Love my Tilt Hydrometer!

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mdscole

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Yes it's expensive... I've used it on a couple batches so far (it was a christmas present)

The volume of data this thing delivers when connected to the cloud is really impressive. Temperature and specific gravity. Every 15 minutes.

The mystery is gone!

I have it feeding data into an old iPad which is hooked to a charger. The app on the iPad uploads the data to a google sheets page where the data fills a template which automatically generates the graphs and summary page.

The blue tooth doesn't go very far - especially from within a fermentation fridge. The iPad is about 3 feet from the fridge - through a wall. I am using plastic fermonster fermenters. I doubt the bluetooth would make it through a stainless fermenter inside a fermentation fridge.

Outside of the fridge - the signal seems to go about 20 feet.
 

augiedoggy

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Cool im still on the fence about these.. Most people seem to love it at first and then report weird or inaccurate behavior down the road. Curious to know what you think of them after more use. I would need 4 of them.
 

Paulaner

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I've been using mine since they were first released. Is it accurate or perfect, not really, but it's good enough for what I use it for. I'm looking for start of fermentation, rate of fermentation and once it gets below 1.020. It loses most of it's accuracy below this point but that's ok with me. Once my fermentation is below that point, I already know the previous rate of fermentation so I have a somewhat accurate point of when to take a sample for degassing and get a real measurement. I can then transfer from fermentation to keg for spunding at the exact point I calculate. For me, I like it, I've had a few batches where I didn't use it and just pulled more measurement samples which was a pain. The biggest thing is what are you looking for with this and will it fit your needs.
 

@RoyalGallon

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I got one for my birthday in Jan have used it once and love it.

The biggest benefit for me is that it takes away the temptation to sample and mess with temperatures and things like that. Being able to watch if the FG is stable, how much the temperature fluctuates and how quick a cold crash happens is amazing. Also sharing what you’re brewing with friends and watching what’s happening while at work is ace.
 

mongoose33

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I have one.....I've used it for about 20 batches.

I've had very uneven results with it. I'll check OG with a refractometer, put the TILT in the fermenter...and it's off by a lot. Like 15 points. I'll slosh the fermenter a bit to ensure it's not stuck to the side or overly krausened, but it doesn't seem to matter much if at all.

This last time (brewed Sunday) it gave me inconsistent results all the way down to finish. I ended up at 1.020; took a sample from my fermenter and used my finish hydrometer to measure: 1.014.

I think some of its success or failure has to do with whether the krausen is sticking to it or not. It doesn't seem like there would be a lot of room for that to happen, but I have no other explanation.

The degree to which it can broadcast outside my stainless spike unitank seems to depend on the battery strength. Works very well when a new battery; I'm on the third batch with the current battery, and there have been a few times it didn't seem to want to connect to my phone. I won't go a 4th time.

One downside is that you don't know how much battery is left. A couple times I had it just fail midway through a fermentation, at which point I was flying as blind as if I didn't have one--which I didn't.

My standard approach now is 3x on one battery at most.

*******

Would I buy it again? I don't know. I primarily wanted it so I could time when to close up the fermenter and let it self-carb toward the end of fermentation. To do that, I need to figure out when I have about 7 points of gravity remaining. As you can see above, that's a chancy thing--at least for me, with my TILT, and with my setup. I run the CO2 produced through an airlock jar and kind of judge where I am based on a combination of the vigor of fermentation (when the bubbles slow down) and the TILT.

So, if you believe this is the answer to monitoring fermentation...when it works, it does. Both @Morrey and I have one, and we have similar experiences with it.
 

schmurf

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I've got two of them, maybe done 20 brews so far. I like them, even if they aren't 100% accurate, need calibration before each brew. Its pretty easy though, not a problem really.
Im not using them for getting OG and FG, but to get a picture of what's happening inside the fermenter, and 99% of the time it works well. Only a few times it haven't, either shown weird reading and once died on me mid through fermentation.
 

mongoose33

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I've got two of them, maybe done 20 brews so far. I like them, even if they aren't 100% accurate, need calibration before each brew. Its pretty easy though, not a problem really.
Im not using them for getting OG and FG, but to get a picture of what's happening inside the fermenter, and 99% of the time it works well. Only a few times it haven't, either shown weird reading and once died on me mid through fermentation.
I've actually thought of getting a second one (different color) and putting both in at the same time. It's probably a sign of madness on my part. :)
 

dmtaylor

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Only used mine one time so far. All initial and final readings on hydrometer, refractometer (adjusted per calculator), and Tilt agreed EXACTLY. Anecdotal and perhaps not repeatable, sure, but I was very impressed. I did spend oodles of time in advance playing with the Tilt to ensure near-perfection in calibrating it. I'm sure most people don't bother. But I'm a perfectionist.
 

