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Brewballs in lieu of hydrometer?

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1 Brewballs in lieu of hydrometer? on Thu Sep 09, 2010 4:33 pm

Hey there,

I was wondering if anyone here has used these? If you have, do you recommend them? Could you comment as to the possible downsides of using them? My friend and I have been thinking of using them in lieu of a hydrometer because its such a pain to take the specific gravity.

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2 Re: Brewballs in lieu of hydrometer? on Thu Sep 09, 2010 4:52 pm

For the same price you can get a refractometer from ebay. Just a few drops of wort/beer for each measurement.

It's so much easier than a hydrometer. No sanitizing a thief, getting enough beer to fill the hydro tube, wasing the whole tubefull of beer (okay, I drink it) All you do is sanitize an eyedropper, get a few ml's of beer and that's it.

The one drawback is the reading will need to be adjusted for the alcohol in the beer. But there's computers for that!


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3 Re: Brewballs in lieu of hydrometer? on Thu Sep 09, 2010 7:05 pm

Nifty gadgets, could be fun, but I'm not sure they're worth it. I guess if you are doing a barley wine or something, they might tell you if you've got a stuck fermentation, but otherwise once primary fermentation is over, you're pretty much assured of being in the 1.01Xs somewhere, and only gonna drop another .002 or so in secondary (if you're doing secondary).

I do all my primary fermentation in a bottling bucket, so taking readings is as simple as opening the valve. It also makes racking to secondary easier, although my 2nd is a better bottle, so I do still have to siphon to bottle if I go that route.

I wonder if the balls would even work at high krauzen. I would think they would just ride on top of the foam.

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