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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Fermentation & Yeast > Hydrometer reading vs Refractometer
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Old 11-09-2012, 11:57 AM   #1
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Default Hydrometer reading vs Refractometer

I was reading some posts about stuck fermentation and it referecned something about prefered measures with Hydrometers vs. Refracometers.
Can somone explain if there is a prefered method and why one may be more reliablie than the other? I have both and have been leaning toward using my Refractometer as it seems so much simpler.
thanks,

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Old 11-09-2012, 12:17 PM   #2
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Refractometers were designed to measure the concentration of simple sugar solutions. They are inherently inaccurate when measuring wort, and become even more inaccurate once fermentation has begun. I love my refractometer for readings during the mash, but if you want to use it more generally you must understand its limitations first. If you want to estimate post-fermentation gravities, you need to use one of the correction formulas out there.

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Old 11-09-2012, 12:21 PM   #3
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Thank you... That would explain why my post fermentation readings seem off and while I seem to have good fermentation my OG / FG readings always make me question why I am only ending up with 5% beers...

So, can you mix readings, use the Refractometer for the Mast & Wort to obtain the OG reading and then a Hydrometer to get the FG reading?

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Old 11-09-2012, 12:24 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MSKBeerfan View Post
Thank you... That would explain why my post fermentation readings seem off and while I seem to have good fermentation my OG / FG readings always make me question why I am only ending up with 5% beers...

So, can you mix readings, use the Refractometer for the Mast & Wort to obtain the OG reading and then a Hydrometer to get the FG reading?
To some extent. Refractometers are more accurate before fermentation, but there are still some inherent ambiguities. You need to calibrate, of course, and then the utility depends on how precise you feel like you need to be.
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