Digital/Wireless Hydrometer - iSpindel, Tilt or Plaato?

Discussion in 'Beginners Wine Making Forum' started by Helio Costa, Feb 28, 2019.

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  1. Feb 28, 2019 #1

    Helio Costa

    Helio Costa

    Helio Costa

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    Hi everyone,

    I'm really interested to know if anyone here already used one of those tech Hydrometer:

    - iSpindel
    - Tilt
    - Plaato

    If so, what's your experience with these products?

    Thanks.
     
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  2. Mar 2, 2019 #2

    George Burgin

    George Burgin

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    Glad to help. Tilt units are pricey compared to a regular hydrometer. However, you have to consider the benefits:

    1. Instant readings with the app verses sanitation of all of the traditional tools used EVERY time you measure.
    2. Very accurate and adjusts automatically for temperature changes.
    3. App can send information to a spreadsheet in real time which can be viewed from anywhere. I get hydrometer readings remotely. I travel a lot for work and this is very helpful to me.
    4. Instructions indicate battery life is 3 months. I’ve been using mine for over a year, pretty much non stop, without changing batteries.

    If you can afford, I think you’ll be happy.
     
  3. Mar 2, 2019 #3

    Johnd

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    Just curious, how does it perform during fermentation / heavy CO2 production? My experience with standard hydrometers used at this time is that they pick up bubbles, causing them to float higher and read a higher SG than actually exists. A quick spin always eliminates the bubbles and gives a proper reading before bubbles accumulate again. Same gig with the tilt?
     
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  4. Mar 2, 2019 #4

    mainshipfred

    mainshipfred

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    Never knew they existed, pretty neat.
     
  5. Mar 2, 2019 #5

    George Burgin

    George Burgin

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    I've actually never considered heavy CO2 production affecting the readings. You can watch the line graph over time and see the whole fermentation from start to finish. As you're exploring, you might want to send an email to the guys at Tilt. They undoubtedly can answer your questions.
     
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  6. Mar 2, 2019 #6

    stickman

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    @Johnd I was thinking the same thing. It looks like the reading is affected by bubbles for a limited period of time, they use beer with a starting sg of 1.060 as an example, wine may be different. Red wine with a heavy cap is out of the question unless some special setup is used, like floating the unit in a perforated tube. A side circulation loop would be possible, industrial instrumentation is often set up this way, but would be complete overkill for home winemaking.

    https://tilthydrometer.com/blogs/news/85889732-vigorous-fermentation
     
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  7. Mar 2, 2019 #7

    Boatboy24

    Boatboy24

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    Pretty cool stuff that I never even knew existed. Very spendy, but the data guy in me really likes.
     
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  8. Mar 3, 2019 #8

    Helio Costa

    Helio Costa

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    iSpindel as far as I know it's possible to calibrate considering the bubbles.
     
  9. Mar 3, 2019 #9

    StToddy

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    Love my Tilt. Hard to convey the value of checking the progress of the fermentation at a glance, both in terms of SG and temperature, with my iPad, which I just leave plugged in nearby. I would make the case that, even if the bubbles did impact the readings to some minor degree during the active portion of the fermentation, it would not undo the main value of tracking the active portion of the fermentation. Stickman is correct about the interference of the cap, which can and does noticeably affect the Tilt readings during red wine fermentation. He has a fine idea of enclosing the Tilt. On the other hand, in a 6.5 gal batch, I usually keep the entire crushed portion in a large nylon mesh bag, which accomplishes the same goal - allowing the Tilt to float freely outside the bag in the juice. This may seem eccentric, but I have also experimented successfully with holding the bag (and thus the cap) down below the surface by using using several (nylon mesh bagged) bundles of 2" stir bars inside the skins bag along with a few Neodymium magnets (2" x 1" x 1/2") outside my PETG fermentation vessel (to anchor the big bag inside down). You still have to do the punch downs (pushing your tool into the top of the bag) to release trapped CO2 gas, but at least the Tilt can float freely. Cautionary note: one should be very careful with rare magnets since they can cause finger injuries if caught between two magnets. I encased my Neodymium magnets (on all but one side) inside cut pieces of foam swim Noodles to help prevent unintended direct contact with another rare earth magnet.
     
  10. Apr 16, 2019 #10

    crcarey

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    For those with tilt, do you drop it in your red wine for extended times during primary ferment? Or I guess I would be thinking just leave it in he Carnot for like a month or so?
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2019
  11. Apr 17, 2019 #11

    StToddy

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    I think leaving the Tilt in the batch after primary fermentation is completed would just be a waste of battery life. It would be a glorified thermometer with an unchanging SG reading.
     
  12. Apr 17, 2019 #12

    George Burgin

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    I own several tilt units and each one has performed flawlessly during a dozen fermentations and EMs for sixty days each. I have never changed the batteries in any of the units. I’ve been using them for nearly two years.

    I have a dedicated iPad that I open twice a day during primary and secondary fermentation as I check SG and temperatures making note of progress. When I enter EM, I only take weekly readings occasionally seeing a few clicks difference in SG. I’ve seen as low as .983 in EM but that is a rarity.

    In short, I love these little units!
     
  13. May 1, 2019 #13

    Js76155

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    I am interested in shelling out a few bills to buy one of these monitoring 'thingies'. However, I have read some horror stories from various KickStarter products that have since gone out of business, or are about to! Price/Value has always been high on the list of everyone's complaints. Another issue is the lock-in with cloud-based software that is billed monthly/annually.

    I have seen gadgets built by guys on the internet that count bubbles and can output this data to a spreadsheet/graph with a material cost under 50 bills. I am just a simple winemaker that wants to know when my fermentation has stopped or slowed down, and how long the entire process took. But, I can't find anyone who makes a simple and complete bubble counter for sale. I don't have the electronic/soldering skills to build one myself.

    Does anyone in the forum have a friend who can help? Or, the necessary skills themselves?
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2019
  14. May 1, 2019 #14

    crcarey

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    I have been running mine for a few weeks and running great. In a batch of Chilean Malbec currently reading .994 with not much change over the last few days. For those that have used the tilt, is .994 looking good? Think it’s done?
     
  15. May 3, 2019 #15

    StToddy

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    You said it.
     
  16. May 3, 2019 #16

    sour_grapes

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    I use a digital, wireless hydrometer. Here is a picture of it:

    [​IMG]

    Obviously, there are no wires, so it is wireless. I use my fingers to move it in and out of the must, so it is obviously digital. :)
     
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  17. May 4, 2019 #17

    CDrew

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    ^^^^^

    Man, that’s old school!
     
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  18. May 5, 2019 #18

    Scooter68

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    Best Thing Sour Grapes .... No batteries to replace!
     
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