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Old 12-10-2009, 04:28 PM   #1
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Refractometer vs hydrometer

What are some advantages and disadvantages? I do not care about cost at this point because I accidentally just crushed another hydrometer in my fingers yesterday.

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Old 12-10-2009, 04:31 PM   #2
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with a refractometer you have to do math to get the SG and other readings in addition to adjusting for temp. on the other hand the refractometer uses a much smaller sample than a hydrometer. other than that i cant any real advantage of one over the other.

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Old 12-10-2009, 04:48 PM   #3
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Refractometers are also only really useful during the boil.

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Old 12-10-2009, 05:08 PM   #4
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Is it a fair assumption that they are much more durable?

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Old 12-10-2009, 06:12 PM   #5
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*dbl post*

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Old 12-10-2009, 06:13 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gremlyn1 View Post
Refractometers are also only really useful during the boil.
Not really true, it is no longer a common recommendation to do boils for mead and this is straight from Hightest's mead FAQs and pdf's http://home.comcast.net/~mzapx1/FAQ/Refractometer.pdf
I believe he uses refractometers exclusively allowing him to take many more readings to more accurately track a fermentation without having to worry about taking too much out for hydrometer samples
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Old 12-10-2009, 06:32 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bubbachunk View Post
Refractometer vs hydrometer

What are some advantages and disadvantages? I do not care about cost at this point because I accidentally just crushed another hydrometer in my fingers yesterday.
I think you are a perfect candidate for a refractomer. If you can navigate HBT on the cpu then you can manage any of the available free spreadsheets used to convert brix to sg etc.
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Old 12-10-2009, 06:36 PM   #8
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You can use them to see how ripe fruits are. I have no problem using a hydrometer for brewing, myself.

They are more durable in that I don't see a person crushing one with their fingers. I wouldn't drop one though. But then, I've never broken a hydrometer with my fingers. Maybe you need to relax a little.

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Old 12-10-2009, 09:20 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tusch View Post
Not really true, it is no longer a common recommendation to do boils for mead and this is straight from Hightest's mead FAQs and pdf's http://home.comcast.net/~mzapx1/FAQ/Refractometer.pdf
I believe he uses refractometers exclusively allowing him to take many more readings to more accurately track a fermentation without having to worry about taking too much out for hydrometer samples
OK, I shall revise my statement to 'pre-fermentation', forgot about the mead guys that don't boil...

I know you can use the refractometer during/after fermentation, but you have to get rid of the alcohol produced first and it's just more of a PITA than I'm willing to put up with.
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Old 12-10-2009, 10:54 PM   #10
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You don't have to "get rid" of the alcohol, you just have to account for it, with correction factors that are easy to figure if you took an initial, pre-pitch, refractometer reading.

Perhaps difficult for anyone not comfortable with a little algebra, but generally not too much hassle for those amongst us who have science, engineering, or computer science backgrounds.

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