;

It takes some guessing game out of the homebrewing experience which is a nice thing.

The cheapest versions can be found for €35-40, which is not a huge sum. Some more expensive versions go up to €200 and much more. I bought one of the cheapest kind, which costs around €40.

Afrometro.JPG

Although the measure on the gauge is probably wrong in excess, it certainly shows the inner advancing of the carbonation.

I made two attempts at making my own aphrometers, without much success.

Afrometri_casalinghi.JPG

I used plastic sparkling wine caps in which I drilled a hole where I screwed the pressure gauge, trying after that to seal it well. The sealing part is the problem. There is no "handle" on the cap and in order to put or extract the cap one applies some tortion to the pressure gauge, stressing the seal.

I read this interesting text, where a suggestion is given to make an aphrometer using a hiking flask. The problem with this is that I was not able to find the right "threader" not even at a large hardware store.


I would like to know whether anybody built a DIY aphrometer and how.
 

Shalenkur

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It looks like your gauge uses "pipe threads", which are slightly tapered so it seals when screwed in. You need a tap that says "NPT" on it. Probably 1/4 NPT for that gauge. I think a Grolsch bottle might be threadable with a small 1/8" NPT tap on top, a smaller hole through bottom for CO2, , and you could find an adapter for your gauge.
 

NTexBrewer

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Something like this may work.
Pressure Gage
Doutight fitting
Gas Ball Lock fitting
Carbonation Cap

You would use a plastic bottle.

I’ve used plastic bottles with a regular cap and just squeezed them to check for when bottle carbonation is complete.

0338628C-ACDB-4649-8B17-03A9332EACAC.jpeg
 
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Birrofilo

Birrofilo

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Thanks for your contribution.
I think I like the plastic bottle more because I would have no thread to make. Here in Italy an NPT threader is probably hard to find. Both ideas are certainly interesting for an US homebrewer.

I will sift through Aliexpress to see if I can find those parts at a convenient price.

A plastic bottle is not a problem because after carbonation the beer must be drinked in any case. I would use a Coca-Cola bottle to be sure it withstands high pressures.

Keep the ideas coming...
 
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