Refractometer Vs Hydrometer

HomeBrewTalk.com - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Community.

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

Gabe

It's a sickness!
Joined
Apr 21, 2006
Messages
715
Reaction score
3
Location
Central coast
I like the idea of using a very small amount of wort to figure gravity. I HATE my hydrometer and its # 5 in my history of hydrometer buying :mad: . Is a refractometer all that I here it is?
 

FlyGuy

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 13, 2007
Messages
3,604
Reaction score
224
Location
Calgary, Alberta
I love mine, especially on brew day. Couldn't live without it, now that I have seen how convenient it can be.

But you will probably still want to keep the hydrometer for checking your fermenting beer. Refractometers work best for wort, and not so well for beer in the fermenter.
 
Joined
Oct 20, 2005
Messages
7,732
Reaction score
74
Location
Nanaimo, BC
Works fine for me and for some reason I must be the only one on here that gets the same readings with his hyrdomoter and refractomer with fermenting wort (using calibrated software). :)

I don't even bother with the hydromoter any more, unless I feehe need for a carboy taste sample. Then I'll use both for the hell of it.
 

2ndstorey

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 28, 2007
Messages
116
Reaction score
0
Location
Flagstaff, Arizona
After using the spreadsheet on morebeers site a few times side by side with my hydrometer, I am not worried about diffferent readings on fermenting wort. Get a refractometer. They are awesome. Harder to break than a hydrometer too.
 

WortMonger

"What you doin' in my waters?"
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Nov 27, 2006
Messages
3,118
Reaction score
39
Location
Edmond, OK
+1 more here. I still use my hydrometer for a OG and FG reading to be as accurate as I can be, but during the brew session the refractometer is great.
 

abracadabra

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 6, 2006
Messages
1,923
Reaction score
10
Location
Newnan
According to all the ardent supporters of hydrometers on this forum the main reason for their continued use is to avoid bottle bombs. Since I keg that's not an issue. Seems to me waiting an extra week would be a way to avoid that if you were unsure. But if nothing else using a refractometer for testing the wort would reduce the chances of breaking your hydormeter by 50% or so.
 

homebrewer_99

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 1, 2005
Messages
19,580
Reaction score
1,200
Location
I-80, Exit 27 (near the Quad Cities)
I disagree...(someone has to...:D )

I know a refract is good for OG and you have to use software to recompute your reading to get an FG, but I do not mind the "relatively large" sample taken from the primary/secondary because I sample/drink my brews along the way. That's hard to do with only 1 drop.

I pre-plan for the end volume by topping off to 5.25 and 5.5 gals so I don't worry about any loss.

As far as breaking hydrometers that's your own fault for handling it wrong or too roughly.

One tip I would offer is to never try to hold it horizontally by the smaller tip. All the weight is on the other end. That's a recipe for breaking if I ever saw one. Always hold it vertically.

Tip two is never handle anything else while washing/cleaning it. All you need to do is pay a little attention to what you are doing at the time. You don't want to bump it into the side of the sink/pot/whatever. You don't drive your car that way...or do you?? :D

I'm not saying I have never broken one either. I've broken 2 so far, but it's over a 14 year period.

Of the two I have now, one is well over 4 years old and the other over 12.

I also store them in the plastic tubes they came in.

I say two because I try to have two on hand in case one breaks. See...pre-planning is all it takes.;) :D

All of us waste a bit of money all the time. You may as well invest it in your equipment.
 

homebrewer_99

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 1, 2005
Messages
19,580
Reaction score
1,200
Location
I-80, Exit 27 (near the Quad Cities)
abracadabra said:
According to all the ardent supporters of hydrometers on this forum the main reason for their continued use is to avoid bottle bombs. Since I keg that's not an issue. Seems to me waiting an extra week would be a way to avoid that if you were unsure. But if nothing else using a refractometer for testing the wort would reduce the chances of breaking your hydormeter by 50% or so.
The problem with that logic is "only a fool thinks it's fool proof".

Please don't take that comment as a personal attack. It's just one of those sayings.

In truth, without taking hydrometer readings you are only "guessing" (and hoping) your brew is finished fermenting. Simple enough.

I use my hydrometer to make sure the brew has hit it's FG, or an FG I know is safe to bottle.

Yes, I keg too, but I still use the same logic.

Now, with that said I also have to say there are no absolutes. :D

A German Kellerbier is not primed at all. It is kegged before reaching the FG and the fermentation that continues also conditions/carbonates the beer.
 

Latest posts

Top