Hanna Digital Refractometer (HI 96811)

Hanna Digital Refractometer (HI 96811)

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The HI96811 is a rugged, portable digital refractometer designed for sugar measurement of juice and must. The HI96811 reports sugar content as % Brix and has a high accuracy of ±0.2%. The operation of the meter is simplified with only two buttons: one button is to calibrate with distilled or deionized water and the other to take a measurement. All readings are automatically compensated for temperature variations according to the ICUMSA Methods Book standard and displayed within a 1.5 second response time. The sealed flint glass prism and stainless steel well are easy to clean. Just wipe with a soft cloth in preparation for the next sample.

  • Sample size as small as 2 metric drops (100 μl)
  • Sealed stainless steel well with high-grade optical prism made of flint glass
  • Fast 1.5 second response time for temperature compensated readings

The HI96811 Digital Refractometer converts the refractive index of a juice or must sample to % Brix. This conversion is based on the tables found in the ICUMSA Methods Book (International Commission for Uniform Methods of Sugar Analysis) that documents the changes in the refractive index with temperature for a percent by weight sucrose solution. Since the majority of sugar in grape juice and must is fructose and glucose instead of sucrose, the reading is sometimes referred to as “Apparent Brix”. Typical grapes at harvest will be between 19-24% Brix or degrees Brix (°Bx). The HI96811 is an easy-to-use tool for winemakers for measuring sugar in grapes or must, in the field or in the lab.

  • Designed for winemaking sugar analysis
  • Temperature Compensation algorithms based on sucrose solution
  • 0 to 50% Brix range with an accuracy of +/- 0.2% Brix

Making a Standard % Brix (Sucrose) Solution
To make a Brix Solution, follow the procedure below:

  • Place container (such as a glass vial or dropper bottle that has a cover) on an analytical balance.
  • Tare the balance.
  • Weigh out X grams of high purity sucrose (CAS #: 57-50-1) directly into a beaker.
  • Add distilled or deionized water to the beaker so the total weight of the solution is 100g.
  • Note: Solutions above 65% may need to be vigorously stirred or shaken and heated in a water bath to roughly 40°C (104°F).
  • Remove solution when sucrose has dissolved and allow to cool before use.

Refractive Index
The HI96811 takes measurements based on a sample’s refractive index. The refractive index is a measurement of how light behaves as it passes through the sample. Depending on the sample’s composition, the light will refract and reflect differently. By measuring this activity with a linear image sensor, the sample’s refractive index can be assessed and used to determine its physical properties such as concentration and density. In addition to the linear image sensor, the HI96811 uses an LED light, prism and lens to make measurement possible.

Variations in temperature will affect the accuracy of refractometry readings, so the use of temperature compensation is highly recommended for reliable results. The HI96811 contains a built-in temperature sensor and is programmed with temperature compensation algorithms in accordance with the ICUMSA Methods Book Standard for a percent by weight sucrose solution.


  • One-point calibration - Calibrate with distilled or deionized water
  • Small sample size - Sample size can be as small as 2 metric drops (100 μl)
  • Quick, accurate results - Readings are displayed in approximately 1.5 seconds
  • Dual-level LCD - The dual-level LCD displays % Brix and temperature readings simultaneously
  • Battery indicators - Battery percent level remaining at startup and low battery indicator
  • Automatic shut-off - To conserve battery life the meter shuts off automatically after three minutes of non-use
  • Stainless steel sample well - Easy to clean and corrosion-resistant
  • IP65 water-resistant protection - Water resistant ABS plastic casing designed to perform under laboratory and field conditions.
  • Automatic Temperature Compensation (ATC) - Samples automatically compensated for temperature variations
  • 1 button calibration, only requires 2 metric drops of sample (100 μl), fast 1.5 second response time for temperature compensated readings
  • IP65 Water Resistant Protection with ABS plastic casing for both lab and field conditions
  • LCD display displays both %Brix and temperature simultaneously, automatic shut off after 3 min of non use to preserve battery life



Item # MT712
Shipping Eligible for Free Shipping Program
Availability California - Out Of Stock
Pennsylvania - In Stock
Weight 0.50 LBS
Community Q&A

