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Old 10-07-2013, 07:44 AM   #21
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My refractometer agrees with my hydrometer ! I bought it to give me the SG of wort and it does exactly that. Once the yeast is pitched I put the refractometer away as at that point the wort isnt wort any more it is beer in process, the refractometer is not scaled for that!
I calibrated with tap water and condensed water from steam and melted ice from the freezer all read the same.

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Old 10-07-2013, 12:24 PM   #22
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You might want to check the higher end with sugar solutions. Here's how I did mine.

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Old 10-07-2013, 03:24 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eddiewould View Post
These are the readings from my latest brew day:

At sparging start:
Hydrometer: 1.046
Temperature: 50c
Adjusted hydrometer reading: 1.055
Refractometer reading: 1.057

Refractometer correction factor = 1.03636363636364

At start of boil
Hydrometer: 1.030
Temperature: 47c
Adjusted hydrometer reading: 1.038
Refractometer reading: 1.035

Refractometer correction factor: 0.92105263157895 ? eh

At pitching
Hydrometer: 1.050
Temperature: 19c
Adjusted hydrometer reading: 1.050
Refractometer reading: 1.047

Refractometer correction factor: 0.94


What correction factor should I use when taking readings from my refractometer?
The problem with ALL of those readings (except the last one) is that the readings were taken too hot for an accurate hydrometer reading. Even with temperature correction software, a hydrometer reading is notoriously inaccurate above about 90 degrees.

The sample should be cooled to 90 degrees or less, then temperature corrections applied and then it should be accurate. Hydrometer are great- but not with hot readings.
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Old 10-09-2013, 11:35 PM   #24
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One thing I've noticed is that you will get inaccurate readings if you don't wash the old sample off first.

Just something to remember.

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Old 11-16-2013, 08:11 AM   #25
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Default Refractometer way out

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hex23 View Post
I think you'll like this thread. I learned a lot there. http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f36/refractometer-question-362437/

Edit: Posts 8, 11, and 38 are particularly relevant to the issue you are noticing.
This thread is quite old but I hope it is still "alive". I recently bought a refractometer with ATC, Brix and SG scales. Calibrated to zero with distilled water. Checked gravity of a Pilsener 2 weeks into primary and got 1030 SG or around 7.6 Brix. A week later after all visible signs of fermentation had ceased I took another reading: still 1030. After recovering from the ensuing mild seizure I decided to check with my hydrometer and got a reading of 1005!
After extensive research it seems these toys need further calibrating in the working environment, but this variation seems absurd. May as well stick with the hydrometer.
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Old 11-16-2013, 08:28 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by royco
This thread is quite old but I hope it is still "alive". I recently bought a refractometer with ATC, Brix and SG scales. Calibrated to zero with distilled water. Checked gravity of a Pilsener 2 weeks into primary and got 1030 SG or around 7.6 Brix. A week later after all visible signs of fermentation had ceased I took another reading: still 1030. After recovering from the ensuing mild seizure I decided to check with my hydrometer and got a reading of 1005! After extensive research it seems these toys need further calibrating in the working environment, but this variation seems absurd. May as well stick with the hydrometer.
You can't use a refractometer with using a correction calculator once there's alcohol in the solution.
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Old 11-16-2013, 09:05 AM   #27
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You have to correct for fermentation. You can find calculators for this in brewing software or online.

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Old 11-17-2013, 03:52 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eddiewould View Post
I really like the info on brewer's friend! I'm going to experiment with this: http://www.brewersfriend.com/refractometer-calculator/

Quote:
Originally Posted by royco View Post
This thread is quite old but I hope it is still "alive". I recently bought a refractometer with ATC, Brix and SG scales. Calibrated to zero with distilled water. Checked gravity of a Pilsener 2 weeks into primary and got 1030 SG or around 7.6 Brix. A week later after all visible signs of fermentation had ceased I took another reading: still 1030. After recovering from the ensuing mild seizure I decided to check with my hydrometer and got a reading of 1005!
After extensive research it seems these toys need further calibrating in the working environment, but this variation seems absurd. May as well stick with the hydrometer.
Yes, stick with the hydrometer AFTER fermentation has started as a refractometer "reads" sugar solution by the light refraction. The readings are skewed once alcohol is in the solution, and are not correct.

There are some software corrections that can be done, but for my brewing I use a hydrometer once, when fermentation is done and just before packaging. Preboil and post boil readings are done via refractometer.
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Old 11-24-2013, 09:11 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WoodlandBrew View Post
Details here about using a refractometer and hydrometer in combination:
http://woodlandbrew.blogspot.com/2013/02/abv-without-og.html
This was posted on another thread. Hydrometers are the only way to accurately read FG, but this article outlines a way to actually leverage the attribute of a refractometer that makes it inaccurate for FG readings to deduce ABV. I've been comparing the ABV from this method to ABV calculated from hydrometer OG/FG on several of my batches, and the two figures are always within a few points of each other.
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Old 11-25-2013, 02:32 AM   #30
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I've used hydrometers for several years, all were off by 2 or 3 points. I got tired of sanitizing and cooling and spilling and ultimately breaking and buying a new one so I got a decent refractometer last year and use it exclusively.

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