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refractometer vs. hydrometer

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gonzo brewer

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My $12 hydrometer broke. I read on this forum you can buy a refractometer online for around $22 plus shipping.
With not much of a cost difference, it seems the refractometer is more convienient.
What are the pros and cons?
 
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Refractometer can be used to determin OG only.
You'll still need the Hydrometer for FG.

Refractometer is very handy on brewday for quick results.
 

david_42

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If you are doing AG, a refractometer can be very useful. It only takes a few drops of wort and temperature compensation is easy. Great for checking while sparging. It isn't a substitute for a hydrometer, though.
 

Beerrific

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olllllo said:
Refractometer can be used to determin OG only.
You'll still need the Hydrometer for FG.

Refractometer is very handy on brewday for quick results.
I believe you can if you know the SG...not a direct reading, it requires some calculations.

http://morebeer.com/learn_vids/vids_refract

You will also have to correct for temperature if it does not do so automatically.
 
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gonzo brewer

gonzo brewer

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OK, I am confused. The literature on the refractometer says the alcohol upsets the reading. But with the formulas and adjustments, one could get by with just a refractometer. Right?
I am new to this. Is the practical advice to get a hydrometer now and later get a refractometer (order of equip. purchases)?
 
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gonzo brewer said:
OK, I am confused. The literature on the refractometer says the alcohol upsets the reading. But with the formulas and adjustments, one could get by with just a refractometer. Right?
I am new to this. Is the practical advice to get a hydrometer now and later get a refractometer (order of equip. purchases)?
yep thats right I like the idea of a refract. but I also like the idea of using the same tool to get the OG and the FG you will be hard pressed to get good results on FG with a refract. JMHO
JJ
 
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While Beerific is correct, I know of no brewers that use a refractometer that way as a general practice.

There is also a USB device that I posted about awhile ago and subsequently Yuri received as a gift from his wife that uses algorithms to compute ABV. (Yuri seemed pretty luke warm about it's efficacy.)

In the latest BYO, there is an article that tell you how to measure SG by weight and volume using a scale. Yet I don't think anyone will tell you to chuck a hydrometer for a scale.


My vote is hydrometer and then refractometer (as a nice to have) if you go AG.
 
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