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Old 02-17-2012, 01:13 AM   #1
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Default Refractometer advice

I'm hoping someone here can help with a suggestion. I'm using a refractometer from BobbyM and I'm finding that the reading for my fermented beer is very different from the reading with my hydrometer (and yes I did use the correction formula).

For example, a recent batch reads an FG of 1.010 with a hydrometer but reads 6 brix, which based on the OG of 1.057 is 1.003. That is a big variance and I'm trying to understand it.

As background, the refractometer is calibrated using distilled water and it matched the hydrometer reading for the OG.

Thanks in advance for any tips.

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Old 02-17-2012, 01:38 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spoonyluv
I'm hoping someone here can help with a suggestion. I'm using a refractometer from BobbyM and I'm finding that the reading for my fermented beer is very different from the reading with my hydrometer (and yes I did use the correction formula).

For example, a recent batch reads an FG of 1.010 with a hydrometer but reads 6 brix, which based on the OG of 1.057 is 1.003. That is a big variance and I'm trying to understand it.

As background, the refractometer is calibrated using distilled water and it matched the hydrometer reading for the OG.

Thanks in advance for any tips.
Was the hydrometer temp calibrated?
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Old 02-17-2012, 02:41 AM   #3
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You took your OG with both the hydrometer and refractometer and they agreed. You are at or near the end of ferment and now you have a difference. You've calibrated so every thing you have done is spot on. I would expect a reading of 1.010 to be closer to the truth unless you had a 94% attenuation to get to 1.003. Hmm... I hate to even suggest this but is it possible you read 6 on the scale and it was really a 7? a 7 Brix would be a FG of 1.010 SG

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Old 02-17-2012, 06:52 AM   #4
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I never had this problem, and I use cheap e-bay refractometer.

I got nothing wise to suggest since refractometer is calibrated and it matches w/hydrometer OG reading. I would contact the seller and try to solve it with him, maybe he had similar complaints..

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Old 02-17-2012, 03:42 PM   #5
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Thanks everyone for the feedback.

The readings are all taken at a room temp of 65 degrees so the variation on the hydrometer would be tiny.

A misread would be convenient but this has happened with several batches. In fact, I had broken my hydrometer and was using exclusively the refractometer but after several batches with a <1.005 FG, I bought a new hydrometer because the readings were suspicious to me.

I have emailed the seller and will see if I get any additional ideas.

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Old 02-20-2012, 03:10 PM   #6
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I have the _exact_ same issue with my refractometer.

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Old 02-21-2012, 03:54 AM   #7
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I think I read somewhere that once alcohol becomes introduced through the fermentation, your brix reading needs adjustment calculations. I only use my refractometer when reading my wort, and then with my hydrometer during and after fermentation...

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Old 02-21-2012, 04:35 AM   #8
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Grilla is correct, the ref meter reading needs to be adjusted to correctly read final gravity. There is a formula for it, just do a search for it

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Old 02-21-2012, 05:47 PM   #9
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It appears he is using the formula to correct for fermentation. I have the same refractometer from Bobby and I will compare mine to a hydrometer and see what I come up with. Currently I only use a hydrometer after fermentation.

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Old 02-21-2012, 05:57 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hypergolic View Post
Currently I only use a hydrometer after fermentation.
Me, too. I use the refractometer throughout my brewday, and my hydrometer after fermentation ends.
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