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Jovimaple

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Skeeter Pee (or Lemon Thunder, as I call my version) ended up being one of the favorite wines I made according to my friends and family. Last year I made about 11 gallons and all but 2 bottles are gone.

I started a 6 gallon batch (currently 5 1/2 gallons but I started with 64 oz of lemon juice and will add another 128 oz when fermentation is complete, so I will have 6 gallons plus enough for topping off).

I recently got a Tilt hydrometer and so it will be fun to watch this batch ferment. Being able to easily see when to add the second half of the yeast nutrient and energizer without having to take multiple samples is something I am definitely going to enjoy!

Last time I made it, I rehydrated the EC1118 yeast for 15 minutes in a cup of 100 degree F water. This time, I made a yeast starter with sugar, water, and yeast nutrient, and let it sit for 24 hours before pouring it in.

I am hoping I have another winner with this batch! Helps to look forward to a summertime cold drink when we are still in the depths of winter here in Minnesnowta!
 

BigDaveK

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I recently got a Tilt hydrometer and so it will be fun to watch this batch ferment. Being able to easily see when to add the second half of the yeast nutrient and energizer without having to take multiple samples is something I am definitely going to enjoy!

I'm new to all this and never heard of the Tilt hydrometer. I certainly don't need one - and it's definitely on my wish list.
 

Jovimaple

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I'm new to all this and never heard of the Tilt hydrometer. I certainly don't need one - and it's definitely on my wish list.
And remember when you get additional ones that you don't need, for multiple batches, that you have to get different colors (each color sends data on a different frequency).

I have the regular, not the pro. I am fermenting in a plastic fermenter on the first floor of our house. The signal reaches to the 2nd floor bedroom that I use as my office, so that's where I set up an old iPad in kiosk mode. I first discovered the signal reached to Hubby's office, which is right above the wine room (aka the laundry room) and told him we have to switch offices again but he said no. ☹️🤣😂🤣 (We had just switched last spring when we decided to replace the carpet in both rooms.)
 

Jovimaple

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If you set up a raspberry pi or an old tablet or phone within bluetooth range (in kiosk mode for the tablet/phone), you can set it to automagically update however often (default is 15 minutes). I just left it with the defaults and it emailed me with a google sheet that it updates every 15 minutes. Here's a screenshot of what the spreadsheet looks like just now (Noah Neibaron is one of the owners at Tilt so his name is on the spreadsheet):
1644446117340.png
 

ChuckD

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I don't own one of these, I can't see why I care about every 15 minute readings and, since I almost always have skins or something in my ferments, I can't see how they are accurate. But that's just my $0.02 Luddite opinion.
It’s 100% not necessary. But like crack to gadget freaks. Not buying one, but If someone wants to get me one for Christmas I won’t return it.
 

Jovimaple

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I don't own one of these, I can't see why I care about every 15 minute readings and, since I almost always have skins or something in my ferments, I can't see how they are accurate. But that's just my $0.02 Luddite opinion.
That's a good point about the skins. I have read reviews that say for beer makers, the readings get iffy at high krausen. This is only my second batch using it, and so I haven't tried it with actual fruit-in-primary-fermentation bucket yet.

The first batch I used it on was a chocolate raspberry dessert wine kit that involved chaptilization. The Tilt really comes in handy to easily see when a certain gravity level is reached when step feeding or when another dose of nutrients should be added. It's a little more convenient than guessing it's time to check the SG and maybe being off by a couple of days.

I was going to change the default time to a couple of hours, but since I didn't have everything set up to record until partway through that choc rasp kit, I decided to stick to the default 15 minute intervals for one full batch.
 
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I don't own one of these, I can't see why I care about every 15 minute readings and, since I almost always have skins or something in my ferments, I can't see how they are accurate. But that's just my $0.02 Luddite opinion.
My first take is, "That is REALLY cool!" I like gadgets!

