Refractometer

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Topher

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Where does one get a good refracto?

LHBS carries the keg king ones ......but couldn't offer much feedback and gave me the usual keg king caveat. Cant see much difference between them all.

I dont want to spend heaps....but do not want to buy a POS.
 

welly2

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I've got a keg king one and one I bought from eBay ages back. They're both pretty much identical in their measurements and they've been pretty much spot on compared with my hydrometer.
 

buckerooni

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just got one of these, while not essential I can see myself using it every brew, which makes it very useful, especially for my first double batch where I was splitting between cubes and topping up with water.
 

Keg King

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Topher said:
Where does one get a good refracto?

LHBS carries the keg king ones ......but couldn't offer much feedback and gave me the usual keg king caveat. Cant see much difference between them all.

I dont want to spend heaps....but do not want to buy a POS.
Hi Topher,

A refractometer is pretty much a refractometer and the more expensive ones tend to be over specified for home use. Provided you use it in the correct manner, you should get very accurate results from a less expensive refractometer. ATC is a handy feature but it is important to note the ATC range and ensure the refractometer is used within these limits. ATC is to do with the temperature of the refractometer as the temperature of the small sample used will equalise virtually instantly with the refractometer.

Another feature is the manual calibration. This should be done when first using the refractometer and then periodically after that.

Once alcohol is preset in the sample (so for fermentation samples) a refractometer can still be used but the readings have to be corrected used a correction table or software such as Beer Smith.

Cheers!
 

Topher

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Roger Dan,
Thanks for the info! I reckon ill pick up one tomorrow and give it a try on this weeekends brew!

Now, when can you guys make and sell me an unbreakable hydrometer?

Edit: .........or a bulk deal for the perpetually clumsy like me?
 

Endo

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Topher said:
Where does one get a good refracto?

LHBS carries the keg king ones ......but couldn't offer much feedback and gave me the usual keg king caveat. Cant see much difference between them all.

I dont want to spend heaps....but do not want to buy a POS.
I have one of these: http://www.milwaukeeinst.com/site/products/products/digital-refractometers/165-products-g-digital-refractometers-g-ma871

But... It fails your spend heaps criteria. I like it because i hated looking through the other type. And i like shiny toys.

Oh and when you need more pippettes... Ebay from china.. I think i paid something silly like 5 bucks for a 100 or was it 1000... lots!
 

nosco

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tanukibrewer said:
SG.JPG
Can't live without my refractometer
So do you only use the brix reading tanukibrewer? I have one with both reading but the SG compared to my hydro is always way off so I stopped using it after a few times.

edit: i don't know how I got a quote from 2013 :D
 

Danscraftbeer

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I had a cheap one. It worked well as I can see. did the test comparisons with hydrometers etc. The Good quality ones should also have both Brix and Gravity scale. Refractometer was good for learning all grain brewing to know everything is working in sugars. I broke my cheapo but I can do without it now. I know my process works. Its no real advantage but I still want a new one, a good one that has both scales.
 

Keg King

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Topher said:
Roger Dan,
Thanks for the info! I reckon ill pick up one tomorrow and give it a try on this weeekends brew!

Now, when can you guys make and sell me an unbreakable hydrometer?

Edit: .........or a bulk deal for the perpetually clumsy like me?
Well if they were unbreakable I would have to get out of the hydrometer game haha.

Also, FYI they come in handy boxes of 10 haha!
 

idzy

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Anyone know where to get a Refracto that measures in SG above 1.13?
 

idzy

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HBHB said:
You'd need a honey refractometer for that type of reading range I reckon.
Yeah, can't seem to find one that is SG. All in BRIX.
 

Tex N Oz

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I think it's more important to get an accurate refractometer than worry about having a SG chart.

Had a cheap one and wasn't too impressed with the optics or the clarity of the chart/line.

Here's my Atago N-1E and I love it.

Real glass prism and certified calibration. Crystal clear optics.

IMG_0470.JPG


IMG_0477.JPG
 

Mardoo

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idzy said:
Yeah, can't seem to find one that is SG. All in BRIX.
Mine has SG and Brix and goes to 1.140, but yeah, as HBHB said above that you're looking at honey refractometers.
 

danestead

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SG from Brix is just a simple calculation (well it's all a bit of a guess as Brix is a measure of sucrose in a solution rather than maltose like most of our beer is made up of).

It would be simple to print a Brix/Plato/SG chart which you can find by googling and put it in your brew area.
 

Tex N Oz

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I think it's all a bit hit and miss throughout when you get down to the finite nitty gritty..
Even with a hydrometer it can't tell the difference between salts, proteins, other solids or solutions and sugars. To further insult, it doesn't tell you what's fermentable.
Then the final gravity doesn't take into consideration anything that's dropped out of the mixture or precipitated out of solution.

If you really want to know exactly what your ABV is then you have to do a thin-film vacuum fractional distillation and send it through a HPLC for absolute analysis.
I don't know for sure but I've hearsay that the only recognised method for excise tax calculation is a calibrated hydrometer.

But this site will get your refract close enough for just about any home-brewer.

http://seanterrill.com/2010/06/11/refractometer-estimates-of-final-gravity/

A site well worth surfing. This man's put a lot of empirical data into his corrected calculations. Again, not real sure but it's probably accurate to +/- .1% ABV
 

idzy

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So anyways back on point...anyone recommend where I can get a honey reflactometer with SG?
 

danestead

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idzy said:
So anyways back on point...anyone recommend where I can get a honey reflactometer with SG?
Buy one with Brix and convert it. If it has SG on it already, it's probably not correct. To have an accurate conversion between what a sucrose refractometer tests and SG, you will need to calibrate it by using your hydrometer as well.

http://www.brewersfriend.com/2013/04/24/using-your-refractometer-correctly-for-maximum-accuracy-in-home-brewing/

http://beersmith.com/blog/2010/11/02/how-to-use-a-refractometer-brix-and-beer-brewing/
 

GalBrew

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Even if you can get a refractometer with SG, I would still use the Brix reading. My cheapie is accurate when I use Beersmith to convert the Brix reading into SG. The SG reading on the refractometer is quite a bit out.
 

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