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Browse 2 questions Browse 2 questions and 1 answer
Why did you choose this?
MoreFlavor Store
Ease of use
WILLIAM Reynolds B on May 14, 2020
another winery uses the same model
Geoff F on Sep 7, 2019
Ease of use
WILLIAM Reynolds B on May 14, 2020
easy to use
Jerry J Wild on Sep 21, 2019
another winery uses the same model
Geoff F on Sep 7, 2019
More accurate than standard refract - less room for error
Ian H on Jun 25, 2019
don't trust the refractometer i have
Jason Aylward on Feb 25, 2019
Tired of using an analog refractometer
Kenneth T on Jan 11, 2019
replace broken dig ref
Cheryl H on Oct 19, 2018
better price than other online merchants
brett miller on Sep 12, 2018
Easy to calibrate
Mr John D on Jun 28, 2018
I have completely shifted over to a Brix view of the world and would like to replace my refractometer with an easier to use instrument.
John R on May 30, 2018
Good reviews
Ryan R on May 3, 2018
to take accurate measurements
Daniel R on Mar 16, 2018
Ease of use, digital read-out (easier to read and calibrate).
Gray Maxwell on Feb 27, 2018
easy to use
Jerry J Wild on Sep 21, 2019
More accurate than standard refract - less room for error
Ian H on Jun 25, 2019
What is the wort correction factor for this item?
Jeffrey Hewit on Jan 22, 2022
Can this be used post-fermentation?
Stephen Miller on Mar 15, 2023
BEST ANSWER: Yes! But you will need to adjust the reading for the presence of alcohol. Take a look at the spreadsheets and calculators we list above to make this adjustment.

4.0 / 5.0
13 Reviews
5 Stars
4 Stars
3 Stars
2 Stars
1 Star
Rated 1 out of 5
Expensive and unreliable
Do not buy this. The very first time you use it you may think that it is amazingly easy, accurate, and wastes only a little wort. You would be right on two of the points but wrong on the most important point. If you do the reading again, it will be different. Do it a third time and different still. Keep your hydrometer or refractometer and stay far away from this expensive piece of junk.
April 12, 2022
over 5 years ago
Rated 2 out of 5
Must average out 10 readings.
I bought this after having three previous handheld Refractometers get wet and thus rendered useless. I thought that if I spent $180 on a Digital Refractometer, I would be getting quality and thus make my life and brew day easier. Well, that is not a very accurate bit if reasoning. This item is very unreliable and is only getting worse each time I use... I can take a cup sample of wort and swirl it and use an eye dropper to place 4 drops on to the glass. I get readings like15.9,14.1, 13.9, 14.9, 14.8, 15.1... So, I really have no idea what the true brix measurement is. So, what I do it take as many readings it takes to get the same Brix measurement 5 times, then call it good... sometimes it takes 10 tries, sometimes, it takes more... I have even gotten to the point where I just average out the first 10 readings. Would never recommend this to anyone I like.
July 29, 2020
over 4 years ago
Rated 5 out of 5
No more confirmation bias with gravity readings, quick exact repeatable results. Tiny sample requires, easy to clean and calibrate. Use with a steel mesh filter/strainer as hop particles can skew wort OG tradings
August 1, 2019
over 4 years ago
Rated 1 out of 5
I would give it less than 1 star if I could
I have had this for over a year & it has NEVER given a consistent reading. Any sample other than distilled water, at any consistent temp will give a different reading 9 out of 10 times. This POS has never been accurate or consistent. Biggest waste of brewing tech bnb I have ever spent.
October 7, 2018
Response from MoreFlavor
Hey so sorry about your experience. Thank you so much for your feedback. We really appreciate the honesty and value great feedback like this as it helps us improve our products. We try very hard to create the best experience for our customers and provide quality products. Please give us a call at 1-800-600-0033 or email us at info@moreflavor.com so that we can assist you. We are here to help. Cheers!
May 29, 2020
Malcolm lieban
Rated 5 out of 5
Experience with Hanna Digital Refractometer
I've used this instrument on two brew days. I typically batch sparge and like to take readings after each sparge. I also like taking readings during the boil. (Of course I let the sample cool before placing a drop in the sampling wel.) I am extremely happy with it. It certainly beats squinting through the eyepiece of a handheld refractometer, while trying to steady myself so that I can make out a precise Brix reading. With a handheld instrument, there is also the interpretive ambiguity of where the line actually is when it isn't sharp. The Hanna instrument gives robust repeatable readings as long as you initially wait a few seconds for temperature stabilization. I'm definitely happy with this purchase.
June 12, 2018
over 6 years ago
Response from MoreFlavor
Great review! Thank you for sharing your experience with this equipment.
June 13, 2018
Zach R Staff
Rated 5 out of 5
A MUST Tool for all grain brewers
Works great, fast & extremely accurate. Would suggest this item to anyone who brews all grain beers. The precise ability to spot check your process is a real plus.
The new Hanna Digital Refractometer was another great addition to our home brewing system
The new Hanna Digital Refractometer was another great addition to our home brewing system
February 25, 2018
over 6 years ago
Rated 5 out of 5
Takes the guesswork out of the refractometer. Super easy to use.
February 15, 2018
over 6 years ago
Rated 4 out of 5
A few drops does the trick
It works great but tet the sample cool a bit. Yes, it does account for temperature but I