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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Manning, SC
    Posts
    2,118

    Default Best Refractometer

    Any recommendations?
    http://OxaVap.com
    Your source for the Varrox Vaporizer, "One of the highest ranked" by R. Oliver

  2. #2

    Default Re: Best Refractometer

    No but would like one under hundred$. And would work with mead making..

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Hopkins, South Carolina
    Posts
    91

    Default Re: Best Refractometer

    I bought one on EBAY for @ $50.00, looks ok. My problem is, what fluid is used to calibrate it?
    SNL, Thanks for the Vaporizer-It works grate.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Pepperell, MA.
    Posts
    3,770

    Default Re: Best Refractometer

    I bought a couple of the ebay ones as well. One for honey and one for maple syrup. I actually prefer using the refractometer for maple syrup better that using a hydrometer. They work fine. Can't recall the name but they were about $50-$60.
    "My wife always wanted girls. Just not thousands and thousands of them......"

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Manning, SC
    Posts
    2,118

    Default Re: Best Refractometer

    I've no clue as to how to use, calibrate it if needed..... that's why I was asking for recommendations
    http://OxaVap.com
    Your source for the Varrox Vaporizer, "One of the highest ranked" by R. Oliver

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Hopkins, South Carolina
    Posts
    91

    Default Re: Best Refractometer

    I bought one from EBAY too, could not no how to calibrate either.The seller did not know.He then said the comp. told him they are calibrated at the factory..
    I went to YOUTUBE , they said to use apple vinegar or olive oil. I think vinegar was @ 71%..Ask utube.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Menlo Park, CA, USA
    Posts
    58

    Default Re: Best Refractometer

    Extra virgin olive oil is approximately 71.5 BRIX (ranges from 71 to 72, so calibrating to 71.5 puts you close). The refractometer should have a BRIX scale reading as well as % water- that's what's usually used for calibration.

    I bought one from Amazon (Ade Advanced Optics Brix Refractometer - 58-90% range) that works pretty consistently, and was less than $30. Make sure you buy one that has the right range for honey.

    Dioptric fluid (used for precise calibration) can be expensive, but another trick is to buy a small amount, calibrate the refractometer, then immediately measure a bottle of olive oil. Once you know the exact measurement of that specific bottle of olive oil, you can use it to do calibrations very inexpensively.

    Good luck!

    (Note: even a decent factory calibrated refractometer still requires calibration in use, because the reading varies with temperature- you need to calibrate it for the temperature of what you are measuring. There should be a small set screw that you turn for calibration that moves the scale reading as needed to zero it in.)

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Hopkins, South Carolina
    Posts
    91

    Default Re: Best Refractometer

    THANKS knute, that will help everyone thinking of getting one--I know it helps me, Thank You

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Bonn, Germany
    Posts
    122

    Default Re: Best Refractometer

    Quote Originally Posted by knute View Post
    ... Good luck!
    Why do we have to put our trust in olive oil?
    Isn't it ludicrous?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Ankeny, Iowa, USA
    Posts
    595

    Default Re: Best Refractometer

    Quote Originally Posted by sjj View Post
    Why do we have to put our trust in olive oil?
    Isn't it ludicrous?
    You don't have to put your trust in olive oil.......you can choose to spend much more money and buy dioptric fluid.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Menlo Park, CA, USA
    Posts
    58

    Default Re: Best Refractometer

    Quote Originally Posted by sjj View Post
    Why do we have to put our trust in olive oil?
    Isn't it ludicrous?
    Yep! It does seem a little funny to trust olive oil, but since there's a very specific refractive index standard that extra virgin olive oil needs to meet, it makes a convenient and inexpensive calibration fluid. There are lots of other options (glycerol, etc.) that could be used, but most people already have olive oil in their kitchen and few people have lab grade supplies lying around.

    Here's the money quote: "Virgin olive oil is specified by the UN FAO in CODEX STANDARD FOR OLIVE OILS AND OLIVE POMACE OILS CODEX STAN 33-1981 (Rev. 2-2003) to have a refractive index from 1.4677 to 1.4705 at 20C which corresponds to 71Bx to 72Bx."

    Another thing that I should have mentioned about the Amazon unit is that the calibration instructions it comes with are for the wrong unit. Put a few drops of olive oil (or dioptric fluid) on the clean glass, flip down the hinged lid to "squish" the droplets into a nice consistent film, look through the eyepiece, then turn the calibration screw on the top until the boundary between the blue and the white zones is at 71.5 on the Brix scale for olive oil (or the desired Brix number if you are using calibrated dioptric fluid).
    Last edited by knute; 07-29-2014 at 03:29 PM. Reason: (fixed typo)

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Algoma dr. Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    817

    Default Re: Best Refractometer

    Thanks, Knute;

    I ordered one from Mann Lake after reading your post. I have a lot of supers with uncapped honey that you cant shake a drop out of. They seem to have quit capping and I am tired of guessing; is it, or is it not low enough water content!

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Concord, CA
    Posts
    4,141

    Default Re: Best Refractometer

    I really like my Misco, calibrate with distilled water.
    http://www.blueskybeesupply.com/misc...ctometer-mrfr/
    Dan

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Manning, SC
    Posts
    2,118

    Default Re: Best Refractometer

    Wow KQ6AR ........at $330, I bet you DO like it! (smile).......
    http://OxaVap.com
    Your source for the Varrox Vaporizer, "One of the highest ranked" by R. Oliver

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Suffolk, VA
    Posts
    2,575

    Default Re: Best Refractometer

    About 12 years ago, I bought one off ebay. It was OK for the first few years, but over time it got harder and harder to read. I say OK, because it never really had a super crisp line between the blue and white background. Now it is nearly useless. I'm a little hesitant to go back to ebay, as quality seems to be an issue. I'm most likely going buy one from the bee equipment vendors.
    Horseshoe Point Honey -- http://localvahoney.com/

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Bonney Lake,Washington,USA
    Posts
    78

    Default Re: Best Refractometer

    One of the best brands I have found.. VEE GEE REFRACTOMETER. Cost a little more but worth it. Stay away from Ebay no name ones.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Clackamas Oregon
    Posts
    737

    Default Re: Best Refractometer

    I just got one from Amazon myself a couple of weeks ago. There were some really good utube videos of how to calibrate it. I also used virgin olive oil (just like the video). Total price including shipping was $30.
    Ade Advanced Optics Brix Refractometer - High Measuring Range Honey tester 58%-90%
    Why do we fall, sir? So that we might learn to pick ourselves up Alfred Pennyworth Batman Begins (2005)

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Suffolk, VA
    Posts
    2,575

    Default Re: Best Refractometer

    I've seen many of these cheaper units with plastics optics. Not sure how that impacts their accuracy or lifespan, but it seems like glass optics would be better. I've even seen some that have a plastic body.
    Horseshoe Point Honey -- http://localvahoney.com/

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Suffolk, VA
    Posts
    2,575

    Default Re: Best Refractometer

    Quote Originally Posted by NW_Mark View Post
    One of the best brands I have found.. VEE GEE REFRACTOMETER. Cost a little more but worth it. Stay away from Ebay no name ones.
    Does your VEE GEE have ATC? If so, what model number do you have?
    Horseshoe Point Honey -- http://localvahoney.com/

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