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    Digital Refractometer for Beer

Digital Refractometer for Beer

  • Sample size as small as 2 metric drops (100 μL)
  • Sealed stainless steel well with high-grade optical prism
  • Fast 1.5 second response time

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Hanna Instruments HI96841 Digital Refractometer combines form and function into one compact unit.

Featuring a 1.5 second response time, the HI96841 measures the refractive index of wort and converts it to °Plato with temperature compensation. The improved easy-to-read LCD screen displays temperature units (°C or °F) and measurements simultaneously. The HI96841’s IP65 water-resistant casing and sealed sample well are built to perform under harsh conditions, making it suitable for use in any brewery. The °Plato scale is a way to quantify the concentration of sugars and dissolved solids in wort. This measurement can indicate the potential alcohol content of finished beer. The HI96841 converts the refractive index reading to °Plato based on the tables maintained by the International Commission for Uniform Methods of Sugar Analysis (ICUMSA) and the American Society of Brewing Chemists (ASBC).

HI96841 is not suitable for measuring beer as a finished product. The presence of alcohol and acids extracted from the hops during boiling disturbs the results.

  • Designed for wort sugar analysis
  • Temperature compensation algorithms based on sucrose solution
  • 0 to 30 °Plato range with ± 0.2 °Plato

Refractive Index

The HI96841 takes measurements based on a sample’s refractive index. Refractive index is a measurement of how light behaves as it passes through the sample. Depending on the sample’s composition, the light will refract and reflect differently. By measuring this activity with a linear image sensor, the sample’s refractive index can be assessed and used to determine its physical properties such as concentration and density. In addition to the linear image sensor, the HI96841 uses a LED light, prism, and lens to make measurement possible. 

Variations in temperature will affect the density of a solution based on the compound that is present. In digital refractometry, the use of temperature compensation is necessary for accurate results. The HI96841 contains a built-in temperature sensor and is programmed with temperature compensation algorithms in accordance with the ICUMSA Methods Book for a percent by weight sucrose solution.

Alcohol Interference

It should be noted that once fermentation begins, ethanol and the residual sugar interfere with each other and prevent an accurate reading of the Brix value of your residual sugar. For this reason, this refractometer cannot be used with finished beer or other fermented beverages. It is designed for use with wort only.

Features at-a-glance:

  • One-point calibration Calibrate with distilled or deionized water
  • Small sample size Sample size can be as small as 2 metric drops (100 μl)
  • Automatic Temperature Compensation (ATC) Samples automatically compensated for temperature variations
  • Quick, accurate results Readings are displayed in approximately 1.5 seconds
  • Dual-level LCD The dual-level LCD displays measurement and temperature readings simultaneously
  • Stainless steel sample well Easy to clean and corrosion-resistant
  • Battery indicators Battery percent level remaining at startup and low battery indicator
  • Automatic shut-off To conserve battery life the meter shuts off automatically after three minutes of non-use
  • IP65 water-resistant protection Water-resistant ABS plastic casing designed to perform under laboratory and field conditions.
Sugar Content Range0 to 30 °Plato
Sugar Content Resolution0.1 °Plato
Sugar Content Accuracy± 0.2 °Plato
Temperature Range0 to 80°C (32 to 176°F)
Temperature Resolution0.1°C (0.1°F)
Temperature Accuracy±0.3 °C (±0.5 °F)
Temperature Compensationautomatic between 10 and 40°C (50 to 104°F)
Automatic Shut-OffAfter 3 minutes of non-use
DisplayDual-level LCD
Battery Type/Life9V / approximately 5000 readings
Dimensions192 x 102 x 67 mm (7.6 x 4.01 x 2.6”)
Weight420 g (14.8 oz.)
Refractometer Light Sourceyellow LED
Minimum Sample Volume100 μL (to cover prism totally)
Sample Cellstainless steel ring and flint glass prism
Measurement Timeapproximately 1.5 seconds
Ordering InformationHI96841 is supplied with 9V battery and instruction manual.