GoeHaarden

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My standard approach now is 3x on one battery at most.
Does the frequency in which it uploads to the cloud have an effect on battery? Got one for Xmas and I set it to upload q1h, but I don't know if it matter since it's constantly connected to the RPi anyway...
 

GoeHaarden

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Only used mine one time so far. All initial and final readings on hydrometer, refractometer (adjusted per calculator), and Tilt agreed EXACTLY. Anecdotal and perhaps not repeatable, sure, but I was very impressed. I did spend oodles of time in advance playing with the Tilt to ensure near-perfection in calibrating it. I'm sure most people don't bother. But I'm a perfectionist.
Same results here after only a couple brews with it, and like you, I ensured it was calibrated as close as possible. I pulled a hydro sample to be sure and yup, dead on. I don't think I'll be using a hydrometer much anymore...
 

mongoose33

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Does the frequency in which it uploads to the cloud have an effect on battery? Got one for Xmas and I set it to upload q1h, but I don't know if it matter since it's constantly connected to the RPi anyway...
I think it sends continuously and it doesn't matter whether something is receiving or not.
 
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mdscole

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https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet...k26G596Y4MNDTM/edit?ts=5c313b70#gid=189348009

Accuracy level so far is good. Calibrated in water only (single point cal - not ideal) It's within 0.005 of my regular glass hydrometer. (which is also only zero verified)

I think this is the second generation tilt. Battery life remains to be seen. It's been operating for a total of 19 days continuous on the original battery. The original battery can be burned up if the thing is set on it's side under the christmas tree for weeks.....

The biggest value is not the initial and final absolute values - it's the determination of when fermentation is complete or stuck.
tilt 1.jpg
tilt 2.jpg
 
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mdscole

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Cool im still on the fence about these.. Most people seem to love it at first and then report weird or inaccurate behavior down the road. Curious to know what you think of them after more use. I would need 4 of them.
I frequently have 6 fermenters going at once and brew 12-15 gallon batches. I use one tilt per batch and keep the fermenters housed together. So it's only reporting on 1/3 of the total volume - but the behavior of individual fermenters within each batch is pretty consistent.
 

Group W

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I’m on my second fermentation with a tilt. It transmits to an old iPhone from a SS Brewbucket inside a chest freezer. First time I calibrated in water and it was off by 5 points on OG and FG. This time I calibrated at 68 df to the known OG from a refractometer. It's nice to see fermentation real time from any location. It helps me understand active phase progress for dry hopping and seeing the cold crash data is cool. Haven’t hit the battery wall yet. I see it as a learning tool, not a replacement for a traditional hydrometer or refractometer. Cheers:yes:
 
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Hwk-I-St8

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I don't expect mine to be super accurate, but for the most part it has been surprisingly close...like within a point. I like it to follow the trend of the fermentation and help determine when to add my biotransformation hop additions and to bump up temps for a diacetyl rest. It's accurate enough to see the dry hop additions kick off additional fermentation.

It was well worth the investment for me.
 

Alex4mula

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Got one and started using it at end of fermentation of a brew I had. Loving it and can't wait to do a full brew with it. But was not able to find a way to calibrate or accept calibration values. Also tried to use Brewstat.us but have no idea how to create the XML file it ask for to start a brew. I guess I need to google more. Very probable I'll buy a second one as I plan to have two brews fermenting per month.
 
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mdscole

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Update: battery died. About 5 batches. Guessing about 10-12 weeks of actual floating use. Not bad
 

TechFanMD

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In my job, we measure map a sample with quantitative analysis on materials to extraordinary precision, generating tens of thousands of data points for each small area. To troubleshoot issues, we measure the same point over and over for days to see trends. It is an exercise in sampling, data, graphs, and statistics.

I am going to say that a lot of the issues with these automatic wireless measuring devices is that people expect perfection on every measurement (or even 80 percent of measurements)...and it will NEVER happen at a pricepoint that a homebrewer will pay. The data needs to be looked at over a long period, averaged or graphed with a trendline. A single point measurement (or even 2-3 that are outliers) need to be checked against data on either side.

TL;DR: I think expectations and marketing for these create high expectations for singular data points
 
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mdscole

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i really don’t think we’re asking too much here. Precision on initial and final readings are moderately valuable. But not important beyond 3 significant figures. The greatest value is the ramp of change and the temperature measurement.
 

neon0107

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Love mine too. I have 2 and like using them just to keep an eye on how things are going and get an idea of when fermentation is over.

I also switched over to a new app brewfather.app and it integrates my tilt with it which is cool.

Another idea is to spend 35.00 and get a raspberry pi and leave it on next to the fermentor. The tilt has an app for the raspberry pi so you can pull up a webpage (only on your wifi) and it will display all the tilts you have running. I have seen people leave that hooked up to a tv. Two images, one is of the app and the other one is using the raspberry pi app.
Screen Shot 2019-04-24 at 8.35.36 PM.png
Screen Shot 2019-04-24 at 8.36.04 PM.png
 
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