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Old 01-22-2014, 08:07 AM   #11
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I'm glad you asked the question OP, because it made me think about this subject. Tried to lay my thoughts out. I don't think I'm far from off. There are plenty folks here know this subject better then me though.

Hydrometer Pros
(calibrated) Accurate SG readings in wort or fermenting beer
- Works well with temperature correction adjustment

Hydrometer Cons
- Large sample volume. Waste wort/beer
- Doesn't work well measuring liquid not at ~68 degrees without temperature correction. The correction is not good after 159 degrees F.
- Easy to break.

Refractometer Pros
(calibrated) Accurate SG readings in wort
- Tiny sample volume. Only need a few drops to test
- Auto temp correct (ATC)
- Doesn't break as easily as a hydrometer

Refractometer Cons
- Alcohol degrades the accuracy. When used to during fermentation, the reading needs a correction to give an accurate measurement. (Pro) -plenty of free online calculators available to compensate this anomaly.
- Even with ATC, a more accurate measurement will come after 30 second of cooling the couple drops on the glass lense.

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