Article10 Great GadgetsWritten by Jeff ChorniakIn this 10th anniversary issue of WineMaker magazine, we present 10 items that will make your home winemaking more enjoyable. From old mechanical standy-bys to new computerized state-of-the-art doo-dads, here’s a list that every gadget junkie will want to ponder. 1. Hand refractometer ($80+) For anyone growing their own vines or evaluating fresh grapes they have purchased, it’s important to know the sugar content of the fruit. A refractometer measures the percentage of sugar in your grapes with just 2 or 3 drops of juice from a single grape. It saves you from having to crush a bunch of grapes to take a hydrometer reading. Simply squeeze the juice of a single grape onto the prism end and close the glass plate. Point the refractometer to a light source and look through the eyepiece. The scale in the prism reads the sugar level from 0 to 32 in ºBrix. You can then convert the reading to specific gravity (SG) and potential alcohol. 2. pH meter ($80+) Every advancing winemaker knows that pH in grapes before, during and after fermentation isAlready a member? Log InYou'll Also Like Article MEMBERS ONLY Build Your Own Basket Press Build this basket press using HDPE plastic. Article MEMBERS ONLY The Retirement Plan All good things must come to an end . . . and that includes your winemaking equipment. Let’s run through the signs of when it’s time to replace equipment, when it can be restored, and how to best preserve it for a few more seasons.