This portable refractometer is a convenient way to measure the Brix level of your plants.Brix refers to the measurement of the percentage of sugars and dissolved solids in a given weight of fresh plant juice. These solids include sucrose, fructose, vitamins, minerals, amino acids, proteins, hormones, and other solids commonly found in a plant's juice.
Brix levels have been used since the 1800's to determine the best time to harvest grapes for wine making. The numbers on the Brix scale correspond directly with plant quality. For fresh fruits and vegetables, Brix percentages range from 0-32%. A lower quality plant, for example a sour grape, will test at 8% or less. A full flavored and higher quality grape grown on fertile soil will test at a 24% or higher. Brix numbers may be used to indicate the quality, taste and overall health of a plant.
Any plant that has a Brix reading of 12% or better will tend to have better immunity to plant pests and diseases. Also, a higher Brix percentage may increase a plant's frost resistance, extending a plant's production period through the season's primary light frosts. Not for use with dried or dehydrated fruits, as liquefaction of these plant parts will give a false reading.
The refractometer resembles a small telescope, but functions like a microscope. It contains a prism (a coverable flat glass plate for light transmission) on one end and a viewfinder on the other. Underneath the prism is the printed Brix scale. The Automatic Temperature Compensation (ATC) feature allows for accurate readings, despite changes in temperature, when used in temperatures of 50° F- 86° F. The 0-32% Portable Brix Refractometer with ATC comes in its own carrying case, with a calibration screwdriver, calibration solution and a one year warranty (one year from date of shipment).
Place several drops of calibration solution on the prism and close the cover plate. Holding the device level, look through the viewfinder (in sunlight) and use the calibration screwdriver to adjust the shadow-line to the zero line. Clean prism and cover with soft cloth.
SAMPLE PREPARATION & READING:
- Collect juice from leaves or parts of the plant to be tested. If necessary, use a garlic press to extract juices and pipette liquid. Place about 2-3 drops of plant juice between the prism and the cover plate. Allow the sample to remain on the prism for approximately 30 seconds.
- Using sunlight, hold the device level and look through the viewfinder and the number seen where the dark field ends (the shadow-line) and the light (from sunlight) begins is the Brix number. It may be necessary to adjust the position of the light source to maximize the contrast of the shadowline. Under normal conditions, optimal contrast is obtained by holding the instrument underneath and perpendicular to a light source.
- Once a reading has been taken, wipe dry with a clean cloth (do not wash or rinse) and place the instrument in the supplied plastic case. Store the instrument in a safe, dry environment.
For complete information, including a Temperature Compensation Table and International Brix % Scale, please refer to the Instruction Manual under the DOCS tab.