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A refractometer works on the principle that a sugar solution has a different index of refraction than water, thus the concentration of a sugar solution can be determined with the instrument. Due to the relatively similar indices of various sugars, it will measure all sugars, as well as other non-fermentables. Because ethanol has a very different refractive ...


4

The refractometer measures the sugar concentration of a particular liquid. It will register both complex and simple sugars. Once fermentation begins the presence of alcohol distorts the refraction thus requiring you to use a conversion chart or calculator to determine the remaining sugar. To do this you will need to know the original gravity. The measured ...


4

Well a refractometer is very accurate for measuring OG. you do have to calibrate it using a wort of known gravity, but once that's done You are good to go with the refractometer. I am equally confident in my refractometer and hydrometer readings. The refractometer is less useful for FG, due to the alcohol present in the solution. There are conversion ...


4

As far as I know, you can determine the final gravity solely with a refractometer only if you know the original gravity (either with a hydrometer or the refractometer). I am a small-batch brewer, and exclusively use a refractometer for gravity measurements. A few tips: You have to calibrate your refractometer to read zero when using distilled water as ...


4

The July/August 2013 edition (vol 36/no 4) of Zymurgy magazine has the answer. Sean Terrill's article, "Using a Refractometer" pp. 49-53 details pretty much everything you want to know about refractometers in brewing. A two-point calibration is recommended: Water at 0.0°Bx A reference sucrose solution, for example 20.0°Bx (20.0g table sugar in 80.0g ...


2

As far as I know that's the best way to calibrate it. I keep two pipettes handy on brew day, one for samples and one for calibrating. I re-calibrate before each reading and it usually needs little or no adjustment. Once in a while it will be off quite a bit but I haven't figured out what knocks it out.


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Refractometers are best used for pre-fermentation readings. I use mine to get pre and post boil gravities and then use a hydrometer to check on fermentation. The nice thing about using them on brew day is you only need a few drops which cools much faster than a full hydrometer sample. Many refractometers have automatic temperature correction, and ...


1

Perhaps, but I have tried this with a couple of online calculators and with brewtarget and each time, the calculated final gravity is significantly lower than my actual hydrometer reading. I finally gave up. I actually find the hydrometer a bit simpler for final gravity anyway. The refractometer with ATC comes in handy with hot first and second runnings and ...


1

Yes, but you have to factor in the alcohol so you'll need a refractometer adjustment calculator. Northern Brewer has one on their website and there are other online calculators as well. But no two calculators seem to agree perfectly. Personally, if I'm in the ballpark I'm happy. But if you want to be certain of getting the most accurate measurement possible ...


1

To answer the question, you can read a refractometer to 0.25 brix, assuming it's got 0.25 brix calibrations. It's harder to get more accurate than that with the typical handheld refractometer since the lines are quite close together.


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Your method for determining OG isn't technically wrong, but I'm not sure how much error exists in the formulas in the spreadsheets. I just tested your method, plugging in post fermentation gravity, and then adjusting OG (OB) until the final gravity reading matched what I measured with the hydrometer. For the specific recipe I used, it was one point away in ...



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