Member #190009

Member Since: January 12, 2011

Country: Canada

  • My job is actually designing industrial gas detection systems, and my experience with gas sensors (and with winemaking, which I also do :) ) suggests that you're better off using the hydrometer method. This sensor will show an alcohol reading if you hold it over the wine, but you'd need a way to calibrate it - and it will be difficult because the amount of alcohol vapour coming off from the wine will depend not only on the wine's alcochol content but also on the ambient temperature/pressure. Your best bet may be to calibrate using a commercial bottle of beer (5% alcohol), wine (13.5%), port (22%), and vodka (40%); put an ounce of each at room temperature in a shot glass, and hold the alcohol sensor say 1" above the surface. You may be able to relate the sensor's reading to the alcohol level the manufacturer lists on the bottle. It might work well enough that you can estimate your homebrew's alcohol level by putting an ounce of it (again, at room temperature) in the same shot glass with the sensor 1" above. I wouldn't expect +/- 0.1% accuracy... but it'd be an interesting experiment, especially if you can compare the sensor-calculated value to a hydrometer-based one. Oh, and gas sensors have enough device-to-device variation that if you swap out your sensor for a new one you may have to get all the datapoints from the commercial alcohol again.
    My two cents. :)

  • I couldn't even get to the first question - well, it was fun to dream, but if it really does take 2 hours of continual button mashing I don't think I'll bother if there's another free day next year. :/
    However, thanks SparkFun for a super generous and nifty promotion! Full points for Awesomeness! :)

No public wish lists :(