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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Equipment/Sanitation > Refractometer unique?
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Old 10-17-2010, 07:22 PM   #1
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Default Refractometer unique?

so ive been looking into refractometers since hydrometers have become a nuisance and wasteful of beer. ive decided id like to get something that can be versatile enough to accurately measure beers/meads/ciders with SGs as low as 1.000 and as high as 1.150. now ive only been looking on ebay but it seems like most of the refractometers can only measure 1.000-1.120 or 32% brix which is not quite 1.140.

However, there is THIS vendor that claims his model can measure 0-25% ABV. Ive found this a little questionable, especially since theres no real details on the page.

Do you guys think this guy means % brix? is he full of BS? am i simply dreaming that theres a refractometer to fit my needs? what are your impressions of this product from the little you can see?

FYI: i emailed the vendor with these questions. we'll see if he gets back to me.

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Old 10-18-2010, 06:43 AM   #2
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I've seen them up to 40 brix, but most are 32. The one in your link looks just like mine, which is 32. One thing to keep in mind is that you don't want to try and measure your fermenting wort or finished beer with a refractometer. They're not meant to work that way and they give pretty inaccurate numbers with the conversion. if you're concerned with accuracy you should be using a finished gravity hydrometer. They have a very narrow range of .990 to 1.020 and are hand blown and calibrated so they're quite accurate. They also have much wider bodies and waste less beer.

If you have a super high gravity wort you need to measure the OG on you could try diluting a sample with water. I would use a digital scale that has resolution to .1 gram, and dilute a 100g (ml) sample with 100g (ml) water. If that doesn't get you into the usable range of a refractometer then ATF should be paying you a visit!!

good luck!

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Old 10-18-2010, 08:49 PM   #3
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so it sounds like i should just be happy with a 32brix refractometer..

but how are people measuring their meads then?

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Old 10-18-2010, 09:44 PM   #4
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That is an alcohol refractometer, not a brix refractometer. There are different kinds of refractometers, so be carefull what you get. You want to make sure it is a brix refractometer.

I only use a refractometer. As long as you took a reading of the starting gravity, you can pretty accurately get the fermented wort gravity. If you didnt get that, then you are SOL though.

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Old 10-19-2010, 05:29 AM   #5
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It's probably the same one everyone else sells. Goes to 40°Bx on one side of the scale, and has potential alcohol (assuming 100% fermentability) on the other side. Which is a valid assumption for wine, a little less so for mead, and not at all valid for beer.

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Old 10-19-2010, 05:43 AM   #6
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Description included function item can't do, abysmal communication & arrogant Buyer: mustangangelo ( 96) Oct-12-10 19:10
0-80% Portable Alcohol Refractometer f Fruit Juice wine (#230524640031) US $32.00 View Item
That was from his feedback.
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Old 10-19-2010, 10:15 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by klyph View Post
That was from his feedback.
Yes, but that's from 1955 feedbacks, well over 99%. Whats your point?
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Old 10-19-2010, 07:35 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by a10t2 View Post
It's probably the same one everyone else sells. Goes to 40°Bx on one side of the scale, and has potential alcohol (assuming 100% fermentability) on the other side. Which is a valid assumption for wine, a little less so for mead, and not at all valid for beer.
No. A refractometer is not a refractometer. There are different refractometers that measure different things. You have to buy one that measures BRIX if you plan on using it for brewing. Brix is the measurement of sugar. The one he linked to measures alcohol, which is NOT the same thing.
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Old 10-20-2010, 05:40 AM   #9
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No. A refractometer is not a refractometer. There are different refractometers that measure different things. You have to buy one that measures BRIX if you plan on using it for brewing. Brix is the measurement of sugar. The one he linked to measures alcohol, which is NOT the same thing.
You may be right. All I said was that it's "probable" based on the picture. Even if it is calibrated only as potential alcohol without °Bx, all that's needed is a conversion factor.
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Old 10-20-2010, 05:58 AM   #10
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Yes, but that's from 1955 feedbacks, well over 99%. Whats your point?
I guess that one person out of 2000 had a problem that seemed to coincide with the OP's concern...
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