Refractometer

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by Krimbos, Apr 8, 2015.

  1. Krimbos

    Krimbos Member

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    My Williams precision hydrometer broke tonite.

    eBay has inexpensive refractometers from china. Anyone have any experience with them?
     
  2. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    Ive bough some cheap ones from amazon, showed up broken, all I can say is always buy 2
     
  3. The Brew Mentor

    The Brew Mentor Well-Known Member

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    They are certainly less accurate and as the gravity goes up they're worse.
    We stopped selling a $39 model for those reasons.
    We have one now that's had great reviews now and I'm using it in our brewhouse. We sell it for $60.
    You'll have to call me if you want one as we haven't switched it out on the website.
    Brian
    PS.. You get what you pay for.
     
  4. Krimbos

    Krimbos Member

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    Thanks guys

    Reading up on them and learning that post fermentation requires calculation and could be inaccurate

    Maybe I will just stick with hydrometer?
     
  5. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    My cheap (about $40) refractometer always agrees with my hydrometer within one degree of SG.
     
  6. GernBlanston

    GernBlanston New Member

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    A Hydrometer is all I've ever used. Sure I got to pull enough to float the dammed thing, but I was planning to taste a sample anyway. I got no use for that voodoo technology. Give me old school.
     
  7. The Brew Mentor

    The Brew Mentor Well-Known Member

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    Funny that this is a topic now. We brewed in the shop yesterday and I checked the new refactometer vs. the old (cheaper model) refactometer, vs my hydrometer.
    After making sure to re-calibrate both refractometers, I found out that my infrequently used hydrometer was off by 4 points! Haha.
    Both refractometers were within a point of each other.
    I intentionally broke the hydrometer! It felt good! :mrgreen:
    Brian
     
  8. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Always calibrate hydrometers! That paper scale in the glass can move, you know.... To calibrate, float it in distilled water at the calibration temperature, usually 60 degrees F but sometimes 68 degrees F. It should read zero. If it is high, above 1.000, subtract the number of points from any subsequent measurement. If low, add. For ABV, only the difference counts but if you're a measurement geek like me, I want to know how far off the instrument is. Same thing with refractometers: Calibrate them with distilled water at 60 degrees. Use the calibration scale to make sure the scale reads 1.000 for distilled water.
     
  9. GernBlanston

    GernBlanston New Member

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    I dig the calibration thing. I use two hydrometers, one for the O.G. and then a finishing hydrometer for the f.G.
    It gives a more accurate number, and is easier on the old eyes. Both must be checked for accuracy.
     

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