report. Page 1 of 1 Start over Page 1 of 1 . 91% Upvoted. Engine Coolant Testing Posted 2/7/2001 By Michael Reimer Why use a refractometer? hide. My advice to the brand new brewer would be to purchase a high quality, durable, hydrometer. Use an antifreeze hydrometer. This will have the easiest learning curve, and be the best bang for your buck. The time came on that first batch to check FG, which I was convinced wouldn’t be accurate at all. I’ve had a plastic test jar the didn’t sit upright, and leaked from its removable bottom. My hydrometer is telling me the gravity is 1.046, but the refractometer is reading 12.4brix (which translates to 1.050). A refractometer is a little more expensive than a hydrometer but it still won’t break the bank. And I do NOT recommend returning hydrometer samples to the fermenter. Does a hydrometer ever go out of calibration? By ReefDoc22, April 9, 2017 in Beginners Discussion. 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. On the surface, one might be forgiven for thinking that a refractometer does the same job as a hydrometer. When you are measuring the specific gravity (the relative density of something compared to something else), it’s important to use the right tool, especially in practical applications like home brewing or aquatic upkeep. It’s up to each brewer to decide which equipment works best for their own process. The refractometer is so much more accurate than the hydrometer, with many units able to automatically correct for temperature differences. hide. More items to explore. Conversely, most hydrometers use specific gravity as the primary scale. A 100% solution reads identical to a 40% solution. And that’s mostly true. Refractometers can be a bit finicky, and it’s a good idea to re-calibrate before each use. With most soluble oils the index is 1, so a refractometer reading of 5 multiplied by an index of 1 = 5% concentration. $23.99 Next page. I personally have both devices in my arsenal, and use them at different times during the brewing process. Accuracy - the refractometer has to be recalibrated, using a hydrometer or by making a known solution with a scale. ), What is a Refractometer (and how does it work? I’ve been there, and had numerous bad experiences. Any samples (and the tools used to collect them) must be sanitized before coming into contact with the wort. I’ve also got my hands on their latest product, a thermo-hydrometer. Archived. Close. • Hydrometers only work for Ethylene Glycol based coolant/antifreeze. Its sole purpose in life is to accurately measure the Specific Gravity (SG) of your wort or beer. There is a printed scale inside the hydrometer. Of course, there are exceptions, and many hydrometers and refractometers display more than one scale. 7 1 17. comments. 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. A 100% solution reads identical to a 40%. In my opinion, a good hydrometer is a simple, inexpensive, but crucial tool for every home brewer. This will give you more insight into both future and past batches, and help you become a more consistent brewer. Hey everyone, relative newbie here to the reefing world. Previous page. share. In fact, they are very different instruments. Hydrometer vs Refractometer. 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. take hydrometer readings and RI readings to create a scale as the fermentation proceeds. The printed scale tells you the reading where the top of the liquid meets the hydrometer. This device is probably the simplest way to measure gravity in your brewing process, but it does have pros and cons. New comments cannot be posted and votes cannot be cast. Refractometer vs Hydrometer - How to Choose (and Use). This is a hydrometer with a thermometer built right in. What you want to learn more about me? Reply to this topic; Start new topic; Recommended Posts. Like me, many brewers find one device or the other to be best suited at different stages of the brewing process. It would appear that the Hydrometer has more of a universal appeal, can be relatively easily used, and has a low cost to add it to your winemaking repertoire. FG came in high, thought my fermentation was stuck so I added more yeast, so another week later (almost 4 weeks total) check gravity using rf. Some have a "Refractometer Factor" which you multiply the scale reading by to obtain the value in percent. They both measure the amount of dissolved solids in a solution, and both can be extremely useful to a homebrewer. Question. Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. save. This is done by taking a reading using plain water, and using the calibration knob to reset the visual reading to zero. Log in. I just got done brewing a Pale Ale (all grain). But the fact is that both a refractometer and a hydrometer are important tools for any brewer. Brix can be easily converted to specific gravity, but it is an extra step. 4.8 out of 5 stars 157. Hydrometer vs Refractometer. In many cases, you actually have two tools to choose from: a refractometer and a hydrometer. Refractometer vs. hydrometer. As far as using a refractometer pre-fermentation, I was sold, it was so easy and accurate. The hydrometer will float higher or lower in the test jar depending on the SG of the wort or beer. This is true whether you use a refractometer OR a hydrometer. A refractometer measures the amount of sugar in your solution via “refraction” of light, when it passes through the wort sample. EatnLunch Adventures is compensated for referring traffic and business to these companies. High temperature can affect the measurement, as can carbonation in fermenting or finished beer. share. I mentioned previously that I use both a hydrometer and a refractometer in my current process. Can be fragile – make sure to pick a high quality kit (like the. Refractometer vs Hydrometer - MAJOR ISSUES! Refractometers use the refraction of light to determine the amount of sugar. Select a scale that will read your target value, but … Or have found that one works better than the other? Most users were looking for following terms at our website: refractometer for cars, refractometer for drivers, coolant frost resistance, coolants measuring, windshield wiper fluid measuring, adblue measuring, refractometer REF 404, how to measure the antifreezes, optical meter, measuring device for washer fluid, Velvana Tester, Fridex tester, battery / accumulator hydrometer. Your coolant should have a refractometer "ratio" right on the sticker. 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. You might think these are tools used for the same purpose, and because of that, that one is more accurate than the other. A hydrometer functions by displacing liquid based on its own density and measuring the amount of liquid it displaces. Generally, that sugar is maltose derived from an all-grain mash, malt extract, or both. Having a good refractometer is especially helpful during your actual brew day. Refractometers and test strips round out the field. Suck in coolant from the header tank; if there is a float, take a reading where the float breaks the liquid surface and convert to antifreeze strength on the hydrometer chart. ReefDoc22 ReefDoc22 New Community Member; 8 posts; Southern California; January 21, 2017 ; Posted April 9, 2017. Been … Certain hydrometers work only on ethylene glycol-based antifreeze (which is green in color). ), Refractometers vs Hydrometers for Homebrewers, hydrometer temperature correction calculator. It is simpler to use, requires no calibration, and can be used without further calculations being required to establish your gravity during or after fermentation. But this is negated somewhat by the need to frequently recalibrate it. Don’t go the cheap-o route. What is a Hydrometer (and how does it work? 11 comments. 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. Joined Apr 5, 2011 Messages 311 Reaction score 2 Location Pittsburgh. For accuracy then it would be necessary to create a scale based upon the wort being processed i.e. Hydrometer reading vs Refractometer reading. 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. On the other hand, a hydrometer is used to measure the Specific Gravity of your wine or beer. I highly recommend the hydrometer kits from Brewing America, as noted in my recent review. Each of these readings can (and should) be recorded in your brewing log or smartphone app, if it has that capability. This is accomplished by floating the hydrometer inside a narrow cylinder filled with your wort. Here is my take on refractometer vs hydrometer which was posted on the Mead topic. Inside the bottom of the wider portion is a small amount of metal which functions as a ballast (… A refractometer is another tool used to measure sugar content of your beer, but in a different way than the hydrometer. Close. Hydrometer vs Refractometer. 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. Refractometer vs Hydrometer - MAJOR ISSUES! Well, I’ve said a lot, and there’s probably more I could say. That being said, any samples taken PRE or DURING the boil can be safely added back to the boil, which essentially eliminates the concern of wort loss at this stage. I hope this information was helpful to you, don’t forget to subscribe to my blog to get notified every time I post a new article, recipe, or review! 8. I love the refractometer’s need for only a couple of drops to get a reading. To get the actual percent, you must multiply the refractometer reading by your coolant's refractive index (on product data sheet). Archived. Difference between hydrometers and refractometers. Trying to decide which one I should get. I still used my hydrometer to compare. 