I loved my refractometer when it worked. For some reason, it started deviating from my hydrometer so I stopped using it.
That seems odd. Perhaps it was defective?
Well, it worked fine for a couple years.
[/quote]What basic calculation do you use for your gravity readings? Years ago I learned this one:
Starting Gravity - Final Gravity X 129 = Alcohol %
Is that how you calculate it? What was your refractometer showing for something like this?
No, the refractometer doesn't show anything like that. It's just an alternative for taking a gravity reading, not calculating ABV. And once the beer has started fermenting, the alcohol in it skews the refractometer reading so you have to apply a correction factor.
Gotcha. I'll guess I'll learn all that when I pick one up and read about how to use it.