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Refractometer: an in-depth review

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Luc

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Lately I have had some questions regarding the use of a refractometer.

I can imagine that you have heard a lot about refractometers, but never have seen one in action before. Neither did I until I decided to buy one 2 years ago. I never regretted it.

However before you take the plunge I wrote an essay documented (as usually) with loads of pictures about all details (pro's and cons) regarding the use of a refractometer versus a hydrometer.

I'll hope it benefits your choice in wether buying one or not.

The story is too long to publish here. You can find it on my web-log following this link:
http://wijnmaker.blogspot.com/2010/04/refractometer.html

Luc
 

St Allie

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Luc? do you have a review for acid titration tests?

I'm one of those here that doesn't test for acid.. I can see the need.. I just never bought one.

If you have a link or the time to write a review, I for one would find it extremely useful.. and I think we should have a sticky thread on that subject for new people in our files.



Allie :bt
 

Luc

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jet

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Lately I have had some questions regarding the use of a refractometer.

I can imagine that you have heard a lot about refractometers, but never have seen one in action before. Neither did I until I decided to buy one 2 years ago. I never regretted it.

However before you take the plunge I wrote an essay documented (as usually) with loads of pictures about all details (pro's and cons) regarding the use of a refractometer versus a hydrometer.

I'll hope it benefits your choice in wether buying one or not.

The story is too long to publish here. You can find it on my web-log following this link:
http://wijnmaker.blogspot.com/2010/04/refractometer.html

Luc
I liked your review, but I have one question. Why do you prefer the Oechsle/SG scale over Brix?
 

Luc

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Jet,

Well Oechsle is something we in Europe are used to work with.
All books, recipes and references on web-pages are done in SG (oechsle). So it is more easy to work with for me.

However conversion is soooo easy.

oechsle / 4 = brix

or brix x 4 is oechsle.

For example 80 degrees oechsle = 80 /4 = 20 brix

equally: 20 Brix = 20 x 4 = 80 oechsle.

Now I do know this is not 100% accurate, it is however accurate enough to be workable.

So just pick the refractometer with the scale you are used to work with. In fact I know there are refractometers available who have a double scale: brix and SG.
However as conversion is so easy I do not see the need for that.

Luc
 

Wade E

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Great Job Luc(as usual) You can however use the refractometer for boiling liquids as it has tempered glass and is used by lots of beer makers to check their boiling wort for the correct starting sg reading or if it still needs to be boiled down some more to rid it of more water. So this tool is a must for beer makers because you would really have to wait for their wort sample to cool way down!
 

granda

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my refractometer has arrived at the post office so monday morning its play tim and a great excuse fo make more wine. i,ve also recently bought an acid test kit which im still learning about but thanks to luc its al straight forward.
thanks for all the help luc.
 

xanxer82

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Great article luc.
I normally check the SG 3 to 4 times during the entire process.
1 at the start.
2 about a week or so when the bubbling of the airlock slows. To move to secondary.
3 after all signs of fermentation stop
4 a few days later to verify fermentation is finished. Unless allowing malolactic fermentation then I wait longer.
 

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