refractometer vs hydrometer

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docmoran

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Hate to start a holy war but whats the best way to go refracto or hydro?? Large volume for hydro but conversion on hydro -- cost --- can find a million plus/minuses for each -- I do think the reracto is way too cool to impress friends and loved ones with!! seriosly,, what gives? thanks, doc
 

Bobby_M

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If you brew all grain, it tips the advantage over to the refractometer so you can test runnings here and there. Also, refractometer is not round so it doesn't roll off your work surface and smash.
 

ArcaneXor

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I like playing with my refractometer, but I haven't found it as useful as I had hoped.
I use it primarily to get into the ballpark for my OG and to check whether FG has been reached, and then verify with my hydrometer. The main problem is that the sample size is so small that it can be difficult to get a consistent reading.
As for actually calculating the FG using the MoreBeer spreadsheet, I am not so sure it works. For one thing, the initial Brix to OG calculation doesn't match my hydrometer readings, nor any of the other calculators that are out there (They use a correction factor of around 1.07, which is really high). If the initial calculation is off, I don't put too much faith into the FG estimates.
 

springer

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I use both. The refractometer for the OG and the hydrometer for my FG.

ArcaneXor I checked mine against my Hydro and it was spot on every time. I use the Pipettes that came with mine so I may be drawing a little more wort than you But really a drop is all that's needed. Just make sure there are no airbubbles under the slide . Does yours have the ATC option?
 

nathan

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what are you using to convert from Brix to specific gravity?
 

ArcaneXor

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I use both. The refractometer for the OG and the hydrometer for my FG.

ArcaneXor I checked mine against my Hydro and it was spot on every time. I use the Pipettes that came with mine so I may be drawing a little more wort than you But really a drop is all that's needed. Just make sure there are no airbubbles under the slide . Does yours have the ATC option?
My hydrometer has ATC. What I have been doing is shake up the wort to mix it, draw a small sample via pipette, and then use about two drops on the refractometer. I think the floating solid proteins and hop particles were responsible for the different readings (about +/- 1.2 brix). I haven't paid attention to small air bubbles - that may also have contributed to the variance. So I ended taking something like 6 different samples and calculated the average, which ended up being a very close match with my hydrometer. I used Strangebrew to convert Brix to SG as well as for the hydrometer temperature correction.

As I play with it more and determine what wort correction factor works best for me, I'll probably become more confident in my readings.
 
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