The 5 Tests Every Home Brewer Should Know



Clarity Testing Biodiesel

1) Testing finished biodiesel for water.

Water in our biodiesel will make it cloudy or turbid. If the biodiesel is clear enough to read a newspaper through a sample then conventional wisdom is that it's dry enough to use in a vehicle.

The test is temperature dependent since hot biodiesel can hold more water without going cloudy than cold biodiesel. To make sure you have your biodiesel dry enough to use, put it in the refrigerator and chill it down below the coldest temperature your batch of biodiesel is likely to see. If it's going to be used right away then look to the nightly lows. If it's going to be stored long term, then look to the historical lows for the period you expect to store it. If the biodiesel gels up before going turbid then you have dry biodiesel.

The problem with this test, is that ASTM requires less than 500 ppm of water in biodiesel that is to be blended with diesel and biodiesel will hold 1500 ppm of water before going cloudy. So we can pass this test and fail for ASTM water levels. To Make sure your fuel meets the ASTM standards, use the Carbide Manometer or Sandy Brae test.



Gel point and cloud point test for biodiesel

Cloud Point and Pour Point Tests

Your Biodiesel can Gel up and clog your filter when it gets cold out. But since the temperature that biodiesel starts to clog filters varies a great deal, we need to test the biodiesel we are using to make sure it will work with no problems.



The 3-27 Conversion Test

The 3-27 Conversion Test

One of the most important tests available to home brewers. Biodiesel completely dissolves in methanol, while vegetable oil (VO) does not. It is this difference the 3-27 test depends on to give us an indication of how successful we have been at converting VO into biodiesel.



Testing oil and biodiesel for water

Testing for Water in WVO

Homebrewers have relied on a number of tests to determine water content. The most common are the hot pan test, and the weigh-heat-weigh test. The Sandy Brae Water Test Kit, and the Carbide Manometer are becoming more popular due to improved accuracy at lower concentrations..




Titrating WVO

Titrating WVO is essential to understanding the quality of your oil. It is a simple test and is used to build a biodiesel recipe. This article contains instructions and videos on how to tirate.





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