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