Then when I think about it, a report more often than every 6 hours would not be useful. Every 15 minutes would annoy me. I'd use it for a while, then it would go into a drawer with other stuff I no longer use ....

I'm another luddite ... ;)

I've got a couple of Raspberry PI 3's, one is in a tablet (running Emteria/Android, as the PI SO isn't as friendly for a touch screen). This thread has got me thinking about setting it up in my wine area to take notes on. This isn't a better idea than recording on paper and transcribing to my site, but at least the PI stops gathering dust ... :p
 

Jovimaple

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It actually is kind of fascinating to watch the numbers bounce around a bit with temperature (I have it on a heating pad set for 75 degrees F that will turn on @ 73 and turn off at 77 as measured by a temp probe on the outside of the bucket).

To make it really worthwhile, I should follow @winemaker81 's fine example and do a comparison of wines where I stir one each day and don't stir the other one, have one on a heating pad and one not, etc., just to see where the numbers land. If I'm really clever, I can use this to talk Hubby into letting me get another Tilt and do the testing at the same time! "Honey, the guys on the wine site told me I had to, for the wine!"

Of course, @Matteo_Lahm just told me I can stock up on FWKs and put them in the freezer, so maybe I just don't tell Hubby at all about all the wine stuff I need right now (I do the bookkeeping anyway). Sneaky, sneaky. . . . :i
 
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Bummer! Reply from the owner of Tilt when asked about using them in reds with skins…

The Tilt hydrometer is currently used in wine fermentation. Note that the Tilt hydrometer needs to float freely to accurately reflect the SG of wine. If the wine is fermented on the skins and a cap develops the Tilt hydrometer will not provide an accurate reading. If you would like to use the Tilt with skins, a cage attached to the side of the tank can be used to prevent solids from interfering with the hydrometer. We don't have an off-the-self cage but have experimented with one for different uses. I hope this helps. Let me know if you have any other questions.
 

Jovimaple

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There's also the Plaato hydrometer but I have no experience with it. It's supposed to count the bubbles in the airlock to measure. Same price as the regular Tilt. I don't ferment my wines under airlock, but for those gadget lovers who do, it might be interesting.

 
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There's also the Plaato hydrometer but I have no experience with it. It's supposed to count the bubbles in the airlock to measure.
I read this quote on their site:

When the BPM (Bubbles per Minute) reaches zero, you can be absolutely sure that the beer is finished fermenting - the yeast has fully consumed the sugars - and you can with peace in mind continue with dry-hopping or cold-crashing.​

This is wrong. Fermentation can stop for numerous reasons, only one of which is that fermentation is complete. I'd not spend $1 on this, much less $135.
 

Jovimaple

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This is wrong. Fermentation can stop for numerous reasons, only one of which is that fermentation is complete. I'd not spend $1 on this, much less $135.
That's kind of what I was thinking. That plus the fact that I don't ferment under airlock made this a non-starter for me.

The value of it would seem to be more about being a guide, rather than the be-all-and-end-all answer. Knowing the fermentation has appeared to have stopped would be nice to know, but that would lead me to pull a sample and check with my hydrometer.

Kit wine instructions (without skins) often say to just leave it alone for 2 weeks. For those types of wines that don't need stirring/punching down, the Tilt makes a little more sense.

Plus, it really is interesting to see the numbers change, although I will probably change it to update once an hour or every few hours after this first batch completes. I wanted a full batch where I have used it from the start.
 
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JBP

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I have a Tilt (gift when they very first came out - 2 years ago?) and while I enjoy having it, I will provide a small caution - it’s accuracy in the last part of the ferment is not great. Seems all the CO2 bubbles (or something else) keeps it reading high. And anything solid that is floating can also interfere. After a couple of episodes where I thought I had a stuck ferment just under 1.020 or 1.010, I pulled out my trusty hydrometer. The Tilt is fun to have and while I still use it to track temp and SG progress, I do not rely on it.
 
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