Sick of breaking Hydrometers

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Catch-22

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I'm thinking about getting a refractometer. MB has one for 59.99, AHS has the same for 53.99. I know I can do pre fermentation readings but what about post fermentations? Does the suspended yeast have an effect on the amount of light?
 

android

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can't answer your question, but i've seen some on ebay for less than that. of course they might be subpar, but they look OK to me. might look into those.
 

Boerderij_Kabouter

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Go to eBay and get the exact same ref. for $30.00 shipped any day of the week.

I use mine for every step of the process now. I only take a hydro reading at the beginning and end of fermentation just because I like to. With a calculator (I use Beersmith) the refracto has been dead on for me throughout the process.
 

conpewter

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I just got one on Ebay a week ago and I really like it. I have not had time to use it in a brewday yet. There are charts to help adjust the post-fermentation refractometer reading, you need the OG though. I think some of the brewing software does the corrections as well.
 

JVD_X

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You are going to have to have a hydrometer to calibrate your refractometer anyhow. Personally, I keep three or four around just in case.
 

bronzdragon

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Just broke my first hydrometer last week, 15 year old one at that. Got a refractometer off of ebay and a finishing hydrometer to replace.

I just used the refractometer today for the first time, love it.

And I also got one of the 30 dollar specials.

~r~
 

Grinder12000

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A lot of home brewers are disenchanted with refractometer's. To many extra steps once there is alcohol unless you buy one that compensates for it.

How many have you broken??? Took me 35 batches of not kind handling and finally a empty bottle fell on it.
 

conpewter

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What I'm looking forward to is getting my pre-boil gravity without cooling a hydrometer sample down, the drop of liquid on the refractometer will cool down almost instantly.
 

Sigafoos

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A lot of home brewers are disenchanted with refractometer's. To many extra steps once there is alcohol unless you buy one that compensates for it.
By 'too many extra steps' you mean 'one,' right? And what about the extra step of correcting for temperature?
 

StunnedMonkey

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What I'm looking forward to is getting my pre-boil gravity without cooling a hydrometer sample down, the drop of liquid on the refractometer will cool down almost instantly.
Yeah. Once you've used a refractometer you'll never want to mess with a hydrometer for pre-fermentation gravities ever again. It's just too convenient.

I still keep a hydrometer for FG's though. My favorite way to break them is to lay them on the countertop after taking the FG then leave it for a couple of days until it's dry and essentially glued to the counter. Then just pick it up by the neck. Snap. I like this so much I've done it three times in a year.
 

Elfmaze

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i dont like how its hard to get a hydrometer reading when there is foam in the thief
 
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Catch-22

Catch-22

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I have broke four in the last five months. I'm living, and brewing, out of boxes for the time being and because I constantly have to unpack, pack etc.... things get shifted and.......broken hydrometer, broken erlenmeyer, broken glass thermometer. I could have bought a stainless conical for what I've spent in broken merch.
 

WenValley

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I have that $30.00 Ebay refractometer, and I use the MoreBeer Excel spreadsheet to calculate the pre-boil, post boil, and final gravity reading.

It's been spot on so far, but I do miss drinking the hydro samples...

Just for what it's worth, the spead sheet is required once the yeast starts to create alcohol in the fermenter. You have to have a begining Brix reading to use the spread sheet. Once you start a spread sheet for any given batch, then you just plug in the new Brix reading, and the spread sheet calculates the gravity.

The Morebeer web site has more info, and Bobby_M (OverBrook Brewery) has a better You Tube video that includes the Morebeer part.

The refractometer is a great tool for better brewing. Get one that has the ATC (automatic temperature calibration).
 

rico567

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Keeping in mind that a refractometer isn't a direct substitution for a hydrometer, I bought one of those eBay hydrometers early this Summer for $25 shipped, something like "Happy Fun Luck Trading Co. of Hong Kong." Works great- just be sure you get the one calibrated for sucrose, 0-32 Brix; they sell several different kinds.
 

schweaty

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One word, REFRACTOMETER.

All you need is three drops of wort/beer to get your gravity. So much easier than a hydrometer and it freaks the neighbors out when they see you holding it up to your eye and looking in their direction :)
 

jrfuda

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Y'all have convinced me to order one, and I have just ebay'd one of the $29.90 deals. I was not fond of having to fill up the hydrometer test jar every time I wanted to take a reading (I'd rather wait for the beer to be ready before having that big of a taste). I might still fill up a shot glass' worth (or a portion of) to use the refractometer, then I can have a little taste without too much waste...
 

TexLaw

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I've used the $30 Ebay special for a couple years, now, and I love it. I still use hydrometers for post-fermentation checks (typically, only at racking or kegging), but that's mostly because I do want to do a tasting, as well.


TL
 

chibrewer

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As usual I found myself eating my words this weekend. I was just reading some posts about breaking hydrometers I kept thinking to myself "why don't these people just be more careful?"... and then the hydro slipped out of my hand because it was wet with sanitizer. I might have to pick up the $30 ebay special.

As a secondary thought, is reason that we break so many hydros partially related to all of the beer drinking that happens during a typical brew day? I know that contributed to my mishap.
 
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