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Old 01-07-2010, 02:48 AM   #1
moosetav
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Got a new refractometer and will be doing my first AG batch this weekend. I was checking the grav on my pale ale in the fementer and the hydro said 1.012. Figured while I had the sample pulled, I would calibrate the refractometer and see if they matched up. Didn't have distilled water on hand but used bottled spring water and set to 0. I put a sample of the beer on the prism and got 6 brix. If I'm not mistaken, that's equivalent around 1.02something is it not? So, would the spring water throw it that much off or is there something else I'm missing? I have this model RHB-32ATC which I know quite a few folks around here use. Appreciate the help.

 
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Old 01-07-2010, 02:54 AM   #2
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You'll need unfermented wort and few batches worth of samples to get an average for calibration to be able to use it for for post fermentation. You need to figure out your conversion factor.

Here's a video.
http://morebeer.com/learn_vids/vids_refract
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Old 01-07-2010, 03:00 AM   #3
passedpawn
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6 Brix is 1.024 on mine. I use Beersmith's Refractometer Tool to calibrate mine.

You can't use the refractometer alone to directly measure the gravity once there is alcohol in there.

Once there is alcohol, you must correct the reading you get by knowing the OG (which you could have gotten with the refractometer). There is a formula that corrects the reading you get post-fermentation, but you must know the OG. BeerSmith does this for you.

Finally, if you want to use both a hydro and a refract, you can back-calculate the OG, and determine the ABV of a finished beer. You can even do this for a store-bought beer (must degas, first). Again, Beersmith's Refractometer Tool does this for you.

Here is everything you need to know about refractometers.
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Old 01-07-2010, 03:08 AM   #4
moosetav
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Great references! 10 minutes ago I was confused as all hell but I think I've got it now. I love this forum. Appreciate the help, gentlemen

 
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