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Densitometer readings with the TTB


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The ruling to which you link is the only ruling I have ever found on the matter and it is obviously out of date. I think the models they list are no longer avaiable. I wrote TTB about six months ago - prbably more like a year - asking them for a position on density meters and got no response. I did not pursue it. I am not sure that they do not want to ignore the question rather than take a stance.

I note that in 2008 TTB issued a document discussing determining fill/headspace by weight. You can find it at http://www.ttb.gov/ssd/pdf/tm517.pdf. The equipement they use includes a density meter with 0.0001 gms/cm3 accuracy or better set at 20 degrees centigrade. I have no idea what import this may have.

Here is the basic requirement:

§30.21 Requirements.

(a) General. The proof of distilled spirits shall be determined by the use of gauging instruments as prescribed in this part.

(B)Proprietors. Proprietors shall use only accurate hydrometers and thermometers that show subdivisions or graduations of proof and temperature which are at least as delimitated as the instruments described in §30.22.

© Appropriate TTB officers. Appropriate TTB officers shall use only hydrometers and thermometers furnished by the Government. However, where this part requires the use of a specific gravity hydrometer, TTB officers shall use precision grade specific gravity hydrometers conforming to the provisions of §30.24, furnished by the proprietor. However, the appropriate TTB officer may authorize the use of other instruments approved by the appropriate TTB officer as being equally satisfactory for determination of specific gravity and for gauging. From time to time appropriate TTB officers shall verify the accuracy of hydrometers and thermometers used by proprietors.

The appropriate officer, in this case, is the Director, Scientific Services Division who has authorority to approve other methods for determination of specific gravity and for gauging.

Those who are interested in what has been approved should write to the Director, Scientific Services Division at: Beverage Alcohol Laboratory, Telephone: 240-264-1596, Email: Laboratory@ttb.gov.

If enough persons ask, they may answer. But I want to add that sometimes when I received questions while employed by ATF - TTB's predecessor agency, as TTB is fond of calling it - I would ask, in response, "Do you really want me to answer that question?" Often it turned out they would prefer I not answer it because if I did they were presumably on notice.

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That came to us via the TTB update email subscription. The models listed ARE out of date...but are available USED via eBay and the like. I have sourced a DMA-58 from a used scientific equipment company for the princely sum of $660, which is fine by me!

I asked them if they have any others...if I can get any info, I'll pass it on. densimetre-alcoolizer.jpg

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The unit was refurbished and calibrated by Anton-Paar, and there are certifications with it. Reputable scientific instrument company. I've got a friend scouring his industry for these units. Most of them were taken out of service about 10 years ago.

I've no idea what it costs to refurbish or recertify these...I think I've seen the Anton-Paar rep around this forum...can he or she chime in?

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