Poll

How many hydrometers do you break, before buying a refractometer?

1
8 (38.1%)
2
8 (38.1%)
3
2 (9.5%)
4
1 (4.8%)
5
2 (9.5%)

Total Members Voted: 21

Voting closed: February 06, 2012, 12:02:05 PM

Author Topic: Refractometer vs. hydrometer  (Read 4743 times)

Online micsager

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Refractometer vs. hydrometer
« on: January 30, 2012, 12:02:05 PM »
OK, so I've now broken my third Hydrometer in five years of homebrewing. 

Is it time to spend the $50 yet?


Offline thetooth

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Re: Refractometer vs. hydrometer
« Reply #1 on: January 30, 2012, 12:11:08 PM »
I did it after breaking 3, but in hindsight I should have just bought one right away.

Although I still use a hydrometer for final gravity readings, I find a refractometer makes the brew day easier.

Offline euge

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Re: Refractometer vs. hydrometer
« Reply #2 on: January 30, 2012, 12:12:17 PM »
I broke one right off the bat. My second has lasted 5 years. But about 3 years ago I got the refractometer for quick reads while brewing.

I pretty much just use the hydrometer when I rack from primary these days.

Some days I just don't even bother with it at all.
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman

Offline madscientist

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Re: Refractometer vs. hydrometer
« Reply #3 on: January 30, 2012, 12:41:19 PM »
I did it after breaking 3, but in hindsight I should have just bought one right away.

Although I still use a hydrometer for final gravity readings, I find a refractometer makes the brew day easier.

I do this as well.
Homebrewed since 2010

Offline bluesman

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Re: Refractometer vs. hydrometer
« Reply #4 on: January 30, 2012, 12:45:54 PM »
They both have their place. I use my refractometer during mashing and boiling exclusively. It's quick and easy.

However, I like to use my hydrometer after fermentation because I think it's more accurate and it allows me sample the beer as well.
Ron Price

Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Refractometer vs. hydrometer
« Reply #5 on: January 30, 2012, 12:56:40 PM »
I would buy a refractometer as soon as you can afford it.  I don't know how many hydrometers I've broken at this point, 3 or 4.  Maybe 5.  I keep one on hand, but mostly use the refractometer.  I just use the hydrometer for FG measurements, and often I don't even bother if it's a recipe/yeast I know well.
Tom Schmidlin

Offline brianbgarber

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Re: Refractometer vs. hydrometer
« Reply #6 on: January 30, 2012, 01:50:41 PM »
I've also been considering taking the leap to a refractometer. Apparently there are equations and spreadsheets to use the refractometer after fermentation to calculate f.g. and alcohol, but those seem like a pain in the butt and has been the biggest deterrent for me. However, the refracto's with both brix and s.g. scales look pretty cool.

Offline denny

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Re: Refractometer vs. hydrometer
« Reply #7 on: January 30, 2012, 01:52:35 PM »
Years back, when I broke a hydrometer, I not only bought a new one, I also bought a spare.  Haven't broken one since!
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

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Offline jmcamerlengo

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Re: Refractometer vs. hydrometer
« Reply #8 on: January 30, 2012, 01:59:38 PM »
I've also been considering taking the leap to a refractometer. Apparently there are equations and spreadsheets to use the refractometer after fermentation to calculate f.g. and alcohol, but those seem like a pain in the butt and has been the biggest deterrent for me. However, the refracto's with both brix and s.g. scales look pretty cool.

Dont theres a very simple one!

http://seanterrill.com/

Works great and simple and easy to use.  Also guys I scored a refractometer on ebay for 12 bucks including shipping.  Look around and you can generally find some pretty good deals.
Jason
-Head Brewer, Brewtus Brewers in the Shenango Valley. Hopefully opening a brewpub/nano brewery in the next couple years.

Online micsager

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Re: Refractometer vs. hydrometer
« Reply #9 on: January 30, 2012, 03:37:41 PM »
Years back, when I broke a hydrometer, I not only bought a new one, I also bought a spare.  Haven't broken one since!

So your saying I can head down I-5? 

Just kidding, I think it's time for a refractometer. 

Offline denny

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Re: Refractometer vs. hydrometer
« Reply #10 on: January 30, 2012, 04:11:22 PM »
Years back, when I broke a hydrometer, I not only bought a new one, I also bought a spare.  Haven't broken one since!

So your saying I can head down I-5? 

Just kidding, I think it's time for a refractometer. 

I bought a refractometer a few years back.  Worked great at first, but then I stopped getting accurate readings with it.  I've calibrated it at least a dozen times.  I've gone back to using a hydrometer.
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

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Online micsager

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Re: Refractometer vs. hydrometer
« Reply #11 on: January 30, 2012, 04:13:59 PM »
Hmmmm.   Interesting Denny.  I wonder if I can get a volume discount.   LOL

Online tygo

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Re: Refractometer vs. hydrometer
« Reply #12 on: January 31, 2012, 07:51:20 AM »
I have two hydrometers.  One I use and one spare.  Haven't broken one in years.  I use a refractometer on brew days for pre-boil readings unless it's too hot or too cold outside for the ATC function to work properly.  Sometimes I'll use both a hydrometer or refractometer to see if they're tracking closely and sometimes I'll just use one or the other.
Clint
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Fermenting: Wit
On Tap: Lucifer's Hammer Golden Strong Ale, Dopplebock, Old Fuzzynut's Ale

Offline cash

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Re: Refractometer vs. hydrometer
« Reply #13 on: February 06, 2012, 07:15:13 AM »
I have two hydrometers and a refractometer. Here's the question:Using distilled water at 67 deg.  Hydrometer #1 reads 1.002 Hydrometer#2 reads dead on 1.000.But when I measured gravity of primary, I got #1 at 1.038, #2 at 1.032 and the refractometer(calibrated to .000 with 67 deg distilled water) reads 1.050.I've tried cleaning the blue glass and the cover bue still get the  1.050. Since there is obviously some malfunction of the spec., would there be anything wrong with adjusting the spec to read 1.032 and frequently cross checking it's reading with the same hydrometer#2. I really do like the ease of using it, but knew something was wrong after 7 days of active fermentation only reading 1.050. Any suggestions?
« Last Edit: February 06, 2012, 12:05:43 PM by cash »

Offline jeffy

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Re: Refractometer vs. hydrometer
« Reply #14 on: February 06, 2012, 10:14:14 AM »
Do you realize that you can't use the refractometer to read gravity after fermentation without making an adjustment based on the alcohol content?
Jeff Gladish, Tampa (989.3, 175.1 Apparent Rennarian)
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