Thanks to HBF Reader Scott for this tip!
Scott Says: “After many trials and tribulations I finally found some long plastic pipettes at a super cheap price for taking samples out of my carboy. They are a foot long and I’ve found that if I’m doing 5 gallon batches in 6 or 6.5 gallon glass carboys they always can reach down and suck up more than enough for a refractometer sample – the 12 inches usually pulls up about 4-5 tablespoons of wort. I have the huge bulky wine thief that all home brewers typically buy and use, but since I bought these I have switched over to these plastic pipettes 100%. Much easier, uses less beer, and literally zero mess/loose drippings. The best part is that you get 10 of them for under 10 dollars. Share them with friends, or always have extras.”
Great Tip Scott! I didn’t know these existed an a 12″ size.
Check them out – Here
This refractometer reads in both Brix and Gravity. This refractometer features a corrected scale. What is a corrected scale? Read on.
Gravity to Brix Accuracy
Typical dual scale refractometers use a linear 4 x gravity to Brix conversion. That’s fine and dandy up until around 1.049. At that point this linear scale starts to become inaccurate. Brix 11 does equal 1.044, but Brix 12 does not equal 1.048. It is 1.049. It’s only 1 point off here, but up at Brix 24, it’s up to 5 points off. Brix 24 equals 1.101 not 1.096.
All this to say that this model of refractometer uses a more accurate, non-linear gravity to Brix scale.
Refractometers can be used to measure gravity throughout the brewing process. You can also estimate the alcohol content of your beer if you forget to take an OG with the use of a refractometer and a hydrometer.