Author Topic: Are TILT hydrometers worth it?  (Read 426 times)

Offline Drewch

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Are TILT hydrometers worth it?
« on: September 17, 2020, 01:45:05 AM »
The equipment geek in me really wants one (or two), but they're not exactly cheap.  Are they worth the expense?
Drew

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Offline allenhuerta

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Re: Are TILT hydrometers worth it?
« Reply #1 on: September 17, 2020, 01:56:24 AM »
I use them to track fermentation progress and I love them. I have two. They are fairly accurate for gravity, IMO as well. During and at the end of brewday I'll use my refractometer, from then on out I'll use the Tilt.

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Online dmtaylor

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Re: Are TILT hydrometers worth it?
« Reply #2 on: September 17, 2020, 02:22:49 AM »
I like my Tilt but I see it more as an optional toy than an essential item. It is useful but yes it is expensive. I would not buy one myself so I asked my wife to get it for Christmas and she did. :)
Dave

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Offline BrewBama

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Re: Are TILT hydrometers worth it?
« Reply #3 on: September 17, 2020, 12:15:38 PM »
I like tracking my fermentation as it progresses but it’s definitely a want vs need.  There are some quirks that you have to get used to.

The Tilt tells me when fermentation starts, how it’s going, and when it stops. It does eliminate the end of fermentation hydrometer samples to see if you’re done.

It does not replace an OG hydrometer or FG hydrometer in my brewery. I take an original gravity reading with an OG hydrometer, adjust the Tilt to that reading, toss it in, and when the Tilt says fermentation is complete I take a finish gravity reading with a FG hydrometer to know where I ended up. I believe the Tilt cannot be trusted for accurate SG measurements.

...but I like it.


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Offline tommymorris

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Re: Are TILT hydrometers worth it?
« Reply #4 on: September 17, 2020, 01:25:10 PM »
I like tracking my fermentation as it progresses but it’s definitely a want vs need.  There are some quirks that you have to get used to.

The Tilt tells me when fermentation starts, how it’s going, and when it stops. It does eliminate the end of fermentation hydrometer samples to see if you’re done.

It does not replace an OG hydrometer or FG hydrometer in my brewery. I take an original gravity reading with an OG hydrometer, adjust the Tilt to that reading, toss it in, and when the Tilt says fermentation is complete I take a finish gravity reading with a FG hydrometer to know where I ended up. I believe the Tilt cannot be trusted for accurate SG measurements.

...but I like it.


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I agree with all this. I would add that it’s nice for lagers. Lager fermentation can crawl along at a few gravity points per day. It’s nice to have the Tilt to tell you fermentation is moving along fine.  I had two beers fermenting simultaneously recently but I only own one Tilt. I put it in the lager. The ale was done in like 3-4 days. No need for Tilt to tell me that ale was making progress.

I like mine but it’s definitely a luxury item.

Online dmtaylor

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Re: Are TILT hydrometers worth it?
« Reply #5 on: September 17, 2020, 03:17:23 PM »
I like tracking my fermentation as it progresses but it’s definitely a want vs need.  There are some quirks that you have to get used to.

The Tilt tells me when fermentation starts, how it’s going, and when it stops. It does eliminate the end of fermentation hydrometer samples to see if you’re done.

It does not replace an OG hydrometer or FG hydrometer in my brewery. I take an original gravity reading with an OG hydrometer, adjust the Tilt to that reading, toss it in, and when the Tilt says fermentation is complete I take a finish gravity reading with a FG hydrometer to know where I ended up. I believe the Tilt cannot be trusted for accurate SG measurements.

...but I like it.

I agree with all this. I would add that it’s nice for lagers. Lager fermentation can crawl along at a few gravity points per day. It’s nice to have the Tilt to tell you fermentation is moving along fine.  I had two beers fermenting simultaneously recently but I only own one Tilt. I put it in the lager. The ale was done in like 3-4 days. No need for Tilt to tell me that ale was making progress.

I like mine but it’s definitely a luxury item.

All great points.  It definitely does not replace your trusty old normal hydrometer.

And for lagers or long fermentations of any kind (cider, mead, wine), it is indeed very useful.

