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View Full Version : Tips of god Hydrometer and Bottle Filler?



Asbjörn
04-15-2013, 02:43 PM
Hej, everyone!

I'm a lazy meader, have done only three batches since I started researching mead, somewhere around 2008. By my experience I've faced some troubles, and I've grown a little bit angry with this, so would like to ask my fellow meaders for any tips to solve my issues:

1: Hydrometers

I've made 3 batches so far, and I've had three Hydrometers since. All of them broke, the last one broke without me ever using it. One of the hydrometers was from Northern Brewer ( product page (http://www.northernbrewer.com/shop/beer-and-wine-triple-scale-hydrometer.html) althugh I'm quite sure the model I had was different, perhaps this is a new one )and the other two from Austin Homebrewery ( product page (http://www.austinhomebrew.com/product_info.php?cPath=178_67_64&products_id=12972) ). I need something sturdier, that will last longer, I couldn't even measure the final gravity of my last batch because I was blind.
I can go with the more accurate and expensive 3-set of Lab Grade Hydrometers, but I really will do such a investment only if I get positive feedback from you folks.

2: Bottle Filler

I like my mead bottles to be punted, i.e.: image (http://www.packworld.com/sites/default/files/styles/lightbox/public/field/image/Global_Package_Claire.jpg), I find it to be much more classy. However, it seems to me that the punted bottles are very, very, hard to fill up with Bottle Fillers, and may I say that I have both the Spring ( product page (http://www.northernbrewer.com/shop/winemaking/wine-equipment/wine-bottling/wine-bottle-fillers/spring-tip-bottle-filler.html) )and the Gravity ( product page (http://www.northernbrewer.com/shop/winemaking/wine-equipment/wine-bottling/wine-bottle-fillers/fermtech-bottle-filler.html) ) bottle fillers.
Would you have any tips of something that would make this easier for me? Maybe a valve? Because I have to find the middle sweetspot everytime or else the bottle either won't fill or will do so very slowly.

Thanks,
Asbjörn

akueck
04-15-2013, 07:57 PM
I've had three hydrometers over the last 8 years, and only one has broken due to cats. Got two of them from MoreBeer. I don't imagine they are significantly different than any other hydrometer though. You might consider getting a refractometer instead, since they aren't made entirely of glass.

I have a ball valve on the bottom of my bottling bucket. You could use the valve to start and stop flow for each bottle, although it would be tricky if the tube between the bucket and the bottle is long. For punted bottles, I've always aimed for the sides with my spring-loaded bottle wand. It seems to fit in the depression and flows fine. The only punted bottles I use though are the 750 ml size, I can see how the smaller bottles would be tricky.

Medsen Fey
04-16-2013, 05:52 AM
Consider Brew Balls - http://www.brewballstore.com/

drako824
04-16-2013, 08:44 AM
I like the Ferrari bottle filler
http://www.midwestsupplies.com/ferrari-automatic-bottle-filler.html

BrewinNColorado
04-16-2013, 11:59 AM
I like the Ferrari bottle filler
http://www.midwestsupplies.com/ferrari-automatic-bottle-filler.html

I second the ferrari bottle filler.. it has made bottling so much easier for me. You can be filling one bottle while corking another with the assurance that once the bottle is filled, it'll automatically shut off.. then you repeat the process till done. Best investment ever.

Soyala_Amaya
04-17-2013, 09:32 AM
I second the ferrari bottle filler.. it has made bottling so much easier for me. You can be filling one bottle while corking another with the assurance that once the bottle is filled, it'll automatically shut off.. then you repeat the process till done. Best investment ever.

Oooo! Oooo! I have something that does that! It's called "Get your butt down here and cap these bottles while I fill them if you want to be allowed to drink what's in them!" being yelled up the stairs! ;D (One day I'll get a real bottle filler, but I actually find bottling day to be very lonely if I can't conscript 2-3 people into helping me. I like to make the final move of a finished product an event.)

skunkboy
04-17-2013, 10:02 PM
There is something to be said for mead bottling parties...

Asbjörn
04-18-2013, 01:51 AM
Akueck

Perhaps I'll try the Midwest hydrometer, hope this one won't break lol. I've tried putting the spring bottle filler everywhere at the bottle's bottom without having any success, I ended up changing back to the gravity bottle filler that I had a better shot at finding the sweet spot.. I really liked the idea of the ball valve though, pity that they're so expensive, I saw them running for $25-28 at Midwest..

Medsen

I hadn't heard about the brew balls yet, as I had no knowledge of them I was very enthusiastic reading about them, unfortunately it seems they aren't selling them right now:

"We are sorry to report that we are temporarily out of stock of brewball sets. Please check back as we are working on replenishing our stock and offering many more specific density ranges!"

Furthermore, I got curious, how should one measure the OG with them since the highest gravity one is 1.055? The hydrometer would still be needed for the beginning until the 1/3 sugar break, right?

drako824 and BrewiNColorado

Thank you very much for your suggestion, I will definitely give a shot at this filler, the idea of the hassle free is very tempting!

Soyala_Amaya

Wow, I envy you! I used to live alone and had to ask a friend to come help me at mead day hahaha.. Now I've got married and my wife gets bored of helping me so I have to make the most of the little time she helps me!

Soyala_Amaya
04-18-2013, 11:45 AM
Soyala_Amaya

Wow, I envy you! I used to live alone and had to ask a friend to come help me at mead day hahaha.. Now I've got married and my wife gets bored of helping me so I have to make the most of the little time she helps me!

Oh they usually grumble some about sore backs from bending over, but pizza, music, silliness, and of course the right to sample anything they help with helps a lot. :rolleyes: