Alcohol Refractometer!

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pdbreen

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ChshreCat

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Nope. If you were expecting 6% abv and only got 4%, what would that tell you, really? How would you know if it was because you missed your starting gravity and the beer was done, or if the yeast were stalled out and you had the potential for bottle bombs? There's more reasons to take your SG than to know how much alcohol you're drinking.
 

Zen_Brew

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Always best to take starting and finishing gravity. Even withthe refractometer I usually take a hydro sample when I go to keg anyway. It also gives me an excuse to drink a glass when kegging (not that I really needed one)

There is also a neat trick in the software Beersmith with the refractometer tool. If you take your final gravity with your hydrometer and your refractometer it will compute what your OG was.
 
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zzyvba

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Thank you guys.
I got it.
you are absolutely right.
 

ChshreCat

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btw... if anyone can steer me right if I'm wrong. He OP was referring to something different than a regular refractometer that people often use in brewing, right? "Alcohol refractometer"... measures alcohol content only?
 

Munsoned

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btw... if anyone can steer me right if I'm wrong. He OP was referring to something different than a regular refractometer that people often use in brewing, right? "Alcohol refractometer"... measures alcohol content only?
Right. Reading the ebay description, I think that's exactly what it is. Pretty cheap too, but like you said, I'd prefer to have the actual gravities and do the calculations for the ABV...
 

pdbreen

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btw... if anyone can steer me right if I'm wrong. He OP was referring to something different than a regular refractometer that people often use in brewing, right? "Alcohol refractometer"... measures alcohol content only?
Correct - and since there's no alcohol in the wort on brew day (aside from what's in your glass), it's not the one you want.
 

ChshreCat

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Ok. That's what I thought, but was at work and didn't want to visit ebay. Wanted to make sure I wasn't giving the wrong advise.

If it works well, it might be fun to have. Wouldn't replace a hydrometer but might be a fun extra tool.
 
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Actually, a refractometer measures the refractive index of a liquid. Brix, alcohol content, etc are simply estimated based on refractive index and some assumptions (refractometer scales take some assumptions into account - usually that the liquid is comprised of pure water and sugar or alcohol). Since the refractometer listed above seems useful for beer and wine, it wouldn't be a total loss for estimating brix. The buyer would just have to apply a correction factor that could be determined by measuring known sugar concentrations.
 
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zzyvba

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Ok guys,

Do I need to calibrate it each time I use it? or just when I use it for the first time? or what?

'cause some models don't need a screw driver and some do but come with LED light. Which one to choose?

the one that need a screw driver but has a LED light OR the one that doesn't need screw driver but without a LED light

help
 
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