Digital Refractometer

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Feb 7, 2024
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El Dorado Hills, CA
Thinking about investing in a digital refractometer, either the Hanna or the Milwaukee. Wondering if anyone has any experience with either of these and/or a recommendation?
I have no experience with any refractometer due to the following.

Unless you are measuring the Brix content in the field, a refractometer isn't as useful a tool as one might assume. If you try to use it after fermentation has started, you need to refer to a spreadsheet (web site) for a correction to the measured value. A hydrometer provides the simplest way to track your fermentation progress.
I disagree. granted it is useful to determine the brix of grapes and to determiine harvest. it flexibility in having to use only one drop to determine brixc make it a handy tool in fermentation as well. used duriing fermentation it determine the must is fermeting and thje sg is reducing once it reaches the end use the hydrometer for a final accurate reading. if desired the spreadsheet correction can be dopwnloaded to your computaer and entries used to determine correction become part of your record . With experience the spreadsheet will not be necesary to determine the actual value until the end of fermetnation. Either of the units metioned should be satifactory
I’m more inline with @salcoco thoughts, using a refractometer is much simpler and easier. Most of my wines start at around 25 Brix and determining the approximate gravity is straightforward which makes following fermentation progress pretty simple, especially if onehas multiple batches going at the same time like I usually do. With that said, I still have and use several hydrometers at the very beginning, with a high range hydrometer, at the end of active fermentation (typically when I transfer from primary and/or secondary) and once again when I take them out of aging.
I just use the old fashioned optical refractometers, imo anything beyond that, like digital, is kind of overkill. But if one has the funds and likes gizmo toys, like I do, go for it!

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