Hydrometer for people with bad eyesight

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Re: Hydrometer for people with bad eyesight

Post by IPA » Thu Oct 11, 2018 7:54 am

LeeH wrote:
Tue Oct 09, 2018 3:19 pm
Page 8 advises the use of distilled or deionised water for calibration.


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I use a refractometer every brew day and it is extremely accurate but only up to the point when you add the yeast.
After fermentation starts it is useless and out comes the hydrometer.
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Re: Hydrometer for people with bad eyesight

Post by guypettigrew » Thu Oct 11, 2018 8:01 am

IPA wrote:
Thu Oct 11, 2018 7:54 am
I use a refractometer every brew day and it is extremely accurate but only up to the point when you add the yeast.
After fermentation starts it is useless and out comes the hydrometer.
Using the calculators on this site means a refractometer can be used all through fermentation. It matches the readings from my hydrometer.

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Re: Hydrometer for people with bad eyesight

Post by Paddington » Thu Oct 11, 2018 9:39 am

Aren't refractometers affected by the colour of beer? I was going to get one until I read that somewhere.

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Re: Hydrometer for people with bad eyesight

Post by Kev888 » Thu Oct 11, 2018 12:10 pm

Yes, refractometers (at least the cheaper optical ones) can be affected by the type of wort, this may be unique to each device and some will be closer than others. But through testing you can formulate a 'wort correction factor' to apply to their reading, in order to bring it into line with your hydrometer. Different worts may need different correction factors though; mine only needs a small correction for light worts but a much bigger one for very dark wort - especially as gravity increases.

This is not the same as correcting for alcohol after fermentation has started; this also needs correcting for if you want it to agree with your hydrometer (though opinions differ on the absolute best formula for doing this). But it should be remembered that hydrometers aren't actually accurate in the presence of alcohol either; we are used to dealing with their 'apparent' attenuation directly though, so it is easy to forget.

Its down to preference on how you choose to use these things, both can be made to work. I use the refractometer much more than the hydrometer on brew day; it is much more convenient to cool small samples of wort than larger ones. But mine is a bit cheap and nasty, and not very clear (especially with dark worts) so I resort to the hydrometers for more important readings like OG and FG.
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Re: Hydrometer for people with bad eyesight

Post by Robwalkeragain » Fri Oct 12, 2018 8:29 pm

Brew it, count how many it takes for you to fall over?

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Re: Hydrometer for people with bad eyesight

Post by Northern Brewer » Tue Nov 20, 2018 7:12 pm

Another thought is a finishing hydrometer - only goes up to 1.020 but at least it's got far fewer numbers in roughly the same length. They seem to be strangely elusive in the UK though, I got mine from Hop & Grape before they changed hands.

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Re: Hydrometer for people with bad eyesight

Post by Robwalkeragain » Tue Nov 27, 2018 7:38 pm

Northern Brewer wrote:
Tue Nov 20, 2018 7:12 pm
Another thought is a finishing hydrometer - only goes up to 1.020 but at least it's got far fewer numbers in roughly the same length. They seem to be strangely elusive in the UK though, I got mine from Hop & Grape before they changed hands.
HMRC tend to insist on them for pro brewers these days. Not sure about home brew level. Stevenson reeves are the go to, but not cheap!

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Re: Hydrometer for people with bad eyesight

Post by Northern Brewer » Tue Nov 27, 2018 7:58 pm

To be fair the SR ones are all properly kitemarked and signed off by the Revenue with much higher accuracy, so it's a slightly different market.

Looks like H&G no longer do the one I bought (don't tell it, it will want to do a death leap!) but they do have a 27cm long one with .001 markings for £13 :
https://www.hopandgrape.co.uk/special-b ... meter.html

Shame they no longer do liquid yeast, they were good for discounted White Labs...

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Re: Hydrometer for people with bad eyesight

Post by Kev888 » Tue Nov 27, 2018 9:32 pm

FWIW, the SR ones I mentioned earlier have a very similar scale spacing to typical (homebrew-grade) finishing hydrometers. They are of course taller as a result (so need a tad more wort to float), but it saves buying two.
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Re: Hydrometer for people with bad eyesight

Post by FUBAR » Wed Nov 28, 2018 8:34 am

I always use a refractometer from start to finish these days,it is as accurate as a standard homebrew hydrometer at every stage of the brewing process (checked) if used with the online converter.I know I'm not alone in finding the refractometer accurate,and far easier, quicker to use
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Re: Hydrometer for people with bad eyesight

Post by Kev888 » Wed Nov 28, 2018 11:03 am

I wish my refractometer was similarly good, it is better than the first I had but sadly still pretty poor. Can I ask if yours works properly with very dark worts?
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Re: Hydrometer for people with bad eyesight

Post by Aleman » Wed Nov 28, 2018 11:06 am

Mine does ... But then I have the Milwaukee Digital one :D

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Re: Hydrometer for people with bad eyesight

Post by Kev888 » Wed Nov 28, 2018 12:09 pm

Heh, yes I'd hope one such as that would work very well indeed!

I admit that I've only gone for the typical cheap optical ones. But even so, some people report very good results with these things - sometimes with only one or even no wort correction factors, which seems incredible given the vast range of wort colours possible. So I'm not sure if there is simply a lot of variation between devices or if there is something else going on - i.e. that would still apply were I to try a third device.
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Hydrometer for people with bad eyesight

Post by LeeH » Wed Nov 28, 2018 1:27 pm

Aleman wrote:Mine does ... But then I have the Milwaukee Digital one :D
During my iSpindel calibration I cross referenced my Milwaukee against my 10 quid amazon refractometer. I was surprised they were bang the same through out the full range.


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Last edited by LeeH on Wed Nov 28, 2018 1:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Hydrometer for people with bad eyesight

Post by FUBAR » Wed Nov 28, 2018 4:33 pm

Kev888 wrote:
Wed Nov 28, 2018 11:03 am
I wish my refractometer was similarly good, it is better than the first I had but sadly still pretty poor. Can I ask if yours works properly with very dark worts?
I have never done a dark beer since swapping over to the refractometer Kev,so cant answer that one .
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