Gear Test: Anton Paar EasyDens

This extract and density meter for homebrewers is on the pricey side but delivers fast and accurate readings for a fraction of the cost of higher end professional units, making it a great option for nano breweries.

Taylor Caron Aug 31, 2016 - 5 min read

Gear Test: Anton Paar EasyDens Primary Image

Anton Paar has been a big name in the measuring tech field for decades. Their high-end alcohol meters and density meters enjoy a great reputation for quality and accuracy, but they will set you back almost $10,000 for a tabletop version. Recently the company developed an (almost) pocket-sized density meter aimed at the small craft brewer and homebrewer. It operates through a free smartphone app and uses the same oscillating U-tube technology as the more expensive models. The small density meter will still set you back a solid $500 with shipping, but if that’s in your budget, the EasyDens deserves a close look.

The unit seems to be solidly constructed, and a plastic cover guards the unit from accidental spillage. Downloading and setting up the free Android app took no time. An app for iPhones is also available. The unit is calibrated using deionized water, but in our test, no calibration was needed.


The Anton Paar EasyDens.

To get a density reading, you need 2–3 millimeters of your sample wort/beer. That required volume is one big advantage, especially if you’re trying to track fermentation daily. Compare that to the 5 fluid ounces (147 ml) or more needed to fill a hydrometer’s test jar, and we are talking about pints of precious brew saved for when you actually want it.

Here’s how the unit works. Your sample needs to be thoroughly degassed and filtered. (We simply shook a sample for a few minutes in a jar with a loose lid to degas it and then ran it through a paper coffee filter.) You pull your sample into the supplied syringe and inject it into the unit via a port on top. The injected sample electronically stimulates the oscillating U-tube inside the sample medium, thereby calculating the density to within 0.3° Plato (1.00125 SG). There is automatic temperature correction between 41 and 86°F (5 and 30°C), which should cover any usual measuring situations. The sample temperature and density in either °Plato or SG are instantly displayed on your smartphone.


We had the chance to take a number of readings from both raw wort and fermenting wort as well as finished beer. We compared the readings with our standard-issue homebrew hydrometer as well as with a lab-grade hydrometer from a local brewery, all with very consistent results. It would have been interesting to measure some very strong samples to see whether readings diverged among the different methods, but we had no strong samples available at the time. Within our normal-strength samples, there was no clear difference between the EasyDens measurement and our hydrometers. A quick flush with deionized water was all that was needed before storing the EasyDens.

It’s important to note that without thorough degassing, the reading from the EasyDens was definitely be skewed, but it was clear when this was the case because the “waste tube” on the out port would show gas breakout. If this happens, you can simply degas better and repeat the reading.

Bottom line, this unit certainly does what it means to, taking a very quick and accurate gravity reading with very minimal product loss. While it’s probably a rare homebrewer who is able to drop this kind of money on such a high-tech tool, the small craft brewer looking for a very consistent and accurate way to track fermentation progress may find that this is an affordable answer. We can hope that the price will come down in the future and put it a bit more in reach for serious homebrewers.

Price: $477, excluding import duty, taxes, and shipping

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