A honey refractometer measures how much moisture or water is in honey or any other type of syrup. Honey refractometers operate using the Brix scale, and this particular honey refractometer is simple to use and can measure the moisture content of honey using only a drop of honey. The best honey refractometer is easy to use, easy to calibrate, and where you can find it.
This honey refractometer kit includes the calibration screwdriver, lint rag, calibration fluid bottle, instructions, and refractometer. This is not a digital honey refractometer, so it does not require any batteries. This analog refractometer will give you accurate readings for years. ATC is built into this refractometer which stands for Automatic temperature compensation, which is essential to the accurate reading of the honey. The temperature of the fluid will affect the reading, but with ATC, you will get a consistent reading even with different temperatures. For the best results, calibrate the thermometer with fluid at the same temperature as the sample you are testing.
A refractometer is used by placing a honey sample drop on the screen and spreading it into a thin layer by closing the cover. Then raise the refractometer up to a bright light and look through the eyepiece. The eyepiece can be adjusted to read the screen that displays the water content/sugar content in the honey. Where the two colors meet on the screen is the moisture content of the honey. The screen can then be cleaned with the cloth, and it is ready for a new sample.
Honey bees naturally remove water from nectar inside the bee hive, but the beekeeper must harvest honey only when there is less than 18% moisture content. The honey refractometer can measure moisture in the honey so you can be sure your honey is ready to bottle. Harvesting honey with an average high moisture content of 18% or above will yield to the fermentation of the honey. Honey will absorb moisture from the air if not placed in a sealed container. So even if honey is harvested with a 17% moisture content, it can increase in moisture if not stored correctly.
Beekeepers use a honey refractometer before or after it is harvesting honey. When testing before harvesting, it is best to multiple readings from multiple honey supers. After calibrating with the included calibration oil or extra virgin olive oil, the refractometer is ready to use. Simply place a drop of calibration fluid or olive oil on the screen and close the cover to spread the oil. The included screwdriver, the calibration screw is turned until the reading measures 72 or 28. Calibrating this way will tell you there are 72% solids or 28% water in the oil, depending on how you read it. You can also calibrate with distilled water which should measure 1%.