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Old 02-18-2012, 04:38 AM   #1
Griff777
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Default Refractometer quite quick and easy

Hi all, just finished my 13th brew and got a chance to use a Refractometer recently purchased on Ebay. I paid 18.00 plus 9 bucks shipping from Korea.
I was intimidated by the contraption until I tried it out. Turns out if you buy the one advertised for Beer making, there is a Brix scale and to the right of the viewfinder, a Gravity scale.

So simple, put a drop or two of wort, any temp on the glass, drop the flap, give it a few seconds to cool and look through the sightglass. Instant readings. I could check the initial runnings, late runnings, hot wort at the end of the boil, etc. I think it adjusts automatically for temp.

No more wasted beer wort for the hydrometer, although I will miss sipping that up after using the hydrometer.

Just wanted to let anyone thinking of getting one that it's a great addition to your "stuff."



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Old 02-18-2012, 05:00 AM   #2
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You won't really know for sure until you do a comparative reading against a hydrometer that you trust. Once you can verify your readings throughout the process... including fermentation... (using a calculator when wort turns to beer).



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Old 02-18-2012, 05:21 AM   #3
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Forum noobs are so cute!

Cheers!

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Old 02-18-2012, 12:53 PM   #4
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Don't make the same mistake I did with my refrac. I thought I had stuck fermentation on 2 batches because the refrac said I was at 1.040 on both batches. They do not measure gravity once alcohol is present. Hope this helps anyone thinking of getting one, they are a great tool, just don't lose the hydro.

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Old 02-18-2012, 01:20 PM   #5
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Beersmith is a great tool for calculating the gravity after fermentation has started, i tested it on two batches and it was withing .01 of every measurement i took.

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Old 02-18-2012, 02:35 PM   #6
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This online calculator has worked pretty well for me. Make sure you do the calibration with water before taking measurements.

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Old 02-18-2012, 04:08 PM   #7
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There is free software available that "allows" for the alcohol in the wort to give you a true ABV - I have got it - just cant remember where I got it....

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Old 02-18-2012, 04:11 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by baseballstar4 View Post
Don't make the same mistake I did with my refrac. I thought I had stuck fermentation on 2 batches because the refrac said I was at 1.040 on both batches. They do not measure gravity once alcohol is present. Hope this helps anyone thinking of getting one, they are a great tool, just don't lose the hydro.
I get confused when I see someone that has a refractometer yet post a number in SG. I never know if they are converting a reading from Brix or if the refractometer has an SG scale. I never know if they are using one of the available calculators. To say that you can't use a refractometer during fermentation,? I use one throughout the entire process.
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Old 02-18-2012, 04:48 PM   #9
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Yeah, it is great tool for entire brewing process.
I even made conversion chart that shows FG values for different OG"s, check it out:

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f163/brix-sg-conversion-chart-og-fg-attenuation-302327/#post3759204

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Old 02-19-2012, 02:53 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iaefebs

I get confused when I see someone that has a refractometer yet post a number in SG. I never know if they are converting a reading from Brix or if the refractometer has an SG scale. I never know if they are using one of the available calculators. To say that you can't use a refractometer during fermentation,? I use one throughout the entire process.
Mine has both brix and sg on it. Was just trying to help anyone reading not to make the same mistake I did. I did not realize that once alcohol was present that you had to convert your reading. I went as far as calling Midwest supplies to see if my refrac was defective because I kept getting a reading that I thought was a stuck fermentation. It was 3 days of worrying that I had 10 gallons of beer/wort that wasn't where it needed to be and I screwed something up.


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