What Are Refractometers?

A refractometer is a relatively inexpensive piece of test equipment that measures the refractive index of the tested liquid non-invasively. Refractive index refers to the speed of light as it enters a medium. After its entry, light changes its velocity which results to a change in its direction. Refractive index is then measured by dividing the velocity of light in a vacuum to the velocity of light in a given medium. The extent of refraction is directly related to the refractive index.

Refractometers are classified based on their type and usage. A portable refractometer is an essential tool for winemaking as it is used to calculate the predicted alcohol content of a beverage. It measures the sugar level, which is called the Brix degree. Determining the sugar level is crucial since it is needed to produce the desired alcohol content.

Practical uses of a refractometer:

  • help determine the best time for brewing
  • measure the percentage of Brix (amount of sugar) of grapes and other fruits
  • determine the progress of fruit ripening and harvesting

As the name implies, a portable refractometer is handy and easy to use. All that is needed is a few drops of sample to make a reading and a few minutes to carry out the test. When the sample is placed underneath the daylight plate, the percentage Brix reading can be read by looking through the eyepiece and by using ambient light. The tool gives an accuracy of about ±0.5% alcohol as long as right standards and conditions are met. It can also be tested for both raw and brewed samples as long as they are distilled. Although most refractometers are encased in plastic and rubber to protect delicate parts like optical glass, mirrors, and prism, metal refractometers are still better for regular and accurate readings.

LKI provides a selection of refractometers that underwent stringent production. Only made with the highest grade of aluminum, products are built for heavy-duty purposes and are durable. Each refraktometer instrument is designed based on ergonomic standards. Its compact and lightweight quality ensures ease of usage and calibration. Each model is fully equipped with Automatic Temperature Compensation (ATC) and reticle chart for clear and accurate results. No batteries are needed. All products use only ambient light and are handheld. Guaranteed to deliver accurate results in a short time!

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