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Old 05-24-2010, 10:50 PM   #1
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Default Calibrate Refractometer with purified water?

Can I calibrate my new refractometer with purified water and get good result? Or do I need to go and get some distilled water?

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Old 05-24-2010, 11:04 PM   #2
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Can I calibrate my new refractometer with purified water and get good result? Or do I need to go and get some distilled water?
Use the water you brew with.
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Old 05-24-2010, 11:10 PM   #3
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Aha. Makes sense.

Thanks

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Old 05-24-2010, 11:12 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Bsquared View Post
Use the water you brew with.
Quote:
Originally Posted by hinke View Post
Aha. Makes sense.

Thanks
not true.

You want your refractometer to read 0.0 using distilled water.
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Old 05-24-2010, 11:21 PM   #5
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Purified water will probably be fine. You don't want the water to throw off the calibration so far that it's effecting your reading. I suppose it depends on how purified, but, I would think, it's a matter of close enough. If I use distilled water to calibrate and then measure water out of my water purifier, the reading is about the same.

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Old 05-24-2010, 11:30 PM   #6
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I'll just pick up some distilled water then.

I ended up with one that is 0-40 brix atc. They ran out of the 0-32, so I got this one for the same price, $26.

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Old 05-25-2010, 12:25 AM   #7
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My brew water reads 0.0005 (half a gravity point) higher than distilled water on my hydrometer.
Both read exactly the same on the refractometer.

I don't bother to correct for it.
I'm not sure how much of the minerals end up in the trub anyway.

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Old 05-25-2010, 02:38 AM   #8
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Well, the purified water (nestle), reads the same as regular tap water. I'll get some distilled water just to make sure it is calibrated completely.

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Old 05-25-2010, 04:56 AM   #9
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Tap water, purified water, RO water and distilled water all read exactly the same on both my refractometer (zero) and my hydrometer (1.0000). I guess none of them contain much sugar.

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Old 05-25-2010, 05:41 AM   #10
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My Portland tap water is nearly mineral free, so I just calibrate my hydrometer & my refractometer with the same tap water that I brew with.

However, I am curious about this theoretically.
I can certainly understand wanting instruments to be accurate (as well as precise) to a known standard, however, when I measure the RI or gravity, I want to measure the extract I added to the water, not the minerals in the base water.

Say that my tap water gives an RI of 0.2 with a refractometer calibrated with distilled water.
Would I then subtract 0.2 from all your RI readings to get the actual extract I've added? Would that be any different from just calibrating with the tap water at 0?

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