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Buying a Refractometers - Advice?
  • jlwjlw
    Posts: 16,417
    Any brand to stay away from? Anything special to look out for? At the LHBS they are $100. on Ebay they can be bought for $33, like the one here:

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/0-32-Brix-Wort-1-12-SG-Refractometer-Sugar-Wine-Beer-Specific-Gravity-Home-Brew-/270894103464?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3f128bfba8#ht_4533wt_1163

    What gives?
  • frydogbrewsfrydogbrews
    Posts: 44,679
    i can't say much about the price difference other than LHBS are always more expensive (at least in my area) than almost any online ordering place.
    33 does sound awful cheap and my fear would be that it just isn't made that sturdy. again though, i have never heard of that brand.
    not sure if you have ever used one of these, but they are surprising with how heavy they are, and that weight is important. for me, it is a matter of strurdyness. mine gets jammed into my pockets when i am walking around in vineyards and orchards, gets generally treated poorly, and still works great. if it has plastic pieces or is not as heavy duty, it probably wouldn't last or would need frequent calibration. mine almost never needs to be calibrated.
  • ThymThym
    Posts: 102,350 Accepted Answer
    @JLW I looked at the one you linked to. I probably wouldn't go that route unless you are looking forward to calibrating it at each use. The big calibration knob on the top says "this thing wont hold calibration for more than 20 minutes" even if you could keep from bumping it a round, i'd be willing to bet it's a bear to keep calibrated.

    That said it does claim ATC which is a great feature.

    I bought one from ebay a while back, it was inexpensive, but sturdy metal construction. It does not feature ATC, but that doesn't bother me. It stays calibrated. I check calibration with water every few uses and have never needed to adjust it.

    So, i guess my advice is, don't spend $100, but look for something that is sturdy and doesn't advertise frequent calibration ;)
    The only thing between me and a train wreck is blind luck..... - Kenny
  • C_BC_B
    Posts: 77,085
    "On it. I hate software." ~Cpt Snarklepants
  • ThymThym
    Posts: 102,350
    Looks just like mine. Nice metal body with a glass prism and an adjustable diopter. Go for it.
    The only thing between me and a train wreck is blind luck..... - Kenny
  • frydogbrewsfrydogbrews
    Posts: 44,679
    yeah, that looks just like mine. shouldn't have any problems
  • C_BC_B
    Posts: 77,085


    I just bought this one. It will be delivered in 4-30 days. Yay!
    "On it. I hate software." ~Cpt Snarklepants
  • C_BC_B
    Posts: 77,085
    Actually I bought one just like it. That link was weird so i searched for the same thing and bought that one.
    "On it. I hate software." ~Cpt Snarklepants
  • frydogbrewsfrydogbrews
    Posts: 44,679
    good timing. now that it is fruit and vegetable season, its fun just to play with it.
    go see how sweet the tomato's are, or watermelons, anything!
  • scoobscoob
    Posts: 16,617

    I have that one, hasnt gone out of calibration on me yet, I cross checked it a few times against my hydrometer with exact results between the two.

    not a lot of money, but hey, it works like a dream!
    Jesus didn't wear pants
  • C_BC_B
    Posts: 77,085
    Sweet.
    "On it. I hate software." ~Cpt Snarklepants
  • C_BC_B
    Posts: 77,085
    Now i need to brew.
    IMAG0556.jpg
    2560 x 1440 - 506K
    "On it. I hate software." ~Cpt Snarklepants