Refractometer finds its use in veterinary medicine, drug diagnostics, and laboratories. This device measures the index of refraction which identifies a particular substance, verifies its purity, or measures its concentration. Different types of refractometers measure the blood plasma, the specific gravity of human urine and can be utilized for measuring the RI of different gases.
The following article lists the best refractometers for measurement of sugar in the human body.
10. BrainyTrade Refractometer ($19.03)
This refractometer measures the Brix of your wort and provides readings in both brix as well as a specific gravity. These handheld versions are incredibly easy-to-use since they only require 2 or 3 drops of your sample substance. It is ideal for brewers and winemakers. The viewing lens also has an adjustable focus to eliminate the need for wearing eyeglasses to see the display clearly. It is durable, lightweight, and comes with a protective, hard-shell case. It also comes with a plastic pipette to collect the liquid samples, a screwdriver to adjust the calibration screw, and a micro-fiber cloth to keep the prism glass clean. Since alcohol affects the refractive properties of fluids, the refractometer can only be used on the unfermented wort. The final gravity can then be calculated instead of measuring it directly.
“I’m euphoric with this tool. I’ve bought it to check fruit and vegetable Brix values. What I’ve discovered is that my garden and one of the farmers market vendors produce high Brix, grocery store average organic Brix, and conventional poor to average Brix.” – Amazon’s Customer Review.
9. Cole-Parmer Refractometer ($24.00)
This sugar-honey refractometer is ideal for getting the values of Brix for different substances. The ergonomic design can be utilized to take quick and easy measurements. It has adjustable focus and a screw for calibration. The models with ATC(Automatic Temperature Compensation) are ideal for applications where the temperature of the substance varies. The package includes a hard case, calibration screwdriver, and instructions. The unit can measure the soluble solid concentration of sugars, salts, and proteins in foods and liquids. It is ideal for quality control and R&D applications. The device can be used to measure percent Brix of juices, beverages, and other sugar-based liquids.
“Works as advertised. I’m a chemist by training, so I took time to understand the device. I think it hits the nail on the head. Mine worked perfectly out of the box without adjustments. I used EVOO as a reference, and it was on the money. If I’d had to calibrate, it wouldn’t have been a problem” – Amazon’s Customer Review.
8. HomeBrew Guys Refractometer ($29.99)
This refractometer is also temperature-compensated automatically. It is ideal for measuring sugar levels of juice and in winemaking and beer brewing. The unit provides accurate readings and easy calibration. It is well-designed, lightweight and portable. You can easily track the progress of fermentation process and know when the fruits are ripe for picking. The package comes with
- 1 x Homebrew Guys Refractometer with ATC
- 1 x Calibration screwdriver
- 1 x Soft cloth
- 5 x Pipettes
- 1 x Printed instruction sheet
“I bought this refractometer because it makes taking gravity levels easier during the beer brewing process. I only need to use a few drops of wort to get a reading instead of the 4 oz required for a hydrometer reading. It’s also convenient because I don’t have to measure it at a particular temperature.
To get a reading, I fill up the dropper with wort, add a few drops inside the refractometer, then close it back up. Then only look through the scope and measure where white and blue meet to form a line. Sometimes there’s too much or too little light, so I have to point it where there is less or more respectively.
As a note, this is measured in Brix, not gravity. You have to convert it.” – Amazon’s Customer Review.
7. Ade Advanced Optics Refractometer ($29.90)
This unit has an adjustable focus for quick reading. It is easy to calibrate, durable and portable. The unit also features ATC which is ideal for applications which have the substance changing temperature. It is made corrosion-resistant and has insulated rubber grips. It comes with hard case, calibration screwdriver, and instructions.
“I’ve used this only once, but I’m impressed with it, especially considering the budget price. It feels durable enough, and it worked as intended. I like the little flat foot on the bottom which allows it to sit flat on a counter and prevents it from rolling off.
Other reviewers point out that the calibration instructions don’t make sense because 0 is not a point on the scale. Indeed, the instructions appear to be for another model. To calibrate this model, first, make a sugar standard solution. Using a gramme scale, I measured 67g white sugar + 33g water to make a 67 brix standard (brick = % sugar by mass). Make sure the sugar is fully dissolved, which might require heating. The calibration of my unit was within a couple of units which is about as good as one should expect. (Keep in mind that the accuracy of this calibration check is only as good as the accuracy of your weight measurements.)” – Amazon’s Customer Review.
6. SmileMore Refractometer ($26.99)
This automatic temperature compensation refractometer can be easily used to measure sugar content in juices and can also read specific gravity directly. It comes with padded carrying case, adjustment screwdriver, and sample pipette. This easy-to-use refractometer is especially useful in measuring the ripeness (sugar content) of fruit juice, such as grapes. It calibrates with distilled water easily.
“I’ll admit, it’s a little tricky to calibrate and then I have to convert it to specific gravity to match all the beer brewing recipes that I use, but otherwise, I like it and the fact that a tiny sample is all I need versus the amount a hydrometer requires. I only wish I had known that for a small difference in price I could have purchased a unit with both scales.” – Amazon’s Customer Review.
