Refractometer

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Sherpa FE

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A friend of mine got one off of EBay, it lasted 10 brews before it died. Not saying that this will do the same, just explaining what happened to him.

Me personally, I do not like any refractometer that has more than Brix in the window, the writing is so much smaller it's kind of hard to read.
Anyway that's my experience, hope it helps.
 
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Dragonman

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I like the SG scale better than the brix scale just because it seems to make more sense to me for some reason.
 

Bricks41

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Easy - Brix x 4 = SG so.... 20 Brix = 1.080, 15.6 Brix = 1.0624, etc. A lot of people agree, Sherpa included, get one with only Brix listed.

I bought mine from eBay ($25-30) with ATC and have had no issues with it, granted I'm really careful, keep it wrapped up when not in use, cleaned and make sure to not drop it or smack it against something lol. SG is dead on (confirmed with hydrometer) every time so far to the point I'm probably going to stop using my hydro. Now for FG, I've tested it several times, the Brix reading must be converted to recognize the presence of alcohol. After using the calculator, I'm confident that my FG accuracy is within +-.002 even when the ABV is in the 8-9.5% range.
 

Sherpa FE

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Easy - Brix x 4 = SG so.... 20 Brix = 1.080, 15.6 Brix = 1.0624, etc. A lot of people agree, Sherpa included, get one with only Brix listed.

I bought mine from eBay ($25-30) with ATC and have had no issues with it, granted I'm really careful, keep it wrapped up when not in use, cleaned and make sure to not drop it or smack it against something lol. SG is dead on (confirmed with hydrometer) every time so far to the point I'm probably going to stop using my hydro. Now for FG, I've tested it several times, the Brix reading must be converted to recognize the presence of alcohol. After using the calculator, I'm confident that my FG accuracy is within +-.002 even when the ABV is in the 8-9.5% range.


Bricks,
Which calculator are you using. I've had no luck with the BeerSmith one.
 

erikpete18

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I watched the video on this site and he said you can't take a fg with that refractometer. First is that true of all of them and if so how come?
You can use it for FG, but you've got to know the OG as well, and that's for all refractometers. The alcohol throws off the reading (since its no longer just dissolved sugars), but if you've got the OG you can plug it into a calculator and figure it out. I think Beersmith has a correction formula and AHB has got a quick calculator on their refractometer page. Personally, I like to still use my hydrometer for the FG, gives me something to sample!
 

brewski1

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I bought a similar one on eBay 2 months ago. It worked fine and I got the same readings as I did using my hydrometer. Mine is a double scale so the scales are small and kind of hard to read. I got good eyesight so it's fine for me. Also, download the More Beer spreadsheet for an easy calculation. Here is a great video regarding this matter. Hope it helps!

https://www.homebrewtalk.com/f11/refractometer-vs-hydrometer-video-94946/
 

Barnesie

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A friend of mine got one off of EBay, it lasted 10 brews before it died. Not saying that this will do the same, just explaining what happened to him.
Sorry to jump in, but what? How does a refractometer die? What happened to it? :confused:
 

Bricks41

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I'd assume if you drop it or smack it on something it could dislodge some on the internals, leaving it in the hot sun could warp mountings or dipping the end into liquid ruin it too. Other than that, I'd be shocked it would randomly "die" but idk...
 

Barnesie

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Also, for the record - I dip my refractometer in water all the time to clean it off. No ill effects yet, but I also wouldn't be heartbroken since it's a $30 ebay version.

Like others have said, it's a bit hard to read with the dual scale 0-32 versions. I've considered getting a 0-20 and 0-10 brix for more accurate measuring of OG/FG, but I really don't do as much small batch brewing anymore. A hydrometer is so much easier when I'm brewing 5-10 gallon batches.
 
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