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).
ExTech Refractometer Instruction Manual - English
ExTech Refractometer Instruction Manual - Spanish
How To Use: Instructions are included.
To calibrate, 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. Collect juice from leaves or parts of plant that will be consumed.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. 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.Reading should be made within about thirty seconds, as dehydration of juices can cause false readings and difficulty in cleaning the prism. On this model, the percent error of the reading is approximately 0.2%. Once the number has been noted, lift the cover plate and wipe both dry with a clean cloth. Always replace the refractometer in its carrying case.
Environment: Outdoors, Crops, Orchards & Vineyards, Nursery, Greenhouse, Grow Room, Container Plants, Houseplants