5. GoerTek Refractometer ($23.99)
This digital handheld refractometer is designed for sugar content measurement only. It is easy-to-use and is ideal for sugar analysis and quality management.
Specification From The Manufacturer:
Function: Sugar content analysis (Only)
Brix scale: 0 ~ 32%
Automatic Temperature Compensation: 10~30
Main material: Aluminium
You just have to place three drops of sample material on the main prism, close the plate and look through the eyepiece to see the brix reading.
“It is simple t o use. We bought it to check the brix of jams we produce, and it seems adequate to that task. Calibration, however, is just adjusting the zero point, and the set screw was difficult to engage with the screwdriver provided. Fortunately, the zero did not need adjustment. There is no reason to use distilled water to adjust the zero as the refractive index of tap water is so close to distilled water about that of brix of > 30%. Case latch is stiff and somewhat difficult to open. This is a minor issue” – Amazon’s Customer Review.
4. Brew Tapper Refractometer ($31.99)
This dual-scale refractometer is made of a sustaining, non-staining, non-corrosive and non-reactive aluminum material which guarantees hygiene and safety for novice or master brewers. It is incredibly easy to use and measures the sugar content with SG and Brix.
“This is the first time I have ever used a refractometer, and I wish I had bought one year ago. This thing is SO easy to use! And I don’t have to waste 6 ounces of wort every time you take a reading. You only need a couple of drops of liquid to get an accurate gravity reading. I tried it with straight water (reverse osmosis purified) and instantly got a reading of 1.00. When it comes time to take final gravity readings I am confident that I will not only get real measurements but I can bring them over several days without wasting beer. I would highly recommend this device to anyone who wants fast, reliable readings. And it’s relatively inexpensive too! The only complaint I have is the manual. You can tell this was written by a non-English speaker, relatively easy to decipher.
Update: I don’t know what I am doing wrong, but my readings are WAY different than what I get from my hydrometer. My hydrometer is giving me a reading of 1.012 and my refractometer is giving me a reading of 1.028! Unless it’s something I am doing wrong this thing is not worth the money. I’ll have to get some distilled water and see if I can calibrate it better. I’ll update when I find out.
OK, it was me. As the comment from A. Perper states, a refractometer cannot be used for final gravity since alcohol affects the readings. That’s not exactly correct, though; there are ways to calculate the FG, but there’s a lot of math involved. But for all readings before fermentation this device is great so I changed my rating back to 5. After all, it WAS something I was doing!” – Amazon’s Customer Review.
3. Sain Sonic Refractometer ($22.99)
This ATC refractometer is ideal for the testing of fruits, vegetables, and grass. It can also be used for the maintenance of CNC Coolants and water-soluble drawing and stamping compounds. The accuracy of this product is extremely commendable and makes brewing much simpler.
“I’m never going back to hydrometers again. This refractometer is durable, faster, and easier to use. It also gives wonderfully accurate readings. You’ll need to use a homebrew software tool (or cloud-based site) to convert the Brix reading to gravity or degrees Plato. No need to recalibrate the instrument when it arrives — mine worked perfectly right out of the box. I also compared this to a friend’s hydrometer ordered from one of the major homebrew supply stores, and so far as we can tell the products are identical.” – Amazon’s Customer Review.
2. SainSonic Refractometer ($19.99)
This sugar content measuring refractometer has a system for compensating the temperature automatically by 10-30 degrees Celsius. It is ideal for home brewing. Through the eyepiece, you can measure the sugar content in Brix which can easily be converted to SG. A conversion table from degrees Plato to specific gravity is included. This item is of premium quality and comes at an exceptional price. It is packed in a protective plastic case.
Specifications By the Manufacturer:
- Degrees Brix: 0 – 32
- Resolution 0.2%
- Accuracy: 0.2%
“Easy to use and sturdy. I have no issues calibrating it, and I use it often, every time I brew and check the gravity. I wish it had a gravity scale instead of two Brix scales. Other than that excellent product” – Amazon’s Customer Review.
1. Magnum Media Refractometer ($13.99)
This dual-scale home brewing refractometer has the following specifications:
Specifications By the Manufacturer:
- Brix: 0-32%
- Wort Specific Gravity: 1.000-1.130
- Scale Resolution: 0.2% Brix
- Wort Specific Gravity: 0.001
- Accuracy: +/-0.2% Brix
- Wort Specific Gravity: +/-0.001
- Automatic Temperature Compensation: 10-30’C (50-86’F)
“This is a great refractometer for the price and does its job well. The included instructions are easy to understand for helping you to set up and/or calibrate your refractometer. Mine was working right out of the box without any issues and did not need adjustment.
It is a great unit to purchase if you are looking to make the move to using a refractometer instead of a hydrometer for testing your beer. Shipping was fast and this seller provided great customer service. I would order from him again in the future.
One side note: do not forget to adjust your BRIX post-fermentation readings. Your reading will be inaccurate due to the presence of alcohol in your sample. You can find converters on the internet which will adjust your value to its correct gravity. This adjustment needs to happen regardless of which type or brand of refractometer used.” – Amazon’s Customer Review.
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