A Beautiful Curve

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by Bubba Wade, Dec 23, 2019.

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  1. Bubba Wade

    Bubba Wade Well-Known Member

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    I have spent my entire career in industrial instrumentation and automation. In the industrial world, there is the rule that you cannot control what you cannot measure. I was very enthused to get the Tilt hydrometer a year ago. I have used it for about 15 batches and it has worked very well. A Beautiful Curve.JPG
    Here is a screen shot from the recipe in progress. The specific gravity is showing the classical S-curve of chemical reactions. Flat at the start, a steep drop, followed by a flattening at the finish. Here I can see that the SG is closing in on the target FG of 1.012. When it flattens out for a few days, it will be ready to transfer to the keg for carbonation and further aging.

    Notice two bumps in the yellow line. At these points, the specific gravity did not increase. These are caused by CO2 bubbles adhering to the Tilt and causing it to float higher, thus showing a higher SG. The bubbles let go, and then the SG measurement returns to normal. I generally only see this early in the fermentation process.

    The blue temperature line shows how well the temperature control strategy works. I placed the Tilt in the fermenter after cooling the wort to 90 °F or so. The controller then pulled it down to 60, and it has remained at a constant 61-62° despite being in an outdoor location with day/night temperature swings.

    I am curious about others experience with the device. For reference, I have mime connected through Bluetooth to an old Kindle Fire 7. The Kindle is connected to the wi-fi for logging to the cloud.
     
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  2. Steve SPF

    Steve SPF Well-Known Member

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    Definitely on my shopping list for the new year...
     
  3. thunderwagn

    thunderwagn Well-Known Member

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    I've been very interested in getting one. Especially since I've started enclosed and fermenting under pressure. Plus, I like new toys!
     
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  4. Mase

    Mase Well-Known Member

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    Love my Tilt! I have noticed that the gravity increases right after a dry hop. Not sure what to attribute I to, but as Bubba said, it returns back to where it should be in a day or two.
     
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  5. Hawkbox

    Hawkbox Well-Known Member

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    I find "fresh" hops tend to float for a day or two before settling so that is probably affecting it.
     
  6. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    I use a regular refractometer and a conversion spreadsheet, works fine for me. Correction, I used to. Now I only use it when I need to know how fermentation is progressing.
     
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  7. Mase

    Mase Well-Known Member

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    I think you’d like the Tilt @Nosybear . Seeing the plot curve has really helped with dry hopping and fruit additions, not to mention it’s pretty cool to watch.

    IMO there are two major drawbacks with the Tilt. The first is that yeast/hops collect on the unit and give incorrect, albeit consist, results. The second is the interface. From communicating/calibrating to forwarding and the debugging can get tedious. I’m sure in a few short years, there’ll be an improved version that address the issues above, but for now it works, even if it is a little clumsy. :)
     
  8. Bubba Wade

    Bubba Wade Well-Known Member

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    I've not had the issue with yeast or hops depositing on the Tilt. This would usually make the SG read low. I do have the occasional issues with bubbles making the SG temporarily read high. I suspect as the alcohol content goes up, the bubbles stick less.

    The Tilt app is okay. However, I have found the communication device to be sometimes problematic. I have an old Kindle Fire that I have placed in developer mode. This allow me to turn off the timeout and continuously communicate. This has proven to be more difficult with Apple devices.
     
  9. Mark Farrall

    Mark Farrall Well-Known Member

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    I've seen a bit of evidence of hop creep on at least one of my beers from the tilt. I'll often see a drop of 2-3 SG points when I dry hop. That will then recover over 8-24 hours. But for a few beers it will actually start fermentation again, dropping 2-3 SG points from the pre-dry hop gravity.

    The graph below shows the beer at 1.007 for 3-4 days. I then added a 3.5 g/L dry hop of Mosaic. It drops 3-4 points from the activity (basically removing bubbles I expect). That comes back up to 1.006 as the bubbles reattach, then starts dropping and ends up at 1.005. That said, it's no longer happening with that recipe. I've heard that the hops creating enzymes is a season to season proposition, within the hops that can do this. hop creep.png
     
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  10. beer1965

    beer1965 Member

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    This is pretty cool..

    I'm thinking of converting an old bar fridge into a fermenting chamber and using an inkbird. #1 Will the Tilt bluetooth signal easily get the signal to the outside of fridge when closed; #2 can the temp signal be somehow connected to the inkbird with some kind of hack to control the fridge temp? Thanks
     
  11. Mase

    Mase Well-Known Member

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    I can’t answer #2, but I kinda doubt it, but who knows, someone maybe has a hack for it. As far as #1 goes, that depends on the fridge. Some have said no problem, some do have a problem getting communications outside the fridge. I have a Stainless Steel fermenter and cold crash in a converted freezer and I have no problem with the Tilt communicating with my iPad, but my iPad has to sit within a couple feet of the keezer or it loses signal.
     
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  12. Bubba Wade

    Bubba Wade Well-Known Member

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    The Inkbird has its own temperature measurement and doesn't have enough smarts to take an input signal. However, if you use a Raspberry Pi or Arduino as the monitoring device for the Tilt, you could use the output channels to control the temperature. Not the simplest thing to do, but it is possible.
     
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  13. beer1965

    beer1965 Member

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    It sounds like a good challenge.. First up I'll be picking up the fridge in two weeks. Might be back to you with questions after that. Thanks..
     
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  14. Mark Farrall

    Mark Farrall Well-Known Member

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    There's projects like http://web.craftbeerpi.com/ that have plugins for taking the tilt signal and using it to control the heater and fridge.
     
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  15. BarbarianBrewer

    BarbarianBrewer Active Member

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    Tilt does have a repeater that has been designed for stainless steel fermenting vessels. I would think a fridge would fit into that category - https://tilthydrometer.com/products/tilt-repeater.
     
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