Also I forgot to mention earlier, it usually goes on sale probably on Black Friday or whatever, save $15 or something like that.  That's how I got mine, if my wife sees a sale like that, she doesn't pass it up.
Dave

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Offline bridenbrau

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Re: Are TILT hydrometers worth it?
« Reply #6 on: September 17, 2020, 09:49:45 PM »
I've had one for a couple of years and just bought a second one since I'm brewing more lately.   I upload to brewstat.us so I can track the progress which is nice if I'm traveling or something.   

Recently started brewing under pressure in a keg, and it helps a lot with that since I can't see what is going on inside.   The bluetooth range is not good when it is in the keg, but I just go right next to it with my phone and it gets a reading.   Recently also setup a Raspberry Pi to read the bluetooth and I can set that right on the keg to receive data continuously.  The TiltPi is very easy to setup, they have a nice SW image that you can install in ten minutes.

I always use hydrometer or refractometer for the official gravity reading, but the tilt graph definitely lets you see how the attentuation is progressing, and easy to see if you bump up the temperature one degree if that affected the fermentation.

Also, Beersmith recently added support to import the tilt data, so there it's nice to keep a record of fermentation gravity and temp there.  I'll be using that from now on.   
   

Offline Drewch

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Re: Are TILT hydrometers worth it?
« Reply #7 on: September 18, 2020, 01:11:37 AM »
Thanks. I think the consensus is they're cool but not essential. I'll keep them on my wishlist 👍. Fun toys are an important part of any hobby.

Cheers.
Drew

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Offline majorvices

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Re: Are TILT hydrometers worth it?
« Reply #8 on: September 19, 2020, 11:27:48 PM »
It was a splurge for me. Worth it?Maybe not "worth it" per se but a fun toy.

Offline erockrph

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Re: Are TILT hydrometers worth it?
« Reply #9 on: September 20, 2020, 03:25:10 PM »
Since I ferment in kegs, I've been thinking about getting a Tilt as a way to track fermentation progress. Then just last week it dawned on me that I can just watch the PSI on my pressure-relief valve. When fermentation starts, the PSI goes up. I burp the keg down a few PSI below my max setting every day so I can monitor the pressure increase. When fermentation starts winding down, the pressure rises more slowly. When the pressure remains the same for a couple of days, I know I can rack it to my serving keg. It was one of those *duh* moments that I realized that I was an idiot all these years for not doing this.
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Offline mabrungard

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Re: Are TILT hydrometers worth it?
« Reply #10 on: September 20, 2020, 07:07:56 PM »
I have one and I like it. It saves me the trouble of collecting and testing gravity samples. While the gravity readings aren’t very accurate, they reliably show the change in gravity and when the fermentation is complete. More importantly, it also shows me when the ferment is slowing and I can keg the beer for spunding.

Useful, yes. Needed, no. I’m glad I have one.
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Offline Kevin

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Re: Are TILT hydrometers worth it?
« Reply #11 on: September 20, 2020, 07:16:54 PM »
I don't think I ever would have spent the money on a new one but I stumbled upon a deal and bought one for less than $100 shipped. I like it ...but... I use a SS conical fermenter and it will only connect with my phone if I am close by.
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Offline denny

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Re: Are TILT hydrometers worth it?
« Reply #12 on: September 20, 2020, 07:52:55 PM »
I have one and I like it. It saves me the trouble of collecting and testing gravity samples. While the gravity readings aren’t very accurate, they reliably show the change in gravity and when the fermentation is complete. More importantly, it also shows me when the ferment is slowing and I can keg the beer for spunding.

Useful, yes. Needed, no. I’m glad I have one.

The only problem is that then you don't get to drink the sample!
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Offline pproctor

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Re: Are TILT hydrometers worth it?
« Reply #13 on: September 22, 2020, 07:58:16 PM »
As for me, definitely worth it.  I make beer and wine.  For beer it's nice for tracking, but for wine I won't do any more without it.  For my wines I'm wanting to ensure getting down in the low 0.990s to ensure completion and it helps to know if I have to kickstart to get the gravity down.  I have not had much luck with the refractometer calculators after fermentation starts and pulling multiple hydrometer readings really drops production.

Offline Drewch

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Re: Are TILT hydrometers worth it?
« Reply #14 on: September 23, 2020, 08:59:40 PM »
The only problem is that then you don't get to drink the sample!

With 1 to 2 gallon batches, I can't afford to drink very many samples.  Hence, some of the appeal of the TILT.
Drew

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