Author Topic: Scientific equipment  (Read 6660 times)

Fruitguy

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Scientific equipment
« on: January 25, 2012, 09:35:07 AM »
Murahilin mentioned on Harry's farm post about purchasing a refractometer to measure sugar content.  This got me to thinkin (you're shocked, i know)... where does everyone buy their scientific instruments?  Which places have a good reputation for quality?

Thanks,
Warren

lycheeluva

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Re: Scientific equipment
« Reply #1 on: January 25, 2012, 09:50:26 AM »
Warren- if u r considering buying a refractometer, i would recommend you looking in on GW's fruit and orchard forum- there is a guy there- i think he uses name fruitnut or something like that who bought a few before he found one he deemed accurate

murahilin

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Re: Scientific equipment
« Reply #2 on: January 25, 2012, 02:16:28 PM »
I don't have any scientific instruments  :(

I have been looking on Amazon for the refractometers though because they have a very wide selection and the reviews are usually pretty helpful.

Tropicdude

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Re: Scientific equipment
« Reply #3 on: January 25, 2012, 03:36:38 PM »
I am also thinking of picking up a refractometer, did lots of searching, and noticed they have different scales, I believe the most useful would be one that I found that has a 0-18% scale. for fruits. most seem to have a 0-32%.
William
" The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago.....The second best time, is now ! "

fruitlovers

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Re: Scientific equipment
« Reply #4 on: January 25, 2012, 03:45:52 PM »
Just curious why all you guys want refractometers? Usually they are used by large farms to pick fruit at perfect sugar content. Seems like an expensive piece of equipment for just a few fruits? Or maybe now the prices have come down? What is their price range?
Oscar
Oscar

murahilin

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Re: Scientific equipment
« Reply #5 on: January 25, 2012, 03:59:00 PM »
Just curious why all you guys want refractometers? Usually they are used by large farms to pick fruit at perfect sugar content. Seems like an expensive piece of equipment for just a few fruits? Or maybe now the prices have come down? What is their price range?
Oscar

I want a refractometer just for the hell of it. It would be fun to test the different brix of different varieties of fruit.

What I've seen on Amazon and google in the affordable $0-300 range are either the handheld optical refractometers or the digital refractometers. The digital seem to be the way to go because they are more accurate. I found a digital with good reviews for $142. http://www.amazon.com/Hanna-Instruments-Refractometer-Professional-Analysis/dp/B002NX0WHS/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1327525031&sr=8-1

The optical handhelds are as low as $40.

Here is a video I found with a guy using both types:
How To Take a Brix Reading Using A Refractometer
« Last Edit: January 25, 2012, 05:25:35 PM by murahilin »

fruitlovers

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Re: Scientific equipment
« Reply #6 on: January 25, 2012, 05:51:55 PM »
Thanks for the utube video murahilin. Now i'm dying to test my bunny love carrots!  :D  Seriously, am i going to have to get one of these gadgets just to keep up with you guys? Will i look bad if you know the brix readings of your fruits and i don't?  :'(  Should i spend the $150 for a digital refractometer or for another 25 bags of chicken manure? My plants vote for the manure! My intellectual/acquiring mind votes for the brix instrument. Who will win? Only time will tell.
Oscar
Oscar

TropicalFruitHunters

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Re: Scientific equipment
« Reply #7 on: January 25, 2012, 07:26:53 PM »
What??!!  You're not raising chickens over there??!!

lycheeluva

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Re: Scientific equipment
« Reply #8 on: January 25, 2012, 07:39:14 PM »
Usually they are used by large farms to pick fruit at perfect sugar content.

oscar, no disrespect but surely you cannot be serious when u talk of farms picking fruit at perfect sugar content- based on the fruit i buy from the stores, the farms pick fruit at just about the lowest possible sugar content so long as it will travel well and look shiny in the stores

fruitlovers

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Re: Scientific equipment
« Reply #9 on: January 25, 2012, 10:37:41 PM »
What??!!  You're not raising chickens over there??!!

