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cmlucifer

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Hi guys as I explain in my Introduction to new members forum I've been around wine makers for many years and I basically inherited all the big equipment (basket press, grape crusher, carboys etc.) but not the fine tuning stuff like refractometers, ph testers, high end balances etc. I would like to purchase all these fine instruments so lets start off with the refractometer. What kind do I need? How much am I expected to pay? Are the China made ones on ebay worth a look at?
 

Tom

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Please feel free to use the banners above. We (admn & mods) approve them.
If you grow grapes then a refractometer is needed. If making from kits fruits etc not really needed for the new B's. George @( the wine makers toystore )above banner) can walt you thru all of what you need

Welcome. ask away..
 

Wade E

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Like said above if you are going to be growing your own fruit or want to check the brix of the grapes before you buy them then a refractometer is a very good tool, for the wine making process it wont work well as once alc has been entered into the equation the refractometer is no good and a hydrometer is need to check the brix or sg of the wine. An ATC refractometer is the best to buy as it acclimates iteslf to any temperature giving you an accurate reading and they are all pretty much the same but metal ones are sturdier. As for PH testing the strips can really be a pain when using on darker wines and wth them you should have boh TA and OH while with a digital tester it can usually do both and much more accurate. The thing about some of these tools is if if doesnt work dealing with someone on Ebay can be a real PITA while some of the wine supply stores are very reputable like the 2 above.
 

cmlucifer

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Forgot to mention I will buying red grapes (not sure which variety) about 250 lbs that are imported from California. I want to purchase the best equipment that I can afford,trying to avoid me from re buying something cause I didn't do my homework. That's why I take forum members advice as a very good staring point. Rest assured I will not buy anything unless its absolutely necessary even though I'm kind of a gadget freak.LOL
 

rob

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where ever you buy your grapes they should tell you what the brixs are, no need for a refractameter
 

cmlucifer

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where ever you buy your grapes they should tell you what the brixs are, no need for a refractameter
I wish life was that easy. These importers predominantly deal with a very old generation of European clients whereby such information regarding Brix is never required. I could just see it know the perplexed look on the vendors face when I ask him and his response will something along these lines "These are the best grapes you'll ever find you don't you trust me?" or "I'll have my secretary look over the papers" come back tomorrow. Maybe I'm wrong but experience tells me better to go prepared.
 

Lurker

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I can't believe that no one has mentioned the most important tool. You will need a hydrometer. The refractometer is a substitute for the hydrometer, the hydrometer is cheap and neccessary. :b
 

Woodbee

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Yes hydrometer. Buy three of them. Take the first one and throw it on the floor and break it up real good. That will soften the blow when you accidentally break the second one. And then you will have the third one for a back up to keep you from having to make a run to the store.
Brad
 

cmlucifer

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Yes hydrometer. Buy three of them. Take the first one and throw it on the floor and break it up real good. That will soften the blow when you accidentally break the second one. And then you will have the third one for a back up to keep you from having to make a run to the store.
Brad
Thanks for the advice but I already got me 3 of them two with s.g. scale and one "Babo" scale, and no I haven't broken any yet.:db
 

AlFulchino

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i agree with those above who said DO buy a refractometer
 

xanxer82

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you'll want both a refractometer since you will be using fresh grapes and fruit.
You will also want a hydrometer to take readings of your prepared musts and throu out the process.
 

twistedvine

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Yes hydrometer. Buy three of them. Take the first one and throw it on the floor and break it up real good. That will soften the blow when you accidentally break the second one. And then you will have the third one for a back up to keep you from having to make a run to the store.
Brad
Brad, you couldn't be any closer to the truth... LMFAO
 

cmlucifer

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Looks like I'm gonna find out if I could get a brix reading from the vendor if not I'll purchase my own refractometer.
Now lets move on to the digital PH tester what are your views on getting one instead of using the other methods?
 

JohnT

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My suggestion is the following..

1) get a self calibrating refractometer. Take readings and use this info to purchase the best grapes.

2) I would suggest getting an acid titration kit and not a PH meter. It is less costly and will give you good results.

3) as stated above, get a couple of hydrometers. You should use this tool instead of the refractometer once yeast has been added to your must.

4) a good thermometer is also useful in tracking how aggressive your fermentation is.

5) a SO2 test kit is also in maintaining proper SO2 levels


johnT.
 

cmlucifer

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My suggestion is the following..

1) get a self calibrating refractometer. Take readings and use this info to purchase the best grapes.

2) I would suggest getting an acid titration kit and not a PH meter. It is less costly and will give you good results.

3) as stated above, get a couple of hydrometers. You should use this tool instead of the refractometer once yeast has been added to your must.

4) a good thermometer is also useful in tracking how aggressive your fermentation is.

5) a SO2 test kit is also in maintaining proper SO2 levels


johnT.
All this stuff makes a lot of sense, I checked on line for the testing kits and they're not that expensive so I'll put the PH meter on the back burner, but I'll get the refractometer. Now what about a scale? How precise is precise?
 

Wade E

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I toatally am not in line with buying an acid test kit over a ph meter especially when desling with grapes and in that quantity. A ph meter is much more accurate and will last a whole lot longer and worth the extra money. Id rather stray from the refractometer and go with the ph meter as whatever the brix levels are can easily be adjusted with a little water or sugar.
 

cmlucifer

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I toatally am not in line with buying an acid test kit over a ph meter especially when desling with grapes and in that quantity. A ph meter is much more accurate and will last a whole lot longer and worth the extra money. Id rather stray from the refractometer and go with the ph meter as whatever the brix levels are can easily be adjusted with a little water or sugar.
Just came back from my local wine supply store and I'm looking at about 130 dollars of kits just to test all these acids and what not, something doesn't make sense here. What am I looking at dollar wise for a decent PH meter? I'm not familiar with any brand names or acceptable error of tolerance. Help!
 

Tom

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All this stuff makes a lot of sense, I checked on line for the testing kits and they're not that expensive so I'll put the PH meter on the back burner, but I'll get the refractometer. Now what about a scale? How precise is precise?
I use a Postal Scal that can be found on EBAY
 

cmlucifer

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