Tilt hydrometer not connecting in fermenter

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benoj

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Just received a new tilt for my birthday - I wouldn't have bought this for myself even though I thought it looked quite cool! So I was pretty please to give it a whirl - I sanitised and calibrated it with no issues and connected the cloud logging URL for brewfather.

However When I have dropped it in to my fermenter - the app will simply not connect.

My fermenter is a PET clear tank (Fermenter king jr) - I've got it inside my Fermentation chamber (half height old fridge). I've tried to leave my phone _inside_ the fermentation chamber incase it was blocking the BT signal.

Any ideas on why/how to get the connection working - or is this a dud??
 

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hotbeer

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Turn off your bluetooth on the phone. Close any other apps you have running that use bluetooth, you can re-start them after you connect with the tilt. Then turn off the phone. Turn it off, don't just do a restart.

Then turn your phone back on, enable bluetooth, open your tilt app and see if it connects. If so, then you can go about starting your other apps that might need bluetooth.

I've had to do this with the durn coffee mug I just got as a gift. Who in the world would have thought we'd be connecting our phones to a coffee cup?
 
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benoj

benoj

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Hmm gave that a go - but no cigar. Very confused - I surely don’t see the PET plastic stopping the Bluetooth signal...
 

Knightshade

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It is kind of hard to tell from that pic, but was your tilt removed from the tube it came with?

Seeing that black cap makes me think you left it inside of this..which would explain its inability to connect.
7598EACA-057A-4D4F-B4E8-CDAD56BC9848.jpeg
 

micraftbeer

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I have come across this weird sequence I have to do with Tilt/Brewfather. First I add the device to my Batch in Brewfather on the fermentation tab. Then on my iPhone I'm using to broadcast, I click on the Tilt 2 app (don't know why they have both), then settings for that Tilt, and click on start new log.

The phone has some messages popping up, then reports success. I go back to Brewfather and I see it's now reporting data.
 
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benoj

benoj

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It is kind of hard to tell from that pic, but was your tilt removed from the tube it came with?

Seeing that black cap makes me think you left it inside of this..which would explain its inability to connect.
HAHAHAHA - WOW this is a lesson in don't drink and brew. Yes. This is absolutely hilarious. I think it's probably too risky to remove and replace at this point so I guess I will just have a floating friend in this batch and use it properly in the next batch.

In fairness though - mine doesn't have that paper in it - just the tube and then inside the tube is the tilt container. At least I sterilised the packaging before putting it in!

Ben
 

hotbeer

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Yeah, thanks for the chuckle. I'm glad you came clean. We've all pretty much done stupid before. My avatar shows one of mine.
 

Knightshade

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;)

I recall watching a similar video prior to getting mine, which is probably why I didn’t fall prey to the same mistake.

Still hasn’t stopped a couple flubs where it is concerned. Completely forgot to add it to fermenter in the first batch I brewed after getting it..oops.

and another where I couldn’t figure out why the damn thing wasn’t spitting out any data.Kinda gave up on it, went back a couple hours later and realized that the raspberrypi wasn’t on. Crappy power switch isn’t marked, but still..silly obvious.
 

hotbeer

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@Knightshade , I saw those Tilt hydrometers when MoreBeer or some other vendor sent me an email about them a while back.

My hesitation has been that if there is any bubbling going on then bubbles will be either lifting the Tilt or making the liquid less dense. Is that just a unreasonable thing I'm imagining? What's been your thoughts or findings? Haven't thought to search here for others that may have posted such.
 

Knightshade

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@Knightshade , I saw those Tilt hydrometers when MoreBeer or some other vendor sent me an email about them a while back.

My hesitation has been that if there is any bubbling going on then bubbles will be either lifting the Tilt or making the liquid less dense. Is that just a unreasonable thing I'm imagining? What's been your thoughts or findings? Haven't thought to search here for others that may have posted such.
It seems to continue throwing info and show progress no matter how vigorous a ferment I’ve had? I’ve only maybe got 4 sessions on mine though.

