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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Equipment/Sanitation > Refractometer has extremely fuzzy line
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Old 10-05-2012, 07:15 PM   #1
BobTheFourth
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Default Refractometer has extremely fuzzy line

I'm having an issue with a refractometer I bought several months back. Its always had this problem, I just gave up on it in frustration soon after I bought it, but I bet this forum can help me with the problem.

Essentially, the line between blue and white is *extremely* fuzzy. So fuzzy in fact that its not possible to make even a general estimate about what the reading might be.

The actual scale is in-focus, so its not that the optics are totally screwed up. I've also tried using a single bright light source, which also doesn't help. I've made sure that there are no air bubbles in the sample and that the plate is completely covered. I've let the device sit for a few minutes before taking the reading, and it shows no apparent improvement.

It almost seems like something is not aligned properly internally.

Any suggestions? Is it lemon?


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Old 10-05-2012, 08:16 PM   #2
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It may be a lemon, but I found that when the light was TOO bright, my line was very fuzzy. Try backing it away from the light source a bit and see if that helps.

How close can you see it currently? Within 2 lines or so, or WAY off?


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Old 10-05-2012, 08:19 PM   #3
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Ditto what jclucca says - too much light will do that.

Another suggestion is to press on the top plastic/glass surface while you're viewing it. Also, when I put boiling wort on it, it is fuzzy, but after a minute it is much clearer.
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Old 10-06-2012, 02:14 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JonW View Post
Another suggestion is to press on the top plastic/glass surface while you're viewing it.
This. And of course focusing it.
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Old 10-06-2012, 02:35 AM   #5
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Mine is harder too read when there are two or more light sources. The can lights in my kitchen are a pain, but if I go into another room the line is more focused. I think it has an astigmatism.
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Old 10-06-2012, 02:39 AM   #6
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That is exactly why I went with a digital refractometer.
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Old 10-06-2012, 02:40 AM   #7
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I have found that if I have too much liquid between the plastic "cover" and the glass, the line becomes fuzzy. Try pinching the plastic cover down tighter to the glass with your finger while looking through the eyepiece, this tends to make the line more distinct.
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Old 10-06-2012, 02:46 AM   #8
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Daylight bulbs seem to give me clearer readings then standard cfl or old incandescent bulbs.
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Old 10-06-2012, 09:15 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jclucca View Post
How close can you see it currently? Within 2 lines or so, or WAY off?
One half is vaguely blue while the other half is vaguely white.

I've tried using various light sources and pressing down on the cover without any effect.

I also noticed that something rattles around inside when I shake it...
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Old 11-28-2012, 02:10 AM   #10
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How many beers did you have before using it...things get blurry for me after a few!

Sorry..couldnt resist


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