Winemaking Talk - Winemaking Forum

Help Support Winemaking Talk - Winemaking Forum:

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.


Jun 27, 2009
Reaction score
can anyone recommend a refractometer preferably with brix and gravity readings
I dont know if there are good and bad ones as of yet but I just bought a ATC refractometer off Ebay for $31 shipped to me. The ATC stands for Automatic temp compensation so its also great for brewing beer and taking sg readings of hot wort. It came with a case and is made of aluminum.
I agree with Wade. Get a ATC one. I also got mine on EBAY. BTW I think they only measure BRIX and not 2 scales. All you need to do is convert brix to SG.
I have one for when I make BEER. I can add a HOT sample and get a good reading.
Now for WINE, Are you gonna make from grapes? If so the get one if you plan on picking. If making kits I see no advantage. Make sure you have at least TWO hydrometers. That will be your best friend in winemaking.
I agree with Tom, if making frm grapes or if you pick your own fruit or make beer it is a great tool to have. if you dont do any of these it will be basically a big waste of money for you!
i do intend to make agood lot of wine come the summer so i'll research a little more and i will see if i'll buy one thanks for the input
If you grow your own fruit this is the best way to know when your fruit are truly ready for picking.
I bought a refractometer some years ago and immediately whished I had bought it earlier. It is a great tool when dealing with many batches of wine.

- With ATC temperature is automatically corrected when
doing a reading. So no hassle of cooling down the must etc.
- It only needs 1 drop instead of a testing tube full of must
to do the reading.
- Reading is easily done and not obscured in a foaming must
as with a hydrometer.
- Cleaning is a matter of a secons. Just wipe the screen
with a paper towel or something similar.

The only setback is that it is more difficult to
do a 'running test'. Meaning that once the must starts fermenting
you can not do an accurate reading because the alcohol interferes with the reading. You need to use a spreadsheet to convert the readings at that time.

But hey: who measures SG anyhow after fermentation has started ???? I have never done so.............

And before anyone starts wondering: indeed I also never do an end SG reading when my wine has finished. The only exception is when I do tests for my web-log.

I have a web-log story comming up which discusses the refractometer in great detail with pictures.

cheers luc thats made my mind up im gonna get on do you have any recommendations as ive seen a few on ebay (i emailed you last night for advice)
Sorry, no recommendations concerning brand and type as I am in Europe and we have (I presume) different models as are offered in the US.

Ours have a combined SG and Alcohol scale, you can see a picture of mine in action about 1/3thd down this page:

You might however prefer Brix as a scale.
Then again converting brix to sg or vise versa is not THAT difficult
rule of thumb:

Brix x 4 = SG
SG / 4 = brix

So a Brix reading of 10 would be an SG reading of 1040
An SG reading of 1080 would be 80/4 = 20

Actually this is a bit off, however workable.

By an ATC type anyhow.

dont worry luc in in europe as well (ireland ) so i'll have a lok about to see what i find
Just ordered a refractometer with ATC. :) It'll come in handy when I buy a few lugs of grapes.

Latest posts