Refractometer questions

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Refractometer questions

Postby Robertjm94706 » Sat Jan 13, 2007 1:50 am

Hi all,

I'm going to pick up a refractometer sometime in the next week, or so, and figured I would ask the assembled masses for some advice.

There are three different ones I'm looking at. All of them have ATC.
The first one has 0-40 brix, 0-25 alcohol. abt $25+shipping
The second one has 0-32 brix (w/o alc.) abt $25+shipping
The third one has 0-80 brix, which would be good for honeys and malts, abt $49+shipping.

Does the alcohol measure actual alchohol? One page said potential alcohol, while another indicated it would measure actual alcohol. Do people find the higher brix range really helpful?

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Postby soyousee » Sun Jan 14, 2007 10:33 am

Not sure this will help but I have the 0-32 brix with atc and it is great up to the fermenter, once alcohol is involver the data is off. I don't think any of them measure alcohol. They measure sugar and you use a chart to convert like 20 brix = 1.083 or 11% alcohol possible. I love mine, I fly sparge and can use 2 drops of runnings to know when to stop and not get tannins then get OG the same way.
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Postby ColoradoBrewer » Sun Jan 14, 2007 10:57 am

There are refractometers that measure alcohol, but I personally have never heard of one combined with one that measures brix in the same instrument. For beer all you need is one in the 0-32 brix range. And if possible, you may want to look through the instrument before purchase. The reticle can be hard to read and takes a certain level of visual acuity. Here is a basic primerthat you may find useful.
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Postby Robertjm94706 » Sun Jan 14, 2007 4:38 pm

As I'm considering doing the EBAY thing I won't be able to look through it, though they've got examples of what it supposedly looks like.

Here's the URL to the http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&ih=014&sspagename=STRK%3AMEWA%3AIT&viewitem=&item=330073315420&rd=1&rd=1.

This one claims to do both alcohol and Brix, but there were other ones listed that did both by other auctioneers.

Robert

ColoradoBrewer wrote:There are refractometers that measure alcohol, but I personally have never heard of one combined with one that measures brix in the same instrument. For beer all you need is one in the 0-32 brix range. And if possible, you may want to look through the instrument before purchase. The reticle can be hard to read and takes a certain level of visual acuity. Here is a basic primerthat you may find useful.
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Postby soyousee » Sun Jan 14, 2007 10:24 pm

ColoradoBrewer wrote:There are refractometers that measure alcohol, but I personally have never heard of one combined with one that measures brix in the same instrument. For beer all you need is one in the 0-32 brix range. And if possible, you may want to look through the instrument before purchase. The reticle can be hard to read and takes a certain level of visual acuity. Here is a basic primerthat you may find useful.


Where can I find one of the refractometers that measures alcohol?
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Postby ColoradoBrewer » Mon Jan 15, 2007 8:53 am

According to the OP they have them on ebay. Try a search there, or click the link in his last post to see the one he is specifically interested in.
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Postby soyousee » Wed Jan 17, 2007 11:52 am

After reading the information on Refractors and the Ebay sales pitch, I re-state Refractometers do not measure alcohol they measure sugar content. They are great tools for home brewers and Midwest supply has the 32 Brix with ATC in there catalog for 42.95 it is the same one I paid 59.95 for.
CB not sure why you attack everything I say
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I'm thinking of getting one, too

Postby billvelek » Wed Jan 17, 2007 1:49 pm

I don't have a refractometer, although I've been thinking of getting one. To comment on a couple of posts, I went here -- http://tinyurl.com/29blra -- and it says "The model can directly and approximately read out the alcohol degrees of the grape wine made by the original juice", so I would interprete that to mean that it can read BOTH brix and alcohol, but then again the ad could be false. And of course the bid might go a lot higher, too.

I guess I need to study up on this a bit before making a commitment. Are there any particular brands to avoid ... or that are recommended?

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Postby slothrob » Wed Jan 17, 2007 2:14 pm

I could be wrong, I don't use a refractometer, but I've read many times that they only measure sugar and that they are only useful for taking pre-fermentation gravity. I'm just saying this because, unless you find out otherwise, you might spend a decent amount of money on a tool that doesn't do what you want it to do.
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Postby ColoradoBrewer » Wed Jan 17, 2007 6:57 pm

soyousee wrote:CB not sure why you attack everything I say
What did I say that makes you feel that way? That certainly isn't my intent.
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Postby soyousee » Thu Jan 18, 2007 12:02 am

ColoradoBrewer wrote:There are refractometers that measure alcohol, but I personally have never heard of one combined with one that measures brix in the same instrument. For beer all you need is one in the 0-32 brix range. And if possible, you may want to look through the instrument before purchase. The reticle can be hard to read and takes a certain level of visual acuity. Here is a basic primerthat you may find useful.

After I stated that refractors measured sugar you said this, maybe thats where I got the impression you attack what I say. And on top of that the sigh is adjustable for even the blindest to see the scale. Maybe you should try and learn something about what your supposedly helping the newcomers with. I'm not here to talk about what I've heard of but what I've experienced.
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Postby ColoradoBrewer » Thu Jan 18, 2007 9:19 am

soyousee wrote:
ColoradoBrewer wrote:There are refractometers that measure alcohol, but I personally have never heard of one combined with one that measures brix in the same instrument. For beer all you need is one in the 0-32 brix range. And if possible, you may want to look through the instrument before purchase. The reticle can be hard to read and takes a certain level of visual acuity. Here is a basic primerthat you may find useful.

After I stated that refractors measured sugar you said this, maybe thats where I got the impression you attack what I say. And on top of that the sigh is adjustable for even the blindest to see the scale. Maybe you should try and learn something about what your supposedly helping the newcomers with. I'm not here to talk about what I've heard of but what I've experienced.


soyousee wrote:After I stated that refractors measured sugar you said this, maybe thats where I got the impression you attack what I say.
I guess, perhaps, it a matter of not being able to hear inflection in one's voice, or see their facial expression or body language on a computer screen. Regardless of what the refractometer is measuring (sugar, salt, whatever), the one the OP mentioned indicates the amount of alcohol in the solution, so I think in general usage it could be said to be measuring the alcohol.

soyousee wrote:And on top of that the sigh is adjustable for even the blindest to see the scale.
Actually, I do own a refractometer and I'm fully aware that the barrel rotates to focus the instrument. By visual acuity I meant the ability to discern detail once the instrument is in focus. I personally find that difficult at times as I've lost some visual acuity over the years.

soyousee wrote:Maybe you should try and learn something about what your supposedly helping the newcomers with. I'm not here to talk about what I've heard of but what I've experienced.
Now who is on the attack? As I said above I own a refractometer and was talking from my experience.
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Postby soyousee » Fri Jan 19, 2007 10:19 am

yada, yada, yada
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I don't own a refractometer

Postby brewmeisterintng » Sat Jan 20, 2007 10:07 am

and I am not sure that I will. Knowing that I achieved my OG and FG, using Beer Tools to give me a ball park ABV is good enough for me. I do think however this thread has lost the focus of the advancement of knowledge of honing and educating brewing skills. IMHO duel apologies are in order.
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Re: I don't own a refractometer

Postby ColoradoBrewer » Sat Jan 20, 2007 10:41 am

brewmeisterintng wrote:...I do think however this thread has lost the focus of the advancement of knowledge of honing and educating brewing skills. IMHO duel apologies are in order.
I agree! It was never my intent to offend anyone, or attack soyousee. If anyone was offended by my comments, and that includes soyousee, then I apologize.
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