Public Service - Check your scales for accuracy.

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Public Service - Check your scales for accuracy.

Postby yeastmeister » Thu Aug 20, 2009 2:48 pm

I have a small gram scale that I use for weighing out water salts, and hops. It started acting "funny" a while ago, but it always passes the calibration (comes with a 50 gram cal weight, and it reads 50.0 on the nose when its on there, and zero when nothing is on there). But it always gave me worry, so I ordered another scale.

New scale comes in, put on the weight, 50.0. Good, put on something else, new scale reads 19.2g, old scale reads 16.3. Hmmmmm... Tried an old school triple beam balance, 19.2g. So the old scale was off, yet it passed the 2 point calibration.

So, the FYI part of this post is to always check your scale using more than 2 points, if it starts to drift, throw it out. It helps to have a backup mechanical scale (it can't go out of sync).
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Postby aleguy » Thu Aug 20, 2009 3:44 pm

My hops are labelled in lbs. and ozs. Good enough for me. If my grain scale is off (and I'm sure it is) then that just means higher gravity beer, which is also just fine by me. Of course I just use filtered tap water to brew with, not the fancy RO system in my kitchen, so the only minerals I might need to add come in a couple tabs of Servomyces.
Never trust a skinny chef, a sober brewer, or a cat with thumbs!
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Interesting Gene

Postby gordonbl » Mon Aug 31, 2009 2:16 am

Haven't applied it to brewing but me and a friend of mine reload bullets.
I'll have to figure out the conversion but if there is that much error in
reloading I will be in big trouble. I guess a well maintained balance beam
is a good thing to have. 7000 grains to an ounce on a powder scale.
Most of the time with my extract brewing I'll say not enough hopps, one more ounce of what ever hopps I am using. Oh well, not exact but it's fun
and I have enjoyed ALMOST every thing I have brewed! Not the batch of
english ale I messed up on the temp of the grain steeping. As you can
tell I'm not as exact, or as hard to please as you but I still enjoy most of my brews. I might have another of my favorites monday night but I
drank all of my Oktoberfest. Got to get Kevin to order more kits.

Just me rambeling
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Postby yeastmeister » Mon Aug 31, 2009 6:06 am

Hmmm...off topic I know, but I thought I remember from my black powder days that its better to measure by volume (fill the specially made scoop to the top, don't pack it down, and thats the right amount). Presumably because its so easy for a scale to drift on very light weights. Do you actually weigh the grains of each one you pack?
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Postby gordonbl » Mon Aug 31, 2009 4:44 pm

I think your right Gene, black powder is by volume and the newer guns use pressed cylinders of pyrodex. Modern gun powder is loaded by weight.
Competition shooters usually measure every load but I think in bench rest
comps they shoot 25 shots, 5 rounds at 5 targets. I don't shoot competitions just plinking for fun. I'll load 150 or 200 rounds at a time and don't measure every load. I'll use the scale to set a powder thrower
and don't load for the max velocity so there is room for error in the thrower. My bad in the post above 7000 grains in a pound not ounce.
That would be a good scale if it could measure 1/7000 of an ounce.

Later
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