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Hydrometer vs. Refractometer

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ambiorix:
I'm going to be brewing my first AG batch soon and wanted to know which is the best way to check for starch conversion at the end of the mash, a hydrometer or a refractometer? I've got a small hydrometer that can remain in the mash tun. The guy at the HB shop recommended it, and it certainly sounded better than the iodine test. I have a refractometer as well, but didn't know if that would be more accurate.

Thanks!

bluesman:
I use a refractometer for measuring the sugar in the mash and wort at pre-boil and flame out. It's quick and easy. You will need a hydrometer to measure your FG because the conversion is a little tricky with a refratometer.

a10t2:
Neither a hydrometer nor a refractometer will check for conversion. They can only tell you how much you've extracted. To determine whether or not you have conversion, you need to check that the dissolved solids are sugar and not starches. The cheap 'n' easiest way to do it that I know of is an iodine test.

theDarkSide:

--- Quote from: bluesman on December 04, 2009, 07:46:04 AM ---I use a refractometer for measuring the sugar in the mash and wort at pre-boil and flame out. It's quick and easy. You will need a hydrometer to measure your FG because the conversion is a little tricky with a refratometer.

--- End quote ---

Morebeer.com has a spreadsheet that will do this conversion for you, as does most of the brewing software.  I love my refractometer and can't live without it.

a10t2:
FWIW I kept track of FG with a hydrometer and a refractometer for five batches. The mean difference between that correlation and a hydrometer reading was 2.4 points and the maximum was 7. I'll use a refractometer to determine when I've reached FG, but not what the FG actually is.

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