Wiles of the Wile

In my recent blog about moisture meters, I described purchasing one on Alibaba.

Today a friend came by, visiting me in my vacation "home away from home" in Bad Kohlgrub and he brought along his Wile55 moisture meter which he purchased directly from the manufacturer in Finland.

We were excited to compare the two.

My Asian "Wile65" seems to be a clone rather than an original as produced for the Finnish company of the brand and indeed there is no logo and "Wile" name on it as there is on the Wile55 directly from the source.

The original Wile55 is almost perfectly identical to the clone. The top metal parts are chromed (mine isn't) and thus more shiny. The display of the 55 has no backlight which the "65" has and the LCD displays are also a bit different. The Wile55 is specifically calibrated for coffee and cocoa, the "65" has a long list of grains it measures with coffee at the end of it.

We each measured a number of green bean batches, some moist and some very dry. It turns out that my clone is consistent with the original in measuring beans around 11% moisture, but only after I calibrated my instrument to take 4.1% off the initial measurement.

It seems that in my instrument, there was another grain name at the bottom of the list and someone maybe replaced it with the word "coffee" without also changing the implied scale calculation on the standard measurement.

I assume this because even after this manual calibration, if we took an older bean with low moisture value, my instrument measured a significantly higher value (an Amaro Gayo bean measuring 8.5 on the Wile measured 10.1 on mine).

With beans around 11%, both instruments could be convinced to measure the same values consistently, especially if they got exactly the same cup of beans in turn.

To be able to use my device with some meaningful reliability I would need to take a series of measurements in the higher and lower moisture regions, map these in a spreadsheet and then see if any of the other grain settings in the menu us closer to the results on the original device.

Then I would need to draw up a table to compensate the reading to get a reliable result.

For me that's too much hassle so I will book the expense under "interesting device, nice price but no dice"!


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