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PLAATO Airlock V3 - Wireless Hydrometer and Airlock

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cathlabrob

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Has anyone had any experience with the PLAATO Airlock V3 Wireless Hydrometer and Airlock? I saw it advertised but have reservations with its potential accuracy since it seems to only have access to CO2 bubbles and not a true measurement Via a wort sample. Also, how would it compensate for fermentation head space...for example if you have 120 gallons in a 14 gal fermentor? It looks like a really cool product and I’d love to have one but I don’t know if I’m reading too much into how it works.
Thanks for any input!
Rob
 

day_trippr

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That type of device is best used to understand the fermentation phases, not to try to predict any absolute values.
Ie: you can tell when fermentation has kicked off, when it's peaking, when it's ramping down, and when it's pretty much hit somnolence...

Cheers!
 

Golddiggie

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Has anyone had any experience with the PLAATO Airlock V3 Wireless Hydrometer and Airlock? I saw it advertised but have reservations with its potential accuracy since it seems to only have access to CO2 bubbles and not a true measurement Via a wort sample. Also, how would it compensate for fermentation head space...for example if you have 120 gallons in a 14 gal fermentor? It looks like a really cool product and I’d love to have one but I don’t know if I’m reading too much into how it works.
Thanks for any input!
Rob
I'm more curious to know how you got 120 gallons into a 14 gallon fermenter. ;)
 

Golddiggie

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That type of device is best used to understand the fermentation phases, not to try to predict any absolute values.
Ie: you can tell when fermentation has kicked off, when it's peaking, when it's ramping down, and when it's pretty much hit somnolence...

Cheers!
BTW, you can get the same information via temperature monitoring of the batch/brew. I have a thermowell in my fermentation caps (fit to my sanke fermenters) that I drop a sensor down. Gives me a temperature reading inside what's fermenting. I can see when it kicks off (starts to increase), when it peaks, and then starts to slow. Once it reaches ambient temperature, I'm pretty sure things are done.

IME, this is an accurate way to tell what's going on inside your ferementer.
 

day_trippr

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As I employ active temperature control of fermenting wort reading sensors directly doesn't tell one much at any given instant. But, I can use my BrewPi controller plots to interpret the compressor cycle frequency and see the kick-off, the throes of active yeast, then the tail off.

It's helpful wrt planning when to start the next batch to have a feel for how the current ones are progressing, but otherwise there isn't a whole heck of a lot more one can do with that information :)

Cheers!
 

deuc224

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Honestly I had a tilt but never used it because I just heard how it would lose connection so I got a Hanna digital refractometer, best decision ive made.
 

pc_trott

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I just got an email ad for this product from Midwest Supplies, and came here to see if there were any reviews. Although at $129.00 it seems awfully expensive, my first thought was that it would help prevent oxidation by making it unnecessary to open the fermenter to take hydrometer readings towards the end of fermentation. (Plus, it would keep you from wasting that extra six to eight ounces of hydrometer reading beer! :>))

Here's Midwest's listing:

But correct me if I'm misreading the product description where it says, "If we know the total volume of CO2 released, we also know the total amount of ethanol produced and gravity." Isn't that reading going to be completely off if, like me, you use a blowoff tube during the first week of fermentation?

Have any of you had first-hand experience using one of these?
 

chungyfied

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Have any of you had first-hand experience using one of these?
I use one and I think it is really useful if you have realistic expectations for it.

Unfortunately, it is almost impossible to calculate the SG accurately as it relies on number of bubbles produced. The volume of the bubble will keep changing depending on the temperature and pressure and therefore you cannot get an accurate CO2 mass reading, especially when the error is compounded over thousands of bubbles. This affects the derivative readings such as SG and ABV so I do not use these values at all.

What I use it for is to track fermentation kinetics, where you can clearly see data like time post pitch for fermentation to begin, fermentation vigor and duration. This allows me to baseline fermentation activity for a certain recipe and also to make adjustments like temperature and pitch rate to obtain my desired fermentation profile.
 

robert.balsinger

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I have one. Using it for the second batch now. I like it, but I am a gadget guy and an early adopter, so .......

I do not need it. It doesn't tell me anything new or make my beer better. It is nice to be able to track fermentation progress and helps with brew log record keeping by providing some relative numbers without touching the beer. The first batch FG calculated by PLAATO was spot on when measured directly. I use an 8g FV making 5.5g batches.

The graph is cool to look at though. The flat line and spikes are from first brew when I was handling the airlock trying to understand the setup.
IMG_2773.PNG
 
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