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Are you sure that it's measuring the water content in the honey? More likely to be the sugars level. Ours is dual purpose and has two scales. One to measure the Brix level in % and the other to measure Specific Gravity Wort. The Brix is for sugars as in kiwifruit harvest testing or the ripeness of vegetables etc and the other for the wine making (and honey mead ). The Brix scale is from Zero to 30 and the SG is from 1.000 to 1.1200. We saw it advertised on a USA beer making website, but couldn't find one in NZ so we had to order from Amazon. When you buy one the scale in the viewfinder is related to the intended purpose. Hope this helps. :geek:

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Tell us what range your salty instrument covers and we'll know. My feeling is that it's unlikely. Refractometers cover quite narrow ranges.

Needless to say that I do not know much about refractometers, and I do not have an instrument as yet. But I am looking to buy one. Currently looking on Trademe, Amazon and Aliexpress.

 

Reading up on refractometers I found an number of meters where the description describe applications such as veterinary medicine, drug diagnostics, gemology/gemmology, marine aquarium keeping, homebrewing and beekeeping. So what I am trying to understand is, what is that I have to look for in a beekeeping refractometer?

 

 

Are you sure that it's measuring the water content in the honey?
Yes, it helps - thanks! No I am not sure what I am looking at measure water content, but I would say that is what my goal is.
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I'm new to this also, but I presume that the C4 test makes sure that the honey water content has been reduced by the bees, that is to say, the sugar content up. If this is what you are trying to achieve, then you need a refractometer that has a scale relevant to the normal sugar range for honey. Perhaps one of you Commercial beeks can enlighten us on the C4 test.

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I do not have an instrument as yet. But I am looking to buy one

Then that's the question to post!

You want one that covers these ranges: 43-38 Baumé and/or 58-92 degrees of Brix and/or 12-27% water. If you don't want to be converting, find one that measures % of water. Put 'refractometer' in the search box to find the many posts by people who have already been down this path and have some useful advice to give.

 

presume that the C4 test makes sure that the honey water content has been reduced by the bees

Nope, that's a complete red-herring. Lets keep this thread about refractometers, if you want to know about C4 sugars start another thread or search for C4 sugars.

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... reference oil to calibrate them. Is this important or will virgin olive oil be ok

It is quite important. While you can get a reasonable approximation using an olive oil they do vary, and you won't know that your assumption about the refractive index is true for your bottle of oil. That is why you use a reference oil. If you are going to spend good money on an instrument why not. The saying about spoiling the ship for a ha'pennyworth o' tar applies.

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