Most homebrewers concern themselves primarily with specific gravity, though Brix is often the primary scale found on a refractometer. This will give you more insight into both future and past batches, and help you become a more consistent brewer. There are a few times during and after a brew day you might want to check your gravity: About Specific Gravity: Pure water has a gravity of 1.000. On the surface, one might be forgiven for thinking that a refractometer does the same job as a hydrometer. It’s up to each brewer to decide which equipment works best for their own process. Help you understand the balance of your beer and how it can be improved if necessary. hide. And really, buy a cheapie, make up a "sample" in a gatorade bottle and use that as your baseline, who cares what the units are. Archived. Refractometer vs Hydrometer - MAJOR ISSUES! Is there one or the other that anyone would suggest getting first? With most soluble oils the index is 1, so a refractometer reading of 5 multiplied by an index of 1 = 5% concentration. Page 1 of 1 Start over Page 1 of 1 . 7 1 17. comments. While both the Hydrometer and Refractometer can tell winemakers much the same information, there are some practical considerations to be made in employing their use. This is done by taking a reading using plain water, and using the calibration knob to reset the visual reading to zero. I just got a refractometer and decided to try it out. Propylene Glycol cannot be read with a hydrometer due to the fact that up to 70% concentration specific gravity increases, but above 70% specific gravity decreases. Engine Coolant Testing Posted 2/7/2001 By Michael Reimer Why use a refractometer? Refractometers and test strips round out the field. But this is negated somewhat by the need to frequently recalibrate it. More items to explore. Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. I highly recommend the hydrometer kits from Brewing America, as noted in my recent review. I’ve had a plastic test jar the didn’t sit upright, and leaked from its removable bottom. Refractometer vs Hydrometer - MAJOR ISSUES! ), Refractometers vs Hydrometers for Homebrewers, hydrometer temperature correction calculator. save . Click Here to View the Thermometer & Hydrometer Test Kit, http://seanterrill.com/2012/01/06/refractometer-calculator/, Beers from Around the World: Imported Beers Worth Trying, Your 2020 Gift Guide for the Avid Homebrewer, Polaris: Germany’s High Alpha Special Flavor Hop. Some have a "Refractometer Factor" which you multiply the scale reading by to obtain the value in percent. Refractometer: Much more accurate vs. a Hydrometer hands down. The general “truth” that more dense liquids have greater Refractive Indexes (i.e. Requires a relatively large sample size – choose a hydrometer kit with a narrow test jar to minimize wort loss. And that’s mostly true. On the other hand, a hydrometer is used to measure the Specific Gravity of your wine or beer. In the battle for engine coolant/ antifreeze concentration and freeze point protection level testers, the hydrometer accounts for roughly 75 percent of all units sold. Thread starter Mpavlik22; Start date Jul 31, 2011; Help Support Homebrew Talk: Mpavlik22 Well-Known Member. 7 7. I mentioned previously that I use both a hydrometer and a refractometer in my current process. While I do recommend that a beginning brewer would probably be better off starting with a hydrometer, I think it’s pretty common to eventually end up using both. This is true whether you use a refractometer OR a hydrometer. • Sampling technique is critical in hydrometer use. Once fermentation has begun, however, you must take care to use proper sanitization when drawing samples. hide. $8.19 Century Chemical TF-1 Heat Transfer Fluid. As I mentioned, the reason to use any of these devices is to determine the gravity of your wort or beer. Read the review if you want to know what a good hydrometer looks like. Archived. Well, I’ve said a lot, and there’s probably more I could say. Knowing your gravity at certain steps (like pre- or post-boil) can also help you decide whether you need to take corrective action to meet your target gravity. Inside the bottom of the wider portion is a small amount of metal which functions as a ballast (… Hydrometer vs Refractometer. The time came on that first batch to check FG, which I was convinced wouldn’t be accurate at all. Refractometer vs Hydrometer. What you want to learn more about me? Each of these readings can (and should) be recorded in your brewing log or smartphone app, if it has that capability. ABN Deluxe Antifreeze and Coolant Tester Hydrometer Tester – Automotive Antifreeze Tester for Ethylene Glycol Coolant. Question. $24.95 ITEQ Brake Fluid Liquid Tester Pen with 5 LED Indicators, Calibrated For DOT3 DOT4 Brake Fluid. I love the refractometer’s need for only a couple of drops to get a reading. I brewed a winter lager, used a refractometer, OG was close to target, although felt like should of been higher