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General Category => Equipment and Software => Topic started by: oscarvan on April 26, 2011, 03:16:25 PM

Title: Refractometer.....
Post by: oscarvan on April 26, 2011, 03:16:25 PM
OK, I "need" one.......

What's the best value out there?
Title: Re: Refractometer.....
Post by: bearcat on April 26, 2011, 03:28:43 PM
I got one on Ebay.  It was the same ones sold at my homebrew store.   You can find many options on Ebay.

http://cgi.ebay.com/NEW-0-32-ATC-Brix-Refractometer-Wine-Beer-CNC-Fruit-/220443962351?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item33537bebef

you can get the newer versions with OG on the right fpr more if you don't want to multiply by 4.   I think they are valuable for preboil/ boil spot checks but still use the Hydrometer after cooling for the final OG reading.



Title: Re: Refractometer.....
Post by: enso on April 26, 2011, 04:25:23 PM
Wow, that is not bad.  $30 and free shipping?  I just wish they had the Brix/Specific Gravity for that price.  I know, learn to use brix...   ::)

I asked for a refractometer for my birthday and suggested Cynmar.  They have the Brix/S.G. version for $50.  Oh well, someone else is paying (I hope!  knock wood)
Title: Re: Refractometer.....
Post by: denny on April 26, 2011, 04:26:39 PM
Someone mentioned that the SG version is very inaccurate over 1.060.
Title: Re: Refractometer.....
Post by: Slowbrew on April 26, 2011, 04:27:03 PM
I also got mine off ebay.  Make sure the one buy has ATC so you don't need to worry about temperature changes to the refractometer.  I use my all the time anymore.

Paul
Title: Re: Refractometer.....
Post by: tygo on April 26, 2011, 04:39:30 PM
Someone mentioned that the SG version is very inaccurate over 1.060.

I've found mine to be pretty inaccurate period and worse over 1.060.  I remember a10t2 posting that the manufacturer screwed up the scale.  I need to try to take some readings in Brix and convert them on my own and see if that scale works.
Title: Re: Refractometer.....
Post by: glastctbrew on April 26, 2011, 05:40:59 PM
Someone mentioned that the SG version is very inaccurate over 1.060.

I've found mine to be pretty inaccurate period and worse over 1.060.  I remember a10t2 posting that the manufacturer screwed up the scale.  I need to try to take some readings in Brix and convert them on my own and see if that scale works.

I don't bother with the SG scale on mine, its just completely off.  And be sure to test the ATC as well.  My refractometer is very sensitive to ambient temp changes.  If I keep it outside with me while I am brewing I have to recalibrate it as it cools to the ambient temp.  Not a big deal since I have a bottle of distilled water with me to rinse the ph meter probe.  Note, I got my refractometer on Ebay from a company in Hong Kong.  Its very accurate as long as it is properly calibrated.
Title: Re: Refractometer.....
Post by: tygo on April 26, 2011, 06:02:05 PM
Someone mentioned that the SG version is very inaccurate over 1.060.

I've found mine to be pretty inaccurate period and worse over 1.060.  I remember a10t2 posting that the manufacturer screwed up the scale.  I need to try to take some readings in Brix and convert them on my own and see if that scale works.

And be sure to test the ATC as well.  My refractometer is very sensitive to ambient temp changes.  If I keep it outside with me while I am brewing I have to recalibrate it as it cools to the ambient temp. 

Yeah, I've noticed that as well.  I'm kinda at the point where it's too much of a hassle to use.  Maybe I'll try it again this weekend.
Title: Re: Refractometer.....
Post by: enso on April 27, 2011, 01:48:22 PM
Someone mentioned that the SG version is very inaccurate over 1.060.

I've found mine to be pretty inaccurate period and worse over 1.060.  I remember a10t2 posting that the manufacturer screwed up the scale.  I need to try to take some readings in Brix and convert them on my own and see if that scale works.

ah crap.  Guess I should have asked around first.   :(
Title: Re: Refractometer.....
Post by: alikocho on April 27, 2011, 08:11:47 PM
Someone mentioned that the SG version is very inaccurate over 1.060.

I've found mine to be pretty inaccurate period and worse over 1.060.  I remember a10t2 posting that the manufacturer screwed up the scale.  I need to try to take some readings in Brix and convert them on my own and see if that scale works.

I have one (bought off ebay) that has a brix and SG scale. The SG scale generally tends to agree with my hydrometer.
Title: Re: Refractometer.....
Post by: tygo on April 28, 2011, 12:14:31 AM
I have one (bought off ebay) that has a brix and SG scale. The SG scale generally tends to agree with my hydrometer.

I bought mine off ebay as well.  The SG scale is generally 3-5 points over my hydrometer and worse as the gravities get higher.  I've used it for the last 10 batches or so and the variance has been there every time.  

Now, a couple things I may be doing wrong:  I'm not calibrating it to the exact ambient temperature every time.  That could certainly be throwing me off.  And I haven't really used the Brix scale and done a proper conversion to SG to see if I get an answer closer to what my hydrometer is telling me.

I guess I've just gotten frustrated with it and maybe haven't spent the proper amount of time to get it dialed in.  The only place where it would really be indispensable for me if I could rely on it is in the boil and since I've gotten my boil mechanics nailed down through trial and error I haven't been as motivated to really determine if I can get the refractometer to the point where I can rely on it.

I'll be breaking it out again for the brew this weekend so I'll try to spend more time with it and see what happens.  The current discussion here has some good tips and info in it and maybe that'll help as well.
Title: Re: Refractometer.....
Post by: a10t2 on April 28, 2011, 01:03:41 AM
I bought mine off ebay as well.  The SG scale is generally 3-5 points over my hydrometer and worse as the gravities get higher.  I've used it for the last 10 batches or so and the variance has been there every time.

Are you applying a wort correction factor? Typically you'd subtract 4% from the raw Brix reading to account for the different refractive indices of the wort sugars.
Title: Re: Refractometer.....
Post by: tygo on April 28, 2011, 01:11:15 AM
I bought mine off ebay as well.  The SG scale is generally 3-5 points over my hydrometer and worse as the gravities get higher.  I've used it for the last 10 batches or so and the variance has been there every time.

Are you applying a wort correction factor? Typically you'd subtract 4% from the raw Brix reading to account for the different refractive indices of the wort sugars.

The few times I've recorded Brix readings I have not, which is obviously part of my problem.  I haven't made any adjustments to the SG readings either.
Title: Re: Refractometer.....
Post by: oscarvan on April 28, 2011, 07:58:28 PM
Hmmm, maybe I don't "need" one of these.....
Title: Re: Refractometer.....
Post by: richardt on April 28, 2011, 08:15:44 PM
Any simple instructions on how to care for and maintain the pH meters (I have the Hong Kong 30 buck ATC pH meter off eBay).  It's getting temperamental--but I haven't been storing it wet in a buffer solution like I should...  Any tips on how to bring it back to life?
Title: Re: Refractometer.....
Post by: tygo on May 01, 2011, 06:15:35 PM
Broke the refractometer back out for today's brew session.  I let it set outside at the temperature I'd be using it at for awhile and then calibrated it (it was a little off).  After reducing all of my brix readings by 4% it ended up being within 1-2 points of what my hydrometer was telling me.  So I'm feeling better about the accuracy of it now.  I'll be continuing to use both in parallel for awhile to see if it continues to track.