Which Refractometer

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Sherpa FE

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I already posted this in equipment, but didn't get an answer.
Are all refractometers pretty much the same, or is there a better model to choose over another.

Are there specific things to look for?
Thanks
Josh
 
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there are MANY different refractometers in the world, depending on what you want to use it for. but as far as we're concerned there is really only one type worth looking at. the one i have is the standard 0-32 brix with automatic temperature correction (ATC). if you're buying from your LHBS or online then they have the one you need, and most likely have only one version available. if i remember, the one i have cost about $60.
 

TexLaw

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I got mine from eBay, also, for about $35, shipped. Whatever you do, get one with ATC. Some go to 30 Brix, others to 32. That's up to you and what sort of beer you think you will brew.


TL
 

RLinNH

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Same here. Got mine from E-Bay with ATC. Now that we are on the subject, who here takes a drip from the Boil Kettle without cooling it to get a reading? I have a buddy who does this, but after reading the literature that came with my refractor, I don't know how accurate that is.
 
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RLinNH said:
Same here. Got mine from E-Bay with ATC. Now that we are on the subject, who here takes a drip from the Boil Kettle without cooling it to get a reading? I have a buddy who does this, but after reading the literature that came with my refractor, I don't know how accurate that is.
i do this all the time. the sample size is so small, though, that by the time you get the eye dropper to the sample plate on the refracto it's already cooled significantly. also, the sample plate is embedded in a lot of solid aluminum, so once you drop your sample on the glass, close the cover, and start to take a reading the Al has acted as a heat sink and you've further cooled the sample, probably to near room temperature. i've never figured out what exactly it is about the refracto that makes it ATC, i always just figured it was the temperature correcting properties of the aluminum. the instructions say to let it sit for 30s before taking a reading. by then, the sample is the same temp as the device.
 

DrunkTrucker

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Ive been looking into getting a refractometer. I just havent had the money. I'm tired of breaking my hydrometers. I figure with all money I have spent on those I can buy a refractometer.
 

rshosted

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You'll love it. I use my for beer and wine. ATC is the only way to go. I drip right from my sparge drain onto it. By the time it gets to my eye I can do multiple reads without stopping the sparge.

EBAY is the only way to buy one.
 

Craig5_12

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+1 for ebay
Just got to use mine on a Brown Ale this weekend and it works great! I even pulled samples and checked with the hydrometer just to make sure they were both going to agree!
 

z987k

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is there a chart to convert brix to S.G.? Also I've heard these don't work once the wort is fermented... I doubt that's true as they'd be pretty useless.
 
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z987k said:
is there a chart to convert brix to S.G.?
multiply by 4 (roughly). or use one of the converters in beersmith, promash, etc.


z987k said:
Also I've heard these don't work once the wort is fermented... I doubt that's true as they'd be pretty useless.
it's true. kinda. a refractometer shows you the specific gravity of a sugar solution by refracting (fancy word for bending) light through the solution. alcohol in the solution will influence that refraction. beersmith et al have correction algorithms that allow you to convert a reading, but they're widely considered inaccurate. when i first got my refractometer i used it a lot to read fermenting wort; i don't bother anymore. i did just get a finished gravity hydrometer that reads from .980 to 1.020. LOVE IT!!
 

Beerthoven

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z987k said:
is there a chart to convert brix to S.G.? Also I've heard these don't work once the wort is fermented... I doubt that's true as they'd be pretty useless.
The main advantage of a refractometer, in my mind, is that it allows you take a pre-boil reading on your wort without having to wait for a hydrometer sized sample to cool.

Knowing the pre-boil gravity allows you to correct it if necessary so that you hit your target OG.

After fermentation a finishing hydrometer is probably the best thing to use.
 

jdoiv

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I got mine from Ebay as well. I'll use it for fermenting, but only as a guide to check that fermentation has stopped. I'll take a hyrdo reading when I rack over to the keg. They are usually close, but not the same.
 
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