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44238Re: refractometer vs hydrometer

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  • harisaki2004
    Jan 8, 2009
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      I have tried using a refractometer for wine, but is inaccurate because
      you are dealing with sugar and alcohol based liquid. Stick with
      hydrometers this is what the industry uses.

      Refractometers are OK for mono liquids not binary liquids.



      --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, justin webster <mail@...> wrote:
      > hello people,
      > didn't get any bites on the newdistillers list so I'm hoping one of
      > you chaps will have some ideas on this:
      > I recently inherited a hand refractometer which I excitedly put to use
      > on several brews.
      > I was hoping that a combination of SG and Brix would give me a better
      > estimation of alcohol content in the beer.
      > what I have noticed is that my calculations of sugar/alcohol content
      > using the refractometer readings are quite different from those using
      > specific gravity.
      > of course I expected there to be a difference but not to such an extent.
      > here are some numbers from a recent rum batch:
      > calc Brix by volume 25
      > actual Brix start 23
      > actual Brix end 7
      > SG start 1.090
      > SG end .994
      > potential ABV (vol) 14.7
      > potential ABV (Brix) 13.53
      > actual ABV (SG) 12.384
      > actual ABV (Brix) 9.411
      > now I am aware that I have not been fermenting out all sugars
      > (slightly lazy with temperature and Ph management) but I think the SG
      > numbers seem about right.
      > it sure seems like I can never get a brix reading under 7 or 8. this
      > was true with palm sugar washes as well as my recent rum batches.
      > I'm wondering if all the other by-products of fermentation (yeast in
      > particular) would bias the brix reading to a greater extent than the SG.
      > both hydrometer and refractometer seem to be calibrated correctly and
      > I'm pretty sure my math is solid.
      > so can a refractometer be trusted?
      > justin
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