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Old 08-04-2010, 11:27 PM   #1
Veinman
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Default This Refractometer a Good Buy?

After reading up on the pros and cons I've decided to take the plunge and buy a refractometer.

What I've read says go to ebay and get a decent one for under $30 so I'm looking at this one:

http://cgi.ebay.ca/0-32-Brix-Beer-Re...c56080170#shId

Key Stats I saw:
0-32 Brix
1.000-1.120 SG Readings
Temperature Correction

It looks good to me is there any other stats I need to look for? Anyone have this one or similar is it good or not?

Thanks

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Old 08-05-2010, 01:14 AM   #2
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That is a pretty standard model that a lot of people use, including myself. It works great and that's a pretty good price. I think I paid $40 US + shipping for mine. So considering it's a flat rate of $10 for shipping on that it would still make it a pretty good deal.

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Old 08-05-2010, 01:30 AM   #3
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I have the same one and paid more... It's great, go for it.

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Old 08-05-2010, 03:22 AM   #4
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Is the SG scale on it legit? Or do you need to do some conversion based on the brix value?

Also, did you guys buy some pipettes for this thing as well?

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Old 08-05-2010, 03:31 AM   #5
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Once it's calibrated (meaning distilled water reads zero on the scale) then yes, brix to specific gravity is a pretty straightforward conversion. To be sure, for the first few readings you should take a sample of wort and compare the brix reading in the refractometer with a hydrometer sample. If you use software such as Beersmith, in the refractometer tool you can actually calibrate it with your readings there and it will calculate an adjusted SG based on the brix you input. For instance with mine, the correction factor is 0.96666 or something so the SG scale is basically spot on.

Edit: Oh, and mine came with a pipette. Not sure if that one does or not.

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Old 08-05-2010, 09:51 PM   #6
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You just made me buy this. I finally pulled the trigger. I've been looking on ebay for the past few days - i just bought it now.

I've watched some of the other homebrewers in our club use their refractometers and they just drip some of the wort from their stirring spoon onto the lens. No pipettes needed my friend.

I am excited about my purchase. Now I just need to endure the 7-18 day wait while it is shipped from Hong Kong.

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Old 08-06-2010, 06:00 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by devilishprune View Post
Is the SG scale on it legit? Or do you need to do some conversion based on the brix value?
No, whoever manufactured those didn't do the Brix-SG conversion correctly. You'll need to read it in Brix and convert yourself.

For example, it says that 20 °Bx is about 1.078 when it's actually ~1.082.

Edit: And like Sigafoos says, you'll need to correct for the alcohol in solution to get an FG using only the refractometer. I've found the correlation that everyone uses to be all but worthless though: Refractometer Estimates of Final Gravity
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Old 08-06-2010, 02:08 PM   #8
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And after fermentation, you'll have to adjust for the alcohol content. Any brewing program will do it automatically, or else some handsome fellow made a script for you.

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