out of whack refractometer

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out of whack refractometer

Postby CanadianNorth » Tue Jun 15, 2010 7:42 am


I just bought my first refractometer, a 0-18 BRIX from Ebay. Unfortunately, I can't seem to get it to read correctly.

I have calibrated it with distilled water several times, and it reads 0 clrearly and perfectly. However, when I add wort from my primary fermenter I'm getting readings of 6.5 (spec. grav ~ 1.026) instead of the hydrometers reading of 1.015.

With a brew that was at 1.030 (brix of ~7.6) I am getting a fuzzy 15!

The reading are not a clear line, like the water, but I am guessing that is because of the murkyness of my brew.

I am getting the conversions from Beer Tools Pro.

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Postby conman » Tue Jun 15, 2010 11:52 am

how long has the wort been fermenting or has it just gone in?
unless you have a refractometer that compensates for alcohol, it will not read accurately after fermentation begins and alcohol has been created.

I also have one I got off ebay over a year ago, and it works great during the brew day, but I use my hydrometer for every step after that.

they do make refractometers that compenste for alcohol, but the ones I've seen are much more expensive.

please dont take any of this as fact, because I have been known to be wrong at least 50% of the time. :roll:

I went to Morebeer and remembered seeing this video and spreadsheet a while ago. check it out if you need a better explanation.
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Postby CanadianNorth » Tue Jun 15, 2010 5:39 pm


I think that might explain it. NOW i understand why Beer Tools Pro wants your original gravity and current gravities when calculating SG from BRIX.

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Postby jawbox » Tue Jun 22, 2010 6:59 pm

There's also a spreadsheet at more beer that takes the alcohol into account when using a refractometer once fermtation has begun.
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