Water %

Beekeeping & Apiculture Forum

Help Support Beekeeping & Apiculture Forum:

BugsInABox 

Field Bee
BeeKeeping Supporter
Joined
Mar 31, 2019
Messages
687
Reaction score
243
Location
South Yorkshire
Hive Type
tbh
Number of Hives
3
Can anyone recommend a good value refractometer please?
Regards
Neil
 

hemo 

Drone Bee
Joined
Jun 2, 2009
Messages
1,345
Reaction score
777
Location
West Sussex /RH.
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
6-10
£20 of ebay is where I got my last one.

I fibbed It was £10.11 and works fine, I took a reading of my honey sample last year and it the CEH reading was close at 0.2% variation.
 
Last edited:

hemo 

Drone Bee
Joined
Jun 2, 2009
Messages
1,345
Reaction score
777
Location
West Sussex /RH.
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
6-10
This is the same one I purchased.
Hand held honey Refractometer 58-90% brix sugar baume water content tester_CE | eBay

I calibrate using BP liquid paraffin which is approx 24.5% on the Brix scale or virgin olive oil at 26.8 - 27%. Standard Olive oil is approx 27.2%
As long as one has something to reference it to regarding calibration they are fine, again for this year I have a reading from my sample sent to CEH so can also compare.
 
Last edited:

Hebeegeebee 

Queen Bee
Joined
Dec 4, 2008
Messages
2,087
Reaction score
100
Location
S.E. Norfolk
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
12 on a good day, often more..
My old refractometer has a broken flap so bought a new one on ebay as I KNOW i will lose the flap one day. The old one says 20% when the new one says 16% for the same honey. Previously I used some oil I purchased from Thornes on the old one and it started to melt the plastic flap although the reading stayed the same..

Is there much difference between different olive oils? (Light/virgin/green extra virgin?)
 

Erichalfbee 

Super Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
BeeKeeping Supporter
Joined
Jul 23, 2009
Messages
22,923
Reaction score
4,497
Location
Ceredigion
Hive Type
14x12
Number of Hives
13
As they come ready calibrated it’s easy enough to take a reading from olive oil and decant a little into a small bottle to keep as reference. It doesn’t matter what the original reading was you have a reference
 

Antipodes 

Drone Bee
Joined
Mar 24, 2019
Messages
1,312
Reaction score
511
Location
Tasmania
Hive Type
langstroth
My old refractometer has a broken flap so bought a new one on ebay as I KNOW i will lose the flap one day. The old one says 20% when the new one says 16% for the same honey. Previously I used some oil I purchased from Thornes on the old one and it started to melt the plastic flap although the reading stayed the same..

Is there much difference between different olive oils? (Light/virgin/green extra virgin?)
That was possibly oil of clove if it damaged the plastic. That's a known calibrating oil and it an do that.
19.6 per cent water. Does your refractometer have the mark at 19.6?

 
Last edited:

LeaBees 

House Bee
BeeKeeping Supporter
Joined
Jun 18, 2020
Messages
131
Reaction score
46
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
3
As they come ready calibrated it’s easy enough to take a reading from olive oil and decant a little into a small bottle to keep as reference. It doesn’t matter what the original reading was you have a reference
On a scale of 1(gimmick) to 10(must have), where does a refractometer fall? Wondering if I need to be getting one?
 

BugsInABox 

Field Bee
BeeKeeping Supporter
Joined
Mar 31, 2019
Messages
687
Reaction score
243
Location
South Yorkshire
Hive Type
tbh
Number of Hives
3
Thx - I’ve gone with the eBay option.
LeaBees - my 3rd year and never thought I needed one. This year there is rape around us and I’ve taken the crop off partly capped - so want to see if I’ll have honey or mead in the autumn.
 

hemo 

Drone Bee
Joined
Jun 2, 2009
Messages
1,345
Reaction score
777
Location
West Sussex /RH.
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
6-10
On a scale of 1(gimmick) to 10(must have), where does a refractometer fall? Wondering if I need to be getting one?
10 if you want to have an idea of the water content, it takes all guessing out if you use the shake method with uncapped honey. For up to £20 it's a must have.

In my early days of beeking I had a couple of buckets ferment simply because the moisture was borderline, even some capped honey can be a little high and near 19/19.5%. It doesn't take much for that to ferment.
I extract in small batches and label the tubs with hive, date and Brix %, the higher Brix's are use first.
 
