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Old 12-12-2010, 01:42 PM   #11
jmf143
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Default 0-32%ATC Brix Refractometer Wine Beer CNC Fruit

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Originally Posted by nilo View Post
Found this while looking for a ph meter.

http://www.milwaukeetesters.com/MA871.html

Anyone using it? How you like it?
I have not used that one, but I own this one and am quite happy with it.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...m=220443962351
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Old 12-13-2010, 02:50 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by ajdelange View Post
How would I know they can be off by a Bx or more if I didn't have one?
You could have read an article, heard from a friend, seen it in a forum and so on. I was wanting to know if you owned one and used it on a regular basis and how you liked it.

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Originally Posted by ajdelange View Post
I like the idea too. That's why I got a couple and started checking them out against hydrometer and density meter. I didn't find the agreement that good. Unfortunately I'm overseas at the moment and can't look at my notes or I'd be more specific.
You have a couple digital refractometers? Which models? Which one are you ok with?

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Originally Posted by ajdelange View Post
Post fermentation it's necessary to correct for alcohol content so I assume that you are doing that as well. There are several spreadsheets about that will do this for you (e.g the one from MoreBeer which corrects for alcohol and temperature based on original refractometer reading).
Of course. I use a version of the More Beer sheet that I added a few features to, Attenuation, Rate, ABV, Estimated Completion and a graph. I feel the formula they use is pretty accurate although I do recall a podcast where somebody said they had a better one. Also, even if you didn’t compensate for alcohol, you could still use a refractometer to see if fermentation is occurring. Once the numbers stop dropping, break out the hydrometer.

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Originally Posted by ajdelange View Post
Refractometers are, of course, great for monitoring progress of sparging or fermentation. Beyond that, I'm not too keen on them.
I use my analog refractometer for sparging, monitoring evaporation rate, OG, Fermentation and FG. For OG and FG, I always also use a hydrometer as well. Maybe I’m lucky but my numbers are always right on. (At least within the error of how accurately I can read a refractometer or hydrometer.) For example, my current batch, an APA with an SRM of ~7, had an OG of 13.1 Brix by refractometer (1.0530 calculated) and a 1.052 hydrometer value (temp corrected 1.0533). I monitored the fermentation every ~12 hours until I had it hold steady at 6.6 for a few days (1.01074). Then I pull enough sample to check with my final gravity hydrometer where I got a reading of 1.0105 (temp corrected to 1.0108). Now I battled as to whether the 1.0105 was more of a 1.010 or a 1.0105 and finally decided on the latter. Same with the 6.6 as to if it was a 6.6 or a 6.5. I’ve had the same experiences with darker beers and ones that also include sugar. I feel confident that I could use only the refractometer for everything, but since I have one and like to taste the sample I keep using it.

My question is, if I’d have the same experience with a digital refractometer. I’d like to have a value displayed and not have to second guess my squinting at the little lines. I’ve also tried to hook up a camera but it wasn’t worth the trouble.
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Old 12-13-2010, 05:07 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Bigscience View Post
You could have read an article, heard from a friend, seen it in a forum and so on. I was wanting to know if you owned one and used it on a regular basis and how you liked it.
True. I always try, in such cases, to mention what the source was but I'm sure I forget to do it sometimes.


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Originally Posted by Bigscience View Post
You have a couple digital refractometers? Which models? Which one are you ok with?
I have an Atago hand held but I don't remember the model number. I'm 9500 miles from home right now so can't go look it up. The fancier instrument is a Reichert AR200. This is a really nice handheld refractometer which is accurate to 0.0001 nD or 0.1 Bx, allows you to turn ATC on and off, does multiple point calibrations etc. but other than that it basically the same as the Atago. IOW given the accuracy of the models the ATAGO is equally as useable in the brewery. Both are fine for the purpose for which they are designed. The Atago is pretty neat because it is small - slips easily into a shirt pocket.


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Originally Posted by Bigscience View Post
Of course. I use a version of the More Beer sheet that I added a few features to, Attenuation, Rate, ABV, Estimated Completion and a graph. I feel the formula they use is pretty accurate although I do recall a podcast where somebody said they had a better one.
Figured you probably did. Barring that there would be no way you could get agreement between hydrometer and refractometer reading.



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Originally Posted by Bigscience View Post
Then I pull enough sample to check with my final gravity hydrometer where I got a reading of 1.0105 (temp corrected to 1.0108).
I assume you are using narrow range hydrometers here.


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Originally Posted by Bigscience View Post
My question is, if I’d have the same experience with a digital refractometer. I’d like to have a value displayed and not have to second guess my squinting at the little lines. I’ve also tried to hook up a camera but it wasn’t worth the trouble.
Yes, I think so. The digital design is, IMO, more robust. You don't have to worry about interpretation of something you see, blurry boundaries aren't at issue, turbid or dark samples should be measurable and ATC can be done electronically rather than by the crude prism tilting mechanism of the conventional design (though as I noted earlier you really should do ATC manually when alcohol is present.
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