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