refractometer advice

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swheatbeer

refractometer advice

Post by swheatbeer » Sun Apr 24, 2011 7:09 am

Was thinking about acquiring a refractometer so I can measure the last good bits of the mash runoff and the gravity of wort out of the boiler without either cooling or adjusting for hydrometer reading temps.

found this one on ebay from HK. Anyone familiar with these?

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/0-32-Brix-Wort-SG ... 2a0fe26f1e

Wolfy

Re: refractometer advice

Post by Wolfy » Sun Apr 24, 2011 8:10 am

I think there are a few recent threads asking the same thing (both here and on the AHB forums).
That model looks very similar to mine which has become an invaluable tool for me, and - from what I have read - all the other home-brewers who have purchased one.

My only suggestion would be to try and find one with the largest and clearest scale you can find, IMHO that one with dual-scales looks like the SG side would be difficult to read.

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Talisman
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Re: refractometer advice

Post by Talisman » Sun Apr 24, 2011 9:55 am

Thats the one I just got. The scale I's easy to read. Took a couple of weeks to arrive. Cone in a little pouch case with some pipettes too.
Black Lab Ale - est April 2008
FV 1: Old Spec Hen FG1053
FV 2: Empty
Cornie 1: Empty
Cornie 2: Empty
Cornie 3: Empty
Cornie 4: Empty
Cornie 5: Empty
Bottled: Nowt
http://www.blacklabale.co.uk

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Re: refractometer advice

Post by WishboneBrewery » Sun Apr 24, 2011 10:42 am

I think you can use Distilled or RO water to calibrate them... mine was pretty close with Tap water too. I have the single scale version of this.

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Talisman
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Re: refractometer advice

Post by Talisman » Sun Apr 24, 2011 11:08 am

Yup these can be calibrated :)
Black Lab Ale - est April 2008
FV 1: Old Spec Hen FG1053
FV 2: Empty
Cornie 1: Empty
Cornie 2: Empty
Cornie 3: Empty
Cornie 4: Empty
Cornie 5: Empty
Bottled: Nowt
http://www.blacklabale.co.uk

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Re: refractometer advice

Post by hotmog » Sun Apr 24, 2011 11:33 am

I looked at that one, but since I never brew anything above 1075 OG, I decided that a 0-18 Brix version would be more useful, more accurate, and easier to read, so I bought one of these a week ago: http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll? ... SA:GB:1123 (still awaiting its arrival).

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Re: refractometer advice

Post by Aleman » Sun Apr 24, 2011 11:40 am

The dual scale one is only useful for checking run off gravity (and any one who can multiply by 4 can do the conversion just as well) Once you have alcohol in the mix the Gravity scale is useless and you must use the Brix scale and a calculator.

I also have one of the 0-18 Brix refractometers . . .nice and easy to read scale, and fine for the beer I usually make

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Re: refractometer advice

Post by hotmog » Sun Apr 24, 2011 12:13 pm

Good point. For checking final gravity once alcohol is present you need to apply a formula. Here's a link to one on-line calculator: http://onebeer.net/refractometer.shtml. I've taken the formulae it uses and used them to create a spreadsheet, which incorporates additional validation corrections (eg the Corrected Final Gravity &ABV% by Brix in that calculator will not give correct results if the values entered are both zero, both equal, or the Final Brix value is greater than the Starting Brix). OTT, I know, for all practical purposes, but it was fun programming!

You can access it here if you want to try it out: http://www.dadween.plus.com/images/Refr ... ulator.xls :)

Wolfy

Re: refractometer advice

Post by Wolfy » Sun Apr 24, 2011 7:56 pm

hotmog wrote:OTT, I know, for all practical purposes, but it was fun programming!

You can access it here if you want to try it out: http://www.dadween.plus.com/images/Refr ... ulator.xls :)
Very OTT, but cool too, thanks for that.
I've been using the BeerSmith 'Refractometer tool' but will include your calculations into my 'brewing calculations' spread sheet. :)

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Re: refractometer advice

Post by hotmog » Sun Apr 24, 2011 8:19 pm

Wolfy wrote:
hotmog wrote:OTT, I know, for all practical purposes, but it was fun programming!

