Refractometer problem? - Home Brew Forums

Register Now!
Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Equipment/Sanitation > Refractometer problem?

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 10-02-2012, 03:24 PM   #1
CrazyP
Recipes 
 
Apr 2010
Connecticut
Posts: 68
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts



Can refractometers be damaged if they get too hot? I accidentally left mine in the sun for ~30 minutes and now I'm wondering if it's the source of my problems. It's one of the those cheap ones you can get on eBay shipped directly from China. I brought it inside to let it cool back down to room temperature, and then re-calibrated it to room temperature... but then my problems began.

Back story: I've used a refractometer for my last 5-6 all-grain BIAB batches and always check my pre-boil OG with it. My mash efficiency was consistently in the 75% range until my second-to-last batch, which all of sudden registered around 55% based on my refractometer OG reading! I added a bunch of DME to compensate and wondered if I got a bad crush at my LHBS...

My last batch I had the same problem, super low pre-boil OG. Again I added a bunch of DME. I had the grains crushed at a different shop, so I'm now looking at the refractometer as the source of my efficiency woes.

In this latest batch, a bit of strangeness is that my OG post-boil actually decreased (based on my refractometer) relative to pre-boil. This was based on a sample of leftover wort in the bottom of the kettle. Is it possible that my refractometer is at issue, or am I doing something completely wrong?

 
Reply With Quote
Old 10-02-2012, 05:51 PM   #2
Homercidal
Licensed Sensual Massage Therapist.
HBT_MODERATOR.png
 
Homercidal's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Feb 2008
Reed City, MI
Posts: 30,652
Liked 4765 Times on 3217 Posts


Your best bet would be to run some comparisons with a calibrated hydrometer.

It's entirely possible that both shops had crappy crushes. It's always good to have a hydrometer on hand if you already have one. They are pretty cheap.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 10-09-2012, 03:19 AM   #3
CrazyP
Recipes 
 
Apr 2010
Connecticut
Posts: 68
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts


Quote:
Originally Posted by Homercidal
Your best bet would be to run some comparisons with a calibrated hydrometer.

It's entirely possible that both shops had crappy crushes. It's always good to have a hydrometer on hand if you already have one. They are pretty cheap.
Will do, thanks. Now that I think of it, the first few all grain batches that gave me 75% efficiency all came from one source, and these last two odd batches came from different sources. If my refractometer checks out I'm really going to consider getting a mill.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 10-09-2012, 02:18 PM   #4
Homercidal
Licensed Sensual Massage Therapist.
HBT_MODERATOR.png
 
Homercidal's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Feb 2008
Reed City, MI
Posts: 30,652
Liked 4765 Times on 3217 Posts


I built my own, and now that I have one I could never want to use an LHBS crush on a regular basis. They are worth it in savings over precrushed grain if you brew a lot, and for being able to crush when you want.

 
Reply With Quote
Reply
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Refractometer HoppyMcHopster Equipment/Sanitation 45 06-06-2012 12:56 AM
Refractometer problem mikray Equipment/Sanitation 7 01-30-2011 09:27 PM
Refractometer jlmcgrath Equipment/Sanitation 10 09-07-2010 04:33 PM
Refractometer FG avaserfi Equipment/Sanitation 6 04-13-2009 05:18 PM
Is this refractometer ok? carnevoodoo Equipment/Sanitation 4 07-09-2008 06:50 AM


Forum Jump