Author Topic: Refactometer  (Read 1846 times)

Offline majorvices

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Refactometer
« Reply #15 on: February 14, 2013, 07:01:15 AM »
Mine seems to just give screwy readings on the OG. If I take 3 readings sometimes all three will be different. I know some have attributed this to wort temperature (though mine is supposedly ATC) but even if I cool the sample first it will give me a different reading than my hydrometer. I'm on my second refractometer (dropped the first one) and both of them gave me problems like this, though the first seemed more accurate. The second one does not read the same as my hydrometer.

I have calibrated it with distilled water and or tap water (I don't think the differences between the two calibration solutions are exceptional enough to throw a reading off as much as I am seeing).

Bottom, line is, I just feel more comfortable in the reading I get from my hydrometer.
Keith Y.
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Offline denny

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Re: Refactometer
« Reply #16 on: February 14, 2013, 09:58:55 AM »
My difference was always exceptional - like 8 points off or so. And I use the onebeer.net conversion as well. Not sure why it never worked for me.

Lately my refractometer has been giving me screwy reading on pre fermentation readings as well so I just use my hydrometer now for everything.

Same here.  I have 2 refractometers and they read different from each other and both are different than my hydrometer.  I've gone back to hydrometer for everything.
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Offline surfin_mikeg

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Re: Refactometer
« Reply #17 on: February 14, 2013, 10:41:01 AM »
My difference was always exceptional - like 8 points off or so. And I use the onebeer.net conversion as well. Not sure why it never worked for me.

Lately my refractometer has been giving me screwy reading on pre fermentation readings as well so I just use my hydrometer now for everything.

Same here.  I have 2 refractometers and they read different from each other and both are different than my hydrometer.  I've gone back to hydrometer for everything.

Good info.  Does calibrating have any affect?

Offline denny

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Re: Refactometer
« Reply #18 on: February 14, 2013, 10:44:10 AM »
Good info.  Does calibrating have any affect?

Nope, not really.
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Offline bluesman

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Re: Refactometer
« Reply #19 on: February 14, 2013, 10:54:56 AM »
I use my refractometer for measuring pre-boil/boil gravity only. I typically get pretty consistent readings (+/- 0.2° Plato). I still use a hydrometer to measure chilled wort (OG). The prism on the refractometer must be kept clean and dry for accurate readings. Calibration is also recommended every so often. Keep in mind that boiling wort sampling requires an agile/quick transfer time to avoid evaporation losses. In other words the wort sample must be transferred from the kettle to the prism "quickly" in an effort to avoid evaporation loss during the transfer process. Once the hot wort sample is on the prism and the daylight plate is closed, I allow about a minute for the temperature to stabilize then record the measurement.
Ron Price

Offline blatz

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Re: Refactometer
« Reply #20 on: February 14, 2013, 12:27:42 PM »
My difference was always exceptional - like 8 points off or so. And I use the onebeer.net conversion as well. Not sure why it never worked for me.

Lately my refractometer has been giving me screwy reading on pre fermentation readings as well so I just use my hydrometer now for everything.

Same here.  I have 2 refractometers and they read different from each other and both are different than my hydrometer.  I've gone back to hydrometer for everything.

this may sound dumb, but you aren't looking at it through your glasses are you?  I've compared at least 3-4 refractos to mine (at club brews and such) and they've always been close, usually off due to calibration.
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Offline a10t2

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Re: Refactometer
« Reply #21 on: February 14, 2013, 01:04:52 PM »
If you guys want to bring your refractometers to NHC, we can do lessons. ;D
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Offline majorvices

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Refactometer
« Reply #22 on: February 14, 2013, 01:05:21 PM »
No, but I may be looking through the wrong end. :P I don't wear glasses or contacts.
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Offline tygo

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Re: Refactometer
« Reply #23 on: February 14, 2013, 05:19:14 PM »
As long as I calibrate mine at the temp I'll be using it, don't use it outside when it's extremely cold or hot, and adjust for the difference between sucrose and maltose, mine usually reads within a couple of points of my hydrometer.  I've been using it pretty much exclusively on the hot side for awhile now.
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On Tap: Lucifer's Hammer Golden Strong Ale, Dopplebock, Old Fuzzynut's Ale

Offline majorvices

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Refactometer
« Reply #24 on: February 14, 2013, 06:01:55 PM »
As long as I calibrate mine at the temp I'll be using it, don't use it outside when it's extremely cold or hot, and adjust for the difference between sucrose and maltose, mine usually reads within a couple of points of my hydrometer.  I've been using it pretty much exclusively on the hot side for awhile now.

Hmmmmmm ..... there's a thought right there. I might check into that. But I thought the great thing about a refracto is that you can get a fairly instant reading right out of the kettle. If I have to cool the samples and the calibration down to the same temps it stops making it worth it. I can get my hydrometer sample cooled down in under 10 minutes.
Keith Y.
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Offline tygo

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Re: Refactometer
« Reply #25 on: February 14, 2013, 06:10:30 PM »
I was referring to the ambient temp/temp of the refractometer, not the sample.  I don't cool the sample.  But if the ambient temps are too extreme and if I let the refractometer sit out in those temps, calibrate there, and use it, my readings are inaccurate. 

Case in point the last two weekends when it was 35F in the garage where I brew.  I left the refractometer in the laundry room right inside the door where it's normal room temp and I was good to go.  I get the same type of inaccuracies in the summer when its' 110 in the garage.
Clint
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Fermenting: Wit
On Tap: Lucifer's Hammer Golden Strong Ale, Dopplebock, Old Fuzzynut's Ale

Offline euge

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Re: Refactometer
« Reply #26 on: February 14, 2013, 06:27:45 PM »
WTF is a "Refactometer"?
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman

Offline a10t2

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Re: Refactometer
« Reply #27 on: February 14, 2013, 06:32:00 PM »
WTF is a "Refactometer"?

It's a device for measuring how many times people repeat trivia.
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Offline majorvices

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Refactometer
« Reply #28 on: February 14, 2013, 07:02:23 PM »
WTF is a "Refactometer"?

It's a device for measuring how many times people repeat trivia.

I just scrolled through every post to see if I misspelled "refractometer" ....
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Offline bluesman

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Refactometer
« Reply #29 on: February 14, 2013, 07:40:15 PM »
WTF is a "Refactometer"?

It's a device for measuring how many times people repeat trivia.

Now that's some real beer geek comedy genius right there hombre. :))
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