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Old 03-11-2012, 05:09 PM   #1
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Default Should I trust my Hydrometer or Refractometer

Should I trust my Hydrometer or Refractometer. I took an OG reading with both my Hydro was 1.064 my Refract was 1.058 which should I trust? and how do I calibrate them?

I took a pre-boil reading with the Refract that read 1.046.



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Old 03-11-2012, 05:13 PM   #2
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did you take the refractometer sample from the same wort that you sampled with the hydrometer?

Have you tested the hydrometer in distilled water at 60F (assuming that's what your particular hydro is calibrated to) to make sure it reads 1.0?
Same for the refractometer, make sure it reads 0 brix with a distilled sample.

Also, how much did you boil off after your pre-boil sample?



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Old 03-11-2012, 05:20 PM   #3
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I don't have distilled water on hand but I do have RO that reads 0 TDS so its not perfect but close. The hydro reads 1.002 in 66 degree water which temp corrected make it 1.003 I also checked the refract with the RO water and it was reading below 0 brix. I adjusted the set screw and am going to take another sample. So with the hydro I can just subtract 3 points to get 1.061 right?

My pre-boil volume was 7.1 gallons and my fine volume was between 5.5 and 5.25 gallons

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I ferment my lagers in frozen mammoths 3 miles below the ice in Greenland. I scream at my hop plants for 8 hours a day to make them not only bitter, but pissed off.
Desert Basin Brewery
Future Brews:
Fermenting: Desert Basin Pale Ale, Ninkasi Tricerihops Clone
Bottled: Desert Knight RIS, Scottish Winter Warmer
Kegged: Cleaning out the closet Porter
Gallons Brewed 2013: 15
Gallons Brewed 2012: 90.0
Gallons Brewed 2011: 77.5
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Old 03-11-2012, 05:33 PM   #4
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Calibrated refract netted me an OG of 1.059. So i am still 2 points off between the hydro and the refract so which do i trust?

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Originally Posted by Airborneguy
I ferment my lagers in frozen mammoths 3 miles below the ice in Greenland. I scream at my hop plants for 8 hours a day to make them not only bitter, but pissed off.
Desert Basin Brewery
Future Brews:
Fermenting: Desert Basin Pale Ale, Ninkasi Tricerihops Clone
Bottled: Desert Knight RIS, Scottish Winter Warmer
Kegged: Cleaning out the closet Porter
Gallons Brewed 2013: 15
Gallons Brewed 2012: 90.0
Gallons Brewed 2011: 77.5
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Old 03-11-2012, 08:55 PM   #5
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Either. Two points off is negligible.

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Old 03-12-2012, 01:31 AM   #6
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Watch this video bro, it explains why the readings are different. I used to use a hydro but now all I use is a refractometer, much easier & less wort to test. Just download the spread sheet from morebeer that he refers to in the video.

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Old 03-12-2012, 02:08 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SirBrewsAlot
Watch this video bro, it explains why the readings are different. I used to use a hydro but now all I use is a refractometer, much easier & less wort to test. Just download the spread sheet from morebeer that he refers to in the video.

Video Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KaonMYRODks&feature=youtube_gdata_player
Can a refractometer be accurate after fermentation completes?
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Old 03-12-2012, 02:46 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Prymal View Post
Calibrated refract netted me an OG of 1.059. So i am still 2 points off between the hydro and the refract so which do i trust?
What was the temp of each of the samples? In either case, the closer you are to the calibration temp, the more accurate the reading will be. You really need to get the sample below ~100F for either to be accurate. As Bobby said, 2 points is negligible.

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Can a refractometer be accurate after fermentation completes?
Supposedly some of the newer alcohol correction calculators for refractometer readings are fairly accurate. Not as accurate as a hydrometer reading, but pretty close. I'd always trust the hydro over the refractometer after fermentation has started.
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Old 03-12-2012, 10:35 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JuanMoore

Supposedly some of the newer alcohol correction calculators for refractometer readings are fairly accurate. Not as accurate as a hydrometer reading, but pretty close. I'd always trust the hydro over the refractometer after fermentation has started.
Thanks. Guess will stick with refract for pre-ferm and hydro for post-ferm.


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