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 . If there are balls, the numbers and colours floating show the strength;check the instructions. 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 decrease. I’ve had cheap glass hydros that broke with the tiniest bump. A hydrometer is basically a tall, skinny tube with a weighted bulb at the bottom. Hydrometer vs Refractometer. Is there one or the other that anyone would suggest getting first? 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. Know with certainty when fermentation has stopped or is finished. In homebrewing, the dissolved substance that contributes to gravity is sugar. This weighted area serves to keep the hydrometer floating upright in your test vessel. 32 Related Question Answers Found How does a hydrometer work? $24.95 ITEQ Brake Fluid Liquid Tester Pen with 5 LED Indicators, Calibrated For DOT3 DOT4 Brake Fluid. However, they are very different instruments, and they perform their duties in different ways. 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. As I mentioned, the reason to use any of these devices is to determine the gravity of your wort or beer. report. A quick video demonstrating the accuracy of a cheap refractometer that only uses a drop of beer, versus a hydrometer which uses nearly half of a beer. The major benefit of the refractometer over the hydrometer is accuracy. Help you understand the balance of your beer and how it can be improved if necessary. 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. Simply put, a refractometer does the same job as a hydrometer. 7 7. Hydrometers only work for the ethylene glycol based antifreeze coolant. 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. Thread starter Mpavlik22; Start date Jul 31, 2011; Help Support Homebrew Talk: Mpavlik22 Well-Known Member. Requires a relatively large sample size – choose a hydrometer kit with a narrow test jar to minimize wort loss. Posted by 6 years ago. 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. The only real downside for me regarding hydrometers is the sample size. 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. Jul 31, 2011 #1 Whats up all? Once fermentation has begun, however, you must take care to use proper sanitization when drawing samples. Posted by 4 years ago. Reliable sugar bush performance and maple production can be easily accomplished with a hydrometer or a refractometer. If I had to make a recommendation to a starting brewer, I would suggest starting off with a high quality hydrometer kit. I recently updated my. Gauge whether you are hitting the targets set for your recipe. Refractometer vs Hydrometer. Also, a wort correction factor should be used. These readings can be quite far apart and we should be aware of that and the reasons behind it. 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. A common OG for a beer might be 1.050, which would be 5% more dense than water. It only takes a couple drops to take a reading, which makes it fast and efficient. The most basic tool for measuring the specific gravity of wort is the Hydrometer. Sort by. The amount of dissolved sugars in your wort can be expressed as degrees Plato, Brix, or as Specific Gravity. *Check your coolant's technical data sheet to determine where your coolant will read on the Brix Scale. save . As I mentioned, the reason to use any of these devices is to I just got a refractometer and I'm testing it on a brew currently fermenting. For these reasons, the refractometer has replaced the hydrometer as the preferred salinity measuring equipment. 4.7 out of 5 stars 104. ABN Deluxe Antifreeze and Coolant Tester Hydrometer Tester – Automotive Antifreeze Tester for Ethylene Glycol Coolant. Cool! EatnLunch Adventures also participates in affiliate programs with other sites. I measured SG using both tools and, sure enough, they were remarkably different. Which do you prefer or recommend? Your email address will not be published. I just got a refractometer and decided to try it out. Hydrometers are calibrated to be accurate when measuring a solution at a specific temperature. Makes you feel like a super-cool scientist using one. Which one do I trust? Using an automotive antifreeze hydrometer to check your vehicle’s coolant level is a relatively simple task. Using this site means you are cool with this! If you look at the bottom of a hydrometer, there is typically a wide portion of the body at the bottom and a tapered portion of the body at the top. Sampling techniques is critical to hydrometer use. 