Tip: Get a Refractometer – Save Beer & Breakage!

Anpro Brix Refractometer for Homebrew, Beer Wort Refractometer Dual Scale Specific Gravity 1.000-1.120 and Automatic Temperature Compensation 0-32% Replaces Homebrew Hydrometer, MPictured: Anpro Brix Refractometer for Homebrew, Beer Wort Refractometer Dual Scale Specific Gravity 1.000-1.120 and Automatic Temperature Compensation 0-32% via Amazon

Part of Our Homebrew Tips and Tricks Series.  Check out the complete list – Homebrewing Tips, Tricks & Shortcuts!


  • If you haven’t realized it yet… hydrometers are made out of breakable glass that can… break.  They also require a healthy sample size.
  • With a refractometer you need a sample size of just a couple drops.  That’s a lot of saved beer compared to a hydrometer.  So much so that a refractometer may very well pay for itself over time.
  • For me, getting a refractometer was one of those small, inexpensive upgrades that made a huge difference.
  • An quick estimation of unfermented wort gravity is easy to calculate.  OG is around 4 times the Brix reading obtained from your refractometer.  That becomes more and more inaccurate as gravities increase.
  • Refractometers can also be used to measure gravity throughout the fermentation process.  Just plug your numbers into a calculator for correction after fermentation begins.  See: Sean Terrill’s Refractometer Calculator
  • If you have a refractometer AND a hydrometer you can estimate ABV without a starting gravity.  See Tip 10 for more information on that.
  • Some shopping tips… Look for a dual scale (Brix and Gravity) model.  ATC/Automatic Temperature Correction is another important feature.  That automatically accounts for changes due to temperature within a certain range.
  • There are many offerings and they can change quickly.  Shop Around, Search Amazon for “dual scale refractometer” to compare prices and see what models are currently available.
  • If you have a higher budget, consider a digital model.  Generally speaking, those are not available with dual scale capabilities, but you get a digital readout of gravity readings.  That’s a nice feature.  Shop Around, Search Amazon for “digital brix refractometer” to compare prices and see what models are currently available.
  • Related Categories: Fermentation, Refractometers

Make sure the components you use are compatible and rated for your intended application.  Contact manufacturer with questions about suitability or a specific application.  Always read and follow manufacturer directions.


More: Our Last Fifty Finds!

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