Refractometer

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by ltrog, Jan 25, 2015.

  1. ltrog

    ltrog New Member

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    I am in the constant state of upgrading my equipment to improve my process. I am a BIAB brewer and want to procure a refractometer. Are all refractometers created equal in that I should simply go for the cheapest one I can find? If not, can someone recommend a brand/model # and shop as to where I should purchase?
     
  2. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    they are not all the same, if you going to buy one buy a good one with with automatic temp compensation

    Milwaukee MA871 Digital Sugar Refractometer with Automatic Temp Compensation, Yellow LED, 0 to 85 percent Brix, +/- 0.2 percent Accuracy, 0.1 percent Resolution

    http://www.amazon.com/Milwaukee-Refract ... B007Z4IN58

    A review from a fellow brewer

    otherwise a cheap $25 one will work fine you just have to baby it

    http://www.amazon.com/0-10%25-ATC-BRIX- ... B000K312Q8
     
  3. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    I use the El Cheapo version with good results. Just make sure it's for beer - this one looks to be a refractometer for measuring coolant for CNC machines. Look for one in both Brix and specific gravity in case someone in your family gets the winemaking bug....
     
  4. PZ

    PZ Member

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    I've been thinking of getting one also. The ones I've seen that say they are intended for homebrewing usually have a range of 0-32 brix. Is this the correct range? Also, I've read Larry's old blog and looked at the refractometer calculators. Apparently the brix reading has to be adjusted by a wort correction factor, which would make an SG scale on a refractometer useless. "The wort correction factor is specific to the instrument" according to http://www.brewersfriend.com/how-to-determine-your-refractometers-wort-correction-factor. It would be great to hear more from someone who has successfully used a refractometer. Thanks!
     
  5. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    My "El Cheapo" has both scales. I use the Refractometer on brew day, the hydrometer for all other measurements. Even on brew day, I take my "official" OG using the hydrometer but when I cross-check, the readings are 0.001 apart. Good enough for me. Later in the process you have to apply the correction factors because alcohol has a different index of refraction than water.
     
  6. ltrog

    ltrog New Member

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    Thanks everyone! You are all sure a big help. This is a great forum and I certainly appreciate having multiple experts to help me improve my processes.
     

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