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. • Sampling technique is critical in hydrometer use. Throughout my homebrewing ‘career’, I’ve done TONS of research, which I’m now happy to share with you! $8.19 Century Chemical TF-1 Heat Transfer Fluid. 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. I'll help you pick what's best for you. 4.5 out of 5 stars 381. Refractometer vs. hydrometer. Most homebrewers concern themselves primarily with specific gravity, though Brix is often the primary scale found on a refractometer. However, many semi-synthetics, synthetics, grinding fluids, and some soluble oils can have a refractive index from 1.5 to 3. It simply takes more wort to get a measurement with a hydrometer vs a refractometer. And why? That’s why it’s best to get a hydrometer test jar that is as narrow as possible, to minimize loss. Calculate the alcohol content of your brew. Read the review if you want to know what a good hydrometer looks like. Refractometer: Much more accurate vs. a Hydrometer hands down. Does anyone have pluses or minuses for either one? I have a Brix scale refractometer, my coolant ratio is … Essentially the correlation of SG: RI is dependent on the calibrating sugar. It's my duty to inform you that I use cookies on this site to ensure the best possible user experience. Consider purchasing a refractometer to test propylene glycol antifreeze (red or pink in color) as this type of testing measure will produce a more accurate result. The general “truth” that more dense liquids have greater Refractive Indexes (i.e. Or at least on their website. Understanding how a hydrometer and refractometer measure differently is critical when determining the right tool for each circumstance. This thread is archived. 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. 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Reading to zero glycol-based antifreeze ( which is green in color ) the easiest learning curve, and many and., 2011 ; help Support Homebrew Talk: Mpavlik22 Well-Known Member a known solution with a high kit!, if it has that capability hydrometer with a weighted bulb at the bottom easy! Use specific gravity ( SG ) of your beer and how does hydrometer. Be necessary to create a scale each of these readings can be expressed as degrees Plato, Brix or... Previously that i use cookies on this site means you are hitting the targets set your., what is a hydrometer also participates in affiliate programs with other sites differently is critical when determining right. And decided to try it out s need for only a couple drops to take a reading using water., refractometers vs hydrometers for homebrewers, hydrometer does anyone have pluses or for. Refractometers vs hydrometers for homebrewers, hydrometer grain ) refractive index from 1.5 3. Review if you want to know what a good idea to re-calibrate before each use subscribe this! As degrees Plato, Brix, or both its own density and measuring the amount sugar... Grinding fluids, and some soluble oils can have a Brix scale we should be aware of and! Device or the other to check your vehicle ’ s up to each brewer to decide which equipment refractometer vs hydrometer coolant for. Essentially the correlation of SG: RI is dependent on the sticker April 9, 2017 ; Posted April,... The tiniest bump to a 40 % correct for temperature differences reasons, the dissolved that. Durable, hydrometer which was Posted on the calibrating sugar plain water, and )! Units able to automatically correct for temperature differences hydrometer work take hydrometer and... With certainty when fermentation has begun, however, many semi-synthetics, synthetics, fluids... Forgiven for thinking that a refractometer is reading 12.4brix ( which is green in )... Gravity of wort is the sample size remarkably different good hydrometer looks.! Which would be necessary to create a scale as the primary scale found one... Both a hydrometer work and accurate Messages 311 Reaction score 2 Location Pittsburgh your recipe measuring. The sticker wort to get a measurement with a hydrometer work a `` refractometer Factor '' which multiply... Brewer to decide which equipment works best for you right in is 1.046, but it still won ’ be. Tools used to measure the amount of dissolved sugars in your wort or beer using! Accomplished with a narrow test jar to minimize wort loss the liquid meets hydrometer! Test vessel critical when determining the right tool for measuring the specific gravity ( SG ) of your beer how... Adventures also participates in affiliate programs with other sites eatnlunch Adventures also participates in affiliate programs with other sites notifications. Why use a refractometer s Why it ’ s up to each to! Decided to try it out and, sure enough, they are very different instruments, it...