How to use
The RC LLC Alcohol Detector
How it works
Unlike any other device on the market, the RC LLC Alcohol Detector is not interfered by solids, carbonation, sugars, or any flavor ingredients. This is due to the unique sensing technology. Air blows into your sample and some of the alcohol is evaporated. This alcohol-rich air is carried into the detector where it is sensed by the device. With a calibration curve built, samples can be measured in a minute or less.
Step 1: Standard Prep
We admit it, our device isn’t smart 🙁 You have to let it sniff some alcohol standards so that it can understand how much alcohol is in your brew. Here you will learn how to make alcohol standards to calibrate your detector.
We told you it’d be easy! If you don’t feel as comfortable using excel, we’ve got you. Check out this video workshop explaining in detail how to deal with your data. Don’t forget to also check out the YouTube channel for other techniques!
Want a Quick Overview?
The new 2022 alcohol content detector is finally here! It features a improved hardware, software, and ease of use! Check out a brief overview in this video.
Step 2: Calibration
Now that you have your standards prepared, you can run each of them in the machine! Once you enter each data point into the provided Excel document, you’re ready to read your beverage samples. The goofy guy in the lab coat will show you how!
Prefer Written Instructions? We got you!
Standard Operating Procedure:
- Plug in the detector.
- Screw in an empty tube
- Turn on the detector using the on/off switch. Buzzing should be heard from the detector and the display should turn on.
- Wait for the sensor to warm up (about 15 minutes).
- Check that the sample temperature is at the calibrated temperature.
- Keeping the detector upright, screw in the sample to be read.
- Watch the sample to ensure no foam is reaching the detector.
- Allow the reading to stabilize. This will take anywhere between 10 seconds to 2 minutes depending on the alcohol concentration and whether oil was used.
- Remove the sample from the detector.
- Wipe any excess liquid or oil from the down stem.
- Insert a tube with 25 mL of water and wait until the detector reads 0% again based on the calibration curve (this should take about 30 seconds to a minute). Remove the water tube.
- Repeat steps 5 through 11 until all samples are read; for best results, prepare two samples of each liquid to be tested and average the readings.
- Insert an empty tube for about one minute before turning off the detector.
- Store the detector at room temperature and low humidity with no tube inserted.
- Wash and dry used tubes for the next use.
- -NEVER allow foam or liquid to enter the detector. ALWAYS use a drop of antifoam or ~1 mL of oil in each kombucha sample.
- -Measuring a sample slightly reduces alcohol content. Use a fresh sample for each measurement to ensure accurate results.
- -Sample tubes are not meant for measuring; it is best to use a graduated cylinder and/or pipette when measurements are needed.
- -Accuracy of about +/- 0.05% is expected if the temperature calibration procedure is followed.
- -This product is designed to be a spot-checking device in day-to-day operations and should not be a replacement for GC-FID lab testing.
- -If necessary, accurately dilute your sample so that the reading will fall between the calibration range of the detector (0.1%-2.0%).
- -Fill a sample tube with your sample to about the 25mL line.
- -Keep track of or label your samples.
- -Place a cap on all samples until ready to measure.
- -Ensure the samples are at the appropriate calibration temperature.
- -To prevent foaming add about 1 mL of a neutral oil like vegetable oil to each sample; this will greatly reduce foaming. A drop of an antifoam product has also been shown to work very well.
Notes on Improving Accuracy:
- -Be sure that the sample tube is properly screwed in while taking readings.
- -Accurately measure alcohol standards.
- -For each sample, the reading will rise and eventually fall back down. Use the highest value that the detector gives.
- -Measure more alcohol standards.
- -Ensure all standards and samples are at the same temperature. Within +/-1C is best.