I’m not certain if I’m in the minority or majority with the usage of my tilt. It seems to be off from my hydrometer readings by a wee bit and while I keep meaning to calibrate it...or at least verify that the tilt will read at 1.00 with distilled water (even though I did that when I set it up initially) I keep forgetting...but maybe that is because I don’t really place a whole of importance in the absolute accuracy of the thing as I do before/after hydrometer readings regardless.

Where I’ve identified value

  1. Knowing that fermentation activity has started...and when.
  2. When it starts to slow down, and/or stops. I’ve on occasion added energizer or upped the temp of my fermentation chamber based on one of those things.
  3. Knowing when fermentation is stopped, and/or likely done based on the recipe
  4. Knowing the actual temp of the wort in fermenter vs temp of my fermentation chamber.
 

AlexKay

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@Knightshade , I saw those Tilt hydrometers when MoreBeer or some other vendor sent me an email about them a while back.

My hesitation has been that if there is any bubbling going on then bubbles will be either lifting the Tilt or making the liquid less dense. Is that just a unreasonable thing I'm imagining? What's been your thoughts or findings? Haven't thought to search here for others that may have posted such.
That is a totally reasonable thing you are imagining. My Tilts often have the gravity go up when the krausen starts kicking them around, and final gravity measurements can be way off if there’s yeast sludge on the hydrometer.

Don’t get me wrong — I love the devices. But Knightshade is spot on in the assessment of what they’re good for and what they’re not.
 

LBussy

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I have used Tilts for a long time and I love them. I can say that once calibrated (just costs a little sugar to create the test solution) it's spot on. It's not second by second correct, if you think about what's going on, that's reasonable. When you use some averaging/smoothing and probably more valuable: trending, that's when you really see the strength. Here is a link to my sheet, here's just a quick peek at the current graph:

1617542281686.png


The strangeness in the beginning and frequent spikes/dips is from me de-gassing, but after 1.030 or so you really begin to see how smooth it is. I was having some "arguments" with my temperature control for a bit, you can see that too :)

One thing I might point out is *if* you want to trend like this, it's not always convenient or cost-effective to have something within BLE range. Tiltbridge is a perfect solution to that. It will post to your sheet, and allow you a nice web page showing multiples if you have them:

1617542539031.png


It is a DIY item, but it's one that requires no soldering, and only a $9.00 controller if you are willing to wait for delivery from China (or $15 from Amazon if not.) If you have a 3D printer, or know someone with one, the case makes it a nice, compact item:

1617543196956.png


My avatar shows one of mine.
I had my scare trying to grease the numbers each time and learning about temperature altitude the hard way. That looks a time but further from the edge of the runway than I was. :)
 

LBussy

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HAHAHAHA - WOW this is a lesson in don't drink and brew.
Also - I don't think that's why you can't get a reading. Have a look at the Tilt website related to changing batteries. It will show you where the LEDs are, and how they are supposed to blink when the Tilt turns on and off. I'd start with that (afy=ter this brew of course.)
 

AlexKay

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This is what I have fermenting right now:

chart.png

Ignore the noise/scatter on the 5-minute timescale. More confusing are the hours-long dips at the end of 4/1 and early morning 4/4. I'm assuming that this is a measurement error related to krausen or other gunk getting on the Tilt; the alternative (the gravity is actually going down, then going up again by 5 or 10 points) seems unlikely. I'd say something like this happens every other or every third brew.

So, is it actually at 1.020 right now? Probably not. It's still a useful tool: I can look at the graph and see when fermentation started, as well as that it's coming along nicely but clearly not done.
 

bwible

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I have a green one. I thought it came calibrated but I am wondering. It always reports low final gravities that don’t make sense for the recipe.

The batch I have in now started at 1.049. I measured that with a hydrometer and confirmed it against the Tilt. Both were identical. This is a light ale with Wyeast 1056. Wyeast lists 73 - 77 % attenuation for that yeast.

I mashed at 155 measured by my Anvil Foundry and the beer has been fermenting in my basement for 7 days between a low of 66 degrees and a high of 69 degrees.