Hi Jay, yes ofcourse we have chickens and we love them!  :-*  Unfortunately our dozen or so chickens will not produce the hundreds of pounds of chicken manure needed to feed all our trees. Also as much as i've asked my chickens to only poop around the drip line of the tree they demand to poop wherever they want.  ;D  We like to have them free ranging, makes for excellent eggs, but terrible manure production.


Usually they are used by large farms to pick fruit at perfect sugar content.

oscar, no disrespect but surely you cannot be serious when u talk of farms picking fruit at perfect sugar content- based on the fruit i buy from the stores, the farms pick fruit at just about the lowest possible sugar content so long as it will travel well and look shiny in the stores

Lycheeluva, i was perfectly (or imperfectly) serious when i said that. If you think about production of grapes for wine making then you have to have the grapes at just the right brix stage. Even for other fruits which are picked on the green side for long transportation to market the good farmer will want to know the perfect unripe stage to pick at to endure the many weeks from field to eating without rotting.
Oscar
Oscar

murahilin

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Re: Scientific equipment
« Reply #10 on: January 26, 2012, 11:16:55 AM »
Thanks for the utube video murahilin. Now i'm dying to test my bunny love carrots!  :D  Seriously, am i going to have to get one of these gadgets just to keep up with you guys? Will i look bad if you know the brix readings of your fruits and i don't?  :'(  Should i spend the $150 for a digital refractometer or for another 25 bags of chicken manure? My plants vote for the manure! My intellectual/acquiring mind votes for the brix instrument. Who will win? Only time will tell.
Oscar

I think you should go with the refractometer. From now on, everytime you eat a fruit you will be thinking, "I wonder what the brix of this fruit is. If I had my handy refractometer with me I would know."

Fruitguy

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Re: Scientific equipment
« Reply #11 on: January 26, 2012, 11:28:49 AM »
Thanks for posting the links (video and other) Murahilin. 

Tropicdude

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Re: Scientific equipment
« Reply #12 on: January 26, 2012, 12:24:04 PM »
@ Oscar
Refractometers are actually going mainstream, even for people without gardens. 
they are being used to measure not only the quality of fruit, but also for the health of the plant, and this goes for non fruit plants also.

for example, herbs could be monitored, and by comparing brix, you pick herbs at their peak.

Simple refractometers, like those 40-50 dollar ones on ebay or amazon should do the trick. they are simple optical devices, all you do is squeeze a bit of liquid on the glass plate, which "bends" the light,  the higher the brix, the more the light bends.  accuracy I believe would depend more on the scale,  I mean if you get one with a 0-50 scale, every little line mark may represent 2 brix. where if you get one close to the range we gardeners will be using which is about  0 - 18 brix range, you will be able to measure fractions of a 1 brix.
William
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GwenninPR

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Re: Scientific equipment
« Reply #13 on: January 26, 2012, 03:52:09 PM »
We used to use one of those optical refractometers at work to measure the dextrose content in the IVs we made. (It was 20 years ago, so I assume the digital ones we $$$).  Very easy and decently accurate. Like Tropicdude said, get one with a small range and you should fine.  And it is a small investment for a lot of geeky garden fun!

fruitlovers

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Re: Scientific equipment
« Reply #14 on: January 27, 2012, 07:10:51 PM »
@ Oscar
Refractometers are actually going mainstream, even for people without gardens. 
they are being used to measure not only the quality of fruit, but also for the health of the plant, and this goes for non fruit plants also.

for example, herbs could be monitored, and by comparing brix, you pick herbs at their peak.

Simple refractometers, like those 40-50 dollar ones on ebay or amazon should do the trick. they are simple optical devices, all you do is squeeze a bit of liquid on the glass plate, which "bends" the light,  the higher the brix, the more the light bends.  accuracy I believe would depend more on the scale,  I mean if you get one with a 0-50 scale, every little line mark may represent 2 brix. where if you get one close to the range we gardeners will be using which is about  0 - 18 brix range, you will be able to measure fractions of a 1 brix.

Thanks! I didn't realize they were so versatile or cheap. You've helped me to come a lot closer to rationalizing spending the dough!
Oscar
Oscar