Refractometer?

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by Thurston Brewer, Oct 5, 2016.

  1. Thurston Brewer

    Thurston Brewer Active Member

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    I gather from what I've read that a refractometer is essentially a replacement for a hydrometer, right? Just an alternate method of measuring specific gravity?

    What would be the benefits/downsides of going refracto vs. a hydro (other than the obviously higher cost of the former)?
     
  2. Ozarks Mountain Brew

    Staff Member

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    I only use mine for preboil gravity, its not as accurate for final post fermentation
     
  3. jmcnamara

    jmcnamara Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, it's much easier for sampling wort.
    Once the alcohol is there, it gets a bit tricky. But I think there's a spreadsheet here to calibrate the refractometer for post fermentation readings
     
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  4. jeffpn

    jeffpn Well-Known Member

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    Yup. Refractometers were not designed to test alcoholic beverages. I have one that measures in Plato only. I thought it'd be cool to use. I haven't used it in months.
     
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  5. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Refractometers are great on brew day, lousy any other time in the process. I use mine for measurements when brewing then rely on the good old fashioned floating hydrometer for the rest.
     
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  6. Thurston Brewer

    Thurston Brewer Active Member

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    Thanks for the perspectives! I personally can't see why I would spend the money on a refracto if it is only useful pre-fermentation. I can use my old-fashioned hydro anytime...
     
  7. jmcnamara

    jmcnamara Well-Known Member

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    It is nice to only need a drop or two of wort rather than a whole beaker to float the hydrometer in
     
  8. jeffpn

    jeffpn Well-Known Member

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    That's what intrigued me. But in the end, I found it's more trouble than it's worth. Rarely do I miss my OG enough to care.
     
  9. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    They don't break nearly as easily as the hydrometer, they're more accurate and easy to read.... But they are a bit more of an investment than a hydrometer and sample tube. I like mine.
     
  10. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    Well I've learnt something too cheers won't be getting the refractometer then ;).
     

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