The Tilt is telling me the current gravity is 1.008 for a whopping 83.67% attenuation.

This is not the first time. It’s been every batch. I know this is not infected. None of the other batches it did it with were either.

I don’t think the FG is really this low. This thing probably needs to be calibrated. But why would they send me one that was not calibrated?
 

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LBussy

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This thing probably needs to be calibrated. But why would they send me one that was not calibrated?
They are close. Is the exact final gravity that important? Will it change anything you do?

If it is important, have you tested it against your hydrometer?

Calibration of electronic equipment anything that measures stuff is common and accepted. You can either use it as a relative measure without calibration as everyone so far here has pointed out, or calibrate it. I've been using mine "uncalibrated" for years and nobody has died or killed kittens.
 

bwible

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They are close. Is the exact final gravity that important? Will it change anything you do?

If it is important, have you tested it against your hydrometer?

Calibration of electronic equipment anything that measures stuff is common and accepted. You can either use it as a relative measure without calibration as everyone so far here has pointed out, or calibrate it. I've been using mine "uncalibrated" for years and nobody has died or killed kittens.
Sorry, a predicted final gravity of 1.012 and a final gravity of 1.008 are not “close.”

If this thing is actually correct, the % alcohol is 5.38% instead of the 4.7% that was sought in the recipe.

Yes, it matters.
 

LBussy

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Question:
Is the exact final gravity that important?
Answer (?):
Yes, it matters.

Question:
Will it change anything you do?
... no answer

Question:
If it is important, have you tested it against your hydrometer?
... no answer

Never in my 30-year career of homebrewing have I let what a hydrometer says affect my impression of a beer. A beer is sensory, not process-driven. Perhaps you need to just RDWHAHB?

Worrying about a few points here and there flies in the face of this I think:
1617633287510.png
 

bwible

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I told you why it matters. That difference in % alcohol is big.

I’m going to try calibrating it. I paid $100 for an electronic hydrometer - I think the least I could expect is that it would arrive calibrated.
 
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micraftbeer

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Just use the Tilt to know when fermentation is done- flat line, not a particular SG value. Then when transferring out of your fermentor grab a sample and measure the SG with your favorite device (hydrometer, refractometer).
 

wepeeler

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I've used my 3 Tilts for about 30 batches or so, and I must say they are great for OGs and trends. I find that residual Krausen can throw off FGs quite a bit though. I usually get lower FGs with the Tilts than with my manual hydrometers. That being said, they are great for following the ebb and flow of a fermentation. When DHing during fermentation, which I don't do anymore, you can easily "see" when the fermentation is chugging along. I tend to use them more to determine when to D rest my lagers vs just guessing according to a time frame. Do you need a Tilt to make great beer? Absolutely not. But for nerding out a little, they're a cool addition to the brewery.
 

YaleH

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It is kind of hard to tell from that pic, but was your tilt removed from the tube it came with?

Seeing that black cap makes me think you left it inside of this..which would explain its inability to connect. View attachment 724480
HA....... was looking at pic wondering same thing and also that it's floating almost level which would account for air trapped in packing/storing vial. Oh well, sometime the best way to learn a lesson it to make a mistake!!!
 
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benoj

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HA....... was looking at pic wondering same thing and also that it's floating almost level which would account for air trapped in packing/storing vial. Oh well, sometime the best way to learn a lesson it to make a mistake!!!

Yep - I actually emailed tilt before posting here to see if they knew what the problem was.

I then followed up with my mistake - the CEO responded with the following:

Glad you found that video, I always get a kick out of it. I take the blame since it was my idea to ship the Tilt in the storage tube (instead of a plastic bag). Hopefully the storage tube is worth the trouble!
 

MaxStout

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I can see why someone might be inclined to keep the Tilt in the tube, especially if said tube is kind of nice and looks like it's part of the design. Easy mistake to make. Maybe the mfr. should put a sticker on the tube, "Remove Tilt from tube before each use."
 
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