Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Techniques > Reading a refractometer; clear line with distilled water; fuzzy line with beer
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Old 04-16-2013, 04:23 PM   #21
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Yep. Agreed based on my testing on like 2 batches

Honestly, if I'm off by +/- 0.002 or 0.003 I'm not going to sweat it. Maybe 1% alcohol difference. I don't really care. I just wanted to know it was done and it was okay for that. And I will use it for pre-fermentation now that I got into BIAB.

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Old 04-19-2013, 09:58 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by Yooper View Post
It's the alcohol. Alcohol changes the way light refracts and since that is what a refractometer reads, they are hard to read and inaccurate once fermentation occurs.

This x 2

Use a refractometer for OG and a hydrometer for FG. Alcohol content makes refractometers inaccurate.
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Old 04-19-2013, 01:38 PM   #23
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Morebeer had a spreadsheet on their site to correct fermented refractometer samples and although I don't rely on my refractometer for FG readings the few times I tried it it was right on with my hydrometer sample. No blurry lines either.

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Old 04-19-2013, 01:50 PM   #24
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Though alcohol will distort the reading, it shouldn't make it impossible to get a reading. With my refractometer, I have no problem getting a sharp line with wort, both before and after fermentation. If you're consistently getting a blurry line like this, it's likely caused by solids in the liquid that are preventing a good, clean contact between the stage and the plastic cover.


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