given I added 1lb brewers crystals not in recipe. Joined Apr 5, 2011 Messages 311 Reaction score 2 Location Pittsburgh. Its sole purpose in life is to accurately measure the Specific Gravity (SG) of your wort or beer. From time to time Clients contact us with a question relating to the different readings obtained when using both a Refractometer and a floating SG Hydrometer in the same liquid. Antifreeze Refractometer - 3-in-1 coolant Tester for Checking Freezing Point, Concentration of Ethylene Glycol or Propylene Glycol Based Automobile Antifreeze Coolant and Battery Acid Condition. As far as using a refractometer pre-fermentation, I was sold, it was so easy and accurate. The amount of dissolved sugars in your wort can be expressed as degrees Plato, Brix, or as Specific Gravity. Can be fragile – make sure to pick a high quality kit (like the. A hydrometer functions by displacing liquid based on its own density and measuring the amount of liquid it displaces. Throughout my homebrewing ‘career’, I’ve done TONS of research, which I’m now happy to share with you! This is a hydrometer with a thermometer built right in. As I mentioned, the reason to use any of these devices is to Essentially the correlation of SG: RI is dependent on the calibrating sugar. Which do you prefer or recommend? It only takes a couple drops to take a reading, which makes it fast and efficient. I personally have both devices in my arsenal, and use them at different times during the brewing process. Or at least on their website. Reply to this topic; Start new topic; Recommended Posts. EatnLunch Adventures is compensated for referring traffic and business to these companies. The printed scale tells you the reading where the top of the liquid meets the hydrometer. *Check your coolant's technical data sheet to determine where your coolant will read on the Brix Scale. report. Simply put, a refractometer does the same job as a hydrometer. Of course, there are exceptions, and many hydrometers and refractometers display more than one scale. This is accomplished by floating the hydrometer inside a narrow cylinder filled with your wort. I’ve had cheap glass hydros that broke with the tiniest bump. In this video I talk about a coolant refractometer I recently picked up after realizing it's the only real way to keep the coolant mix right . I’ve been an avid Homebrewer for a number of years now, have won numerous awards, and have even had one of my recipes brewed commercially. Your coolant should have a refractometer "ratio" right on the sticker. Difference between hydrometers and refractometers. A refractometer is a little more expensive than a hydrometer but it still won’t break the bank. report. Refractometer vs. hydrometer. Posted by 4 years ago. 4.7 out of 5 stars 104. Hydrometer vs Refractometer. A hydrometer is basically a tall, skinny tube with a weighted bulb at the bottom. 4.5 out of 5 stars 381. Using this site means you are cool with this! Know with certainty when fermentation has stopped or is finished. It's my duty to inform you that I use cookies on this site to ensure the best possible user experience. Hydrometers are calibrated to be accurate when measuring a solution at a specific temperature. Trying to decide which one I should get. Affilliate Disclosure: This site is owned and operated by EatnLunch Adventures, a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. By holding the device’s eyepiece up to your eye and facing a light source, you can see a blue and white display that indicates (usually in Brix) the gravity of your wort. If there are balls, the numbers and colours floating show the strength;check the instructions. Precision - as long as temp is about 70f the hydrometer will be more reliable since it is based on a large sample and uses density. Does anyone have pluses or minuses for either one? If I had to make a recommendation to a starting brewer, I would suggest starting off with a high quality hydrometer kit. Hydrometer reading vs Refractometer reading. A refractometer measures the amount of sugar in solution by measuring the amount of refraction (or bending) of light as it passes through the wort sample. Accuracy - the refractometer has to be recalibrated, using a hydrometer or by making a known solution with a scale. Having a good refractometer is especially helpful during your actual brew day. ), What is a Refractometer (and how does it work? You may want to use a, Takes only a drop or two for each reading – this minimizes wort loss per-sample, Temperature correction is not usually required due to the almost immediate cooling of a single drop of wort. Typically measures in Brix or Plato – requires conversion to get SG (standard Gravity), Once fermentation has begun, the alcohol present in the beer will skew the results. Previous page. I’ve been there, and had numerous bad experiences. Close. share. In homebrewing, the dissolved substance that contributes to gravity is sugar. 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