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Old 10-10-2012, 01:57 AM   #1
Minjin
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Default Refractometer?

Contemplating on purchasing a refractometer, but I recently read that after fermentation starts when alcohol is present the refractometer readings are skewed. If that's the case then why purchase one just for the intial OG reading?

What are the best model's of refractometers and Hydrometers?
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Old 10-10-2012, 02:08 AM   #2
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if you know your OG you can calc uour FG. good iphone app for that
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Old 10-10-2012, 02:10 AM   #3
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Not to be mean but what does your comment have to do with anything I asked about???
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Old 10-10-2012, 02:15 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Minjin View Post
Not to be mean but what does your comment have to do with anything I asked about???
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Old 10-10-2012, 02:20 AM   #5
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After fermentation starts a formula is required to use a refractometer. There are plenty of spreadsheets, web sites, applications and phone apps that will do the math for you. Refractometers are great, I highly recommend that you get one.
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Old 10-10-2012, 02:37 AM   #6
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That was the answer I was looking for. Thanks.
Recomendations on brands, or retailers?
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Old 10-10-2012, 03:04 AM   #7
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I got mine off of ebay back in January(ish).... about $30 to my Houston house if I recall. It can be calibrated if necessary, but it came spot on when checked with pure room temp water as well as when compared with a hydrometer reading right before I pitched yeast.

For my purposes, I saw ZERO benefit by spending a fortune on another model. I'm not a professional brewer and I don't play one on tv.

Spend $30 bucks or so and be happy
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Old 10-12-2012, 11:53 PM   #8
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After fermentation, the refractometer won't work. People use calculators to compensate, but none of them are particularly accurate- they're all basically just guesses at about how much alcohol has been produced. Use a hydrometer for post-pitch gravities.

The reason to get one for pre-pitch gravities is 1)You don't need to pull a big sample and 2) You can measure gravity at every point in the brew day to make adjustments on the fly. You can get gravities during and after the mash to see if you need to go longer, you can get your pre-boil gravity to make sure you have all the sugar you need, in case you want to add DME or something, and you can check how the boil is progressing (boil-off is where it usually is) as well as taking your final pre-pitch OG. It's more of a tool for advanced all-grain brewers.
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Old 10-13-2012, 12:00 AM   #9
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Great explanation! Thanks.
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Old 10-13-2012, 12:13 AM   #10
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If you have a tube full of beer after ferment , Take a couple drops from that tube and check it with a refractometer, use a calculator and decide for yourself.
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