Last edited:

hemo 

Drone Bee
Joined
Jun 2, 2009
Messages
1,345
Reaction score
777
Location
West Sussex /RH.
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
6-10
Most virgin olive oil is approx 27% , as mentioned by Dani pop some in to a sealed container/bottle for future calibrating.
Calibrate for every use if not used for a while as they may need some adjustment.
If unsure of calibration check your readings against another beeks Refractometer's reading.
 
Last edited:

masterBK 

Queen Bee
Joined
Oct 20, 2009
Messages
2,243
Reaction score
255
Location
S Yorkshire
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
29
I recommend Index instruments. The one I bought from them 20+ yrs ago has never needed adjusting. They are refractometer specialists and have been making and selling refractrometers since 1975 (although they are getting some of them made in Asia these days)
 

LeaBees 

House Bee
BeeKeeping Supporter
Joined
Jun 18, 2020
Messages
131
Reaction score
46
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
3
Most virgin olive oil is approx 27% , as mentioned by Dani pop some in to a sealed container/bottle for future calibrating.
Calibrate for every use if not used for a while as they may need some adjustment.
If unsure of calibration check your readings against another beeks Refractometer's reading.
I'll be getting one then. Thanks all.
 

drdrday 

House Bee
Joined
May 2, 2018
Messages
457
Reaction score
411
Location
Nr Maidstone, Kent, UK
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
3
My honey always seems to be borderline even when it's fully capped. It's quite runny in the jar, and takes ages to begin to crystalize.
So a refractometer is an essential bit of kit for me.
 

Hebeegeebee 

Queen Bee
Joined
Dec 4, 2008
Messages
2,087
Reaction score
100
Location
S.E. Norfolk
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
12 on a good day, often more..
As they come ready calibrated it’s easy enough to take a reading from olive oil and decant a little into a small bottle to keep as reference. It doesn’t matter what the original reading was you have a reference
Sadly not! I have just checked.

My old refractometer (which I tend to believe from experience over a number of years) reads 27.5% water content with both light olive oil and extra virgin from the kitchen cupboard. This ties in with HEMO's figures.
My new (ATC) refractometer read 23.4% which was way out. A small screwdriver was supplied, so the adjustment was easy enough to make. Now both read the same; some honey in the kitchen cupboard is 19.5% with both.
If anyone is inclined to buy a refractometer, it's best to check it's calibration.
 

Erichalfbee 

Super Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
BeeKeeping Supporter
Joined
Jul 23, 2009
Messages
22,923
Reaction score
4,497
Location
Ceredigion
Hive Type
14x12
Number of Hives
13
Sadly not! I have just checked.

My old refractometer (which I tend to believe from experience over a number of years) reads 27.5% water content with both light olive oil and extra virgin from the kitchen cupboard. This ties in with HEMO's figures.
My new (ATC) refractometer read 23.4% which was way out. A small screwdriver was supplied, so the adjustment was easy enough to make. Now both read the same; some honey in the kitchen cupboard is 19.5% with both.
If anyone is inclined to buy a refractometer, it's best to check it's calibration.
Good tip...perhaps It's the first thing to do after buying it
 

Swarm 

Super Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
May 29, 2011
Messages
8,473
Reaction score
1,283
Location
South Wales
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
more than 30, less than 100.
So the old one was working fine and the new one wasn't?
 

Antipodes 

Drone Bee
Joined
Mar 24, 2019
Messages
1,312
Reaction score
511
Location
Tasmania
Hive Type
langstroth
My old refractometer has a broken flap so bought a new one on ebay as I KNOW i will lose the flap one day. The old one says 20% when the new one says 16% for the same honey. Previously I used some oil I purchased from Thornes on the old one and it started to melt the plastic flap although the reading stayed the same..

Is there much difference between different olive oils? (Light/virgin/green extra virgin?)
The smallest amount of the dioptric clove oil on the plastic flap will cause opacification of the plastic, however mine came with a glass block that is used in the calibration process so the oil should not contact the plastic flap.

Did your new refractometer come with dioptric oil and does it have a line to indicate the water content for the calibration? Did it come with the glass block?
 

Latest posts

Top