Calibrating refractometer

Discussion in 'Beginners Brewing Forum' started by Zambezi Special, Jun 17, 2021.

  1. Zambezi Special

    Zambezi Special Well-Known Member

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    I ordered a refractometer, after my hydrometer arrived broken.
    But it has total different scales from my one still in storage and now I am struggling to find out how to calibrate it.
    Scale 1:
    Water. 12.0 - 27.0 %

    Scale 2:
    Brix: 92-58 %

    Scale 3:
    Be°(?)
    4.3 - 3.8

    20 oC (I assume thats the calibration temperature).
    The manual only gives an ecample of calibrating with distilled water to a gravity of 1.000 (for which there is no scale)

    Please help! :eek:
     
  2. Yooper

    Yooper Administrator
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    I've never seen anything like that- is it maybe for aquariums? Do you have a link so we can see what you've got?
     
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  3. Hawkbox

    Hawkbox Well-Known Member

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    Yeah that sounds super weird.
     
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  4. Minbari

    Minbari Well-Known Member

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    Brix is not a percent scale. I have a refractometer in Brix and it is 0-30 brix. there is really nothing to calibrate with these devices. they just work as far as I know. only consideration with it is that you cant measure gravity post fermentation. (at least not without a calculation to adjust for the alcohol)
     
  5. Sunfire96

    Sunfire96 Well-Known Member

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    Check out these BF pages for more info on refractometers, including how to calibrate and determine correction factor

    https://www.brewersfriend.com/2013/...rrectly-for-maximum-accuracy-in-home-brewing/

    https://www.brewersfriend.com/how-to-determine-your-refractometers-wort-correction-factor/
     
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  6. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Those numbers look like syrup. Are you sure you got the right scaled instrument?
     
  7. Zambezi Special

    Zambezi Special Well-Known Member

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  8. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    It's confusing but I believe you got one more suitable for honey than wort. The Brix scale should go to zero. The calibration pictures show calibration at zero, the others show a Brix scale that doesn't go that low.
     
  9. Yooper

    Yooper Administrator
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    This is from that page, and this looks fine to me:
    upload_2021-6-18_10-24-34.png

    When you look through it, up to the light, do you see that brix scale, from 0 to 40 (or whatever they have for the top limit)? If so, that's how it should look. To calibrate, use the pipette to draw up pure water, put a few drops on the screen, close the top and smooth it to make sure there aren't any bubbles, and look through the it while holding it up to the light. It sound be right on 0.
     
  10. Zambezi Special

    Zambezi Special Well-Known Member

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    I think so too....
    Is there any way I can fiddle with the set points?
     
  11. Zambezi Special

    Zambezi Special Well-Known Member

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    Unfortunately , that is not the scale I see/have.
    The manual also says to calibrate with water to zero. But the scales really are as I said in the first post.
    It's definitely not the clearest description what this refractometer is for.

    Can I make up a known solution to check?
    Something like 10 gr sugar per litre water to give ? brix/sg or so?
     
  12. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    No, that's dependent on the prism. If you have the instrument I think you have, it won't go low enough to measure wort.
     
  13. Zambezi Special

    Zambezi Special Well-Known Member

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    I suppose I have to sell it on to someone who fiddles with honey.
    I'm not having much luck here. First a broken hydrometer, now a refractometer that doesn't work for beer. At least it ain't broken (but I can't fix it)
     

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