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Old 08-10-2007, 01:54 AM   #1
reelseasick
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Default I'm thinking about a refractometer

So, will a $30 refrac from ebay work as good as a $60 refrac from a brew supplier?

Soon, very soon I bottle Barry's Balding Brew. An IPA that takes the hair off your head, and puts afro's on your toes.



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Old 08-10-2007, 02:49 AM   #2
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I am sure that if it of the same quality it will work. the one thing to consider, and I am sure that someone with more experience can chime in, from what I understand you can only use it for OG readings. It doesn't work on fermented beer. Like i said though that is just what i have heard i never really looked into too much.

OK quick read to find out i have been duped, here is a good article on the subject:
http://byo.com/feature/1132.html

Cheers



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Old 08-10-2007, 03:17 AM   #4
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I recently bought a refractometer on ebay for about $30 shipped. Mostly aluminum, came with a hard-shell case with foam liner, pipette and adjustment screwdriver. It seems to work just fine, and seems more than rugged enough (especially compared to what I was using before - a fragile glass hydrometer); I'm not disappointed with its quality.

I'm no expert on its use, but the beersmith software I use has a refractometer tool that can do all the work: converting OG reading in brix to specific gravity, converting a fermented wort reading to SG (using the current brix reading as well as an OG reading), calculating an accurate ABV and predicting the OG of a finished beer, and dealing with the maltose correction factor.

If you have software that can do that stuff, a refractometer is really handy. If not, there are probably free online tools, or if you're into programming you could throw something together yourself. I wouldn't want to have to do all those calculations out by hand each time though

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Old 08-10-2007, 01:36 PM   #5
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I've had one for quite a while, and it's great for the O.G. I especially like the one drop sample size, and the fact that you can ignore temperature compensation (one drop of wort even if it is boiling isn't going to affect the temperature of the instrument enough to worry about).
On Dudes recommendations, I tried using the ProMash tools to check on the FG. It's not a sensitive or accurate as a good hydrometer, but there's not much in it.
It has also outlasted enough hydrometers to have paid for itself, and when I did drop it on the floor (not recommended) it bounced and suffered no damage.

-a.

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Old 08-11-2007, 12:21 AM   #6
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the yeahs have it. i'm going shopping

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Old 08-11-2007, 12:28 AM   #7
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Yep, you won't regret it. That is one handy tool to have in the arsenal.



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