You can access it here if you want to try it out: http://www.dadween.plus.com/images/Refr ... ulator.xls :)
Very OTT, but cool too, thanks for that.
I've been using the BeerSmith 'Refractometer tool' but will include your calculations into my 'brewing calculations' spread sheet. :)
Ha ha, glad you like it. You'll need to "Unhide" Row 5 to see all the formulae; not sure if you will have the necessary permissions, so if not, here they are:

B5: =IF(B4>C4,B4,C4)
C5: =SUM(1.001843 - 0.002318474*B5 - 0.000007775*B5*B5 - 0.000000034*B5*B5*B5 + 0.00574*C4 + 0.00003344*C4*C4 + 0.000000086*C4*C4*C4)

:wink:

Wolfy

Re: refractometer advice

Post by Wolfy » Sun Apr 24, 2011 8:36 pm

Thanks, but the row was not hidden or locked, just made so small as to be almost invisible - was just a matter of re-sizing it. :)

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Re: refractometer advice

Post by hotmog » Sun Apr 24, 2011 9:03 pm

Wolfy wrote:Thanks, but the row was not hidden or locked, just made so small as to be almost invisible - was just a matter of re-sizing it. :)
Well I'm blowed - I see what you mean! Thanks for highlighting what was a potential security issue. I've now corrected it (hopefully) by protecting the worksheet, so that row cannot be resized and it remains locked. :wink:

Edit - that didn't work out, as it made the whole sheet read-only so it wasn't possible to enter the Brix values :cry:.

So, it's back to the previous version, but it would be good to know how (if it's possible) to protect a worksheet generally whilst allowing shared read/write access only to specified cells. :?:

beermonsta

Re: refractometer advice

Post by beermonsta » Sun Apr 24, 2011 10:00 pm

hotmog wrote:
Wolfy wrote:Thanks, but the row was not hidden or locked, just made so small as to be almost invisible - was just a matter of re-sizing it. :)
Well I'm blowed - I see what you mean! Thanks for highlighting what was a potential security issue. I've now corrected it (hopefully) by protecting the worksheet, so that row cannot be resized and it remains locked. :wink:

Edit - that didn't work out, as it made the whole sheet read-only so it wasn't possible to enter the Brix values :cry:.

So, it's back to the previous version, but it would be good to know how (if it's possible) to protect a worksheet generally whilst allowing shared read/write access only to specified cells. :?:
Just asked the missus, shes an accountant and used to excel. She says select every cell in the spreadsheet (click the box above the number 1, to the left of letter A) Then right click, format cells, protection tab, then select locked. Then deselect everything and only select the cells you want to be protected. Then repeat the right click, format cells, protection tab, then De-select locked. Then finally go to tools, protection, protect sheet. If you want to hide your formulaes too then make sure you are clicking the "hidden" box under protection tab too.

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Re: refractometer advice

Post by hotmog » Sun Apr 24, 2011 10:42 pm

beermonsta wrote:
hotmog wrote:
Wolfy wrote:Thanks, but the row was not hidden or locked, just made so small as to be almost invisible - was just a matter of re-sizing it. :)
Well I'm blowed - I see what you mean! Thanks for highlighting what was a potential security issue. I've now corrected it (hopefully) by protecting the worksheet, so that row cannot be resized and it remains locked. :wink:

Edit - that didn't work out, as it made the whole sheet read-only so it wasn't possible to enter the Brix values :cry:.

So, it's back to the previous version, but it would be good to know how (if it's possible) to protect a worksheet generally whilst allowing shared read/write access only to specified cells. :?:
Just asked the missus, shes an accountant and used to excel. She says select every cell in the spreadsheet (click the box above the number 1, to the left of letter A) Then right click, format cells, protection tab, then select locked. Then deselect everything and only select the cells you want to be protected. Then repeat the right click, format cells, protection tab, then De-select locked. Then finally go to tools, protection, protect sheet. If you want to hide your formulaes too then make sure you are clicking the "hidden" box under protection tab too.
Cheers Ben - that worked at treat! :D

PS. I don't want to hide the formulae themselves - I didn't create them, and they're in the public domain after all. I simply wanted to hide what is in effect a "working storage area" (for those of you old enough to remember COBOL) from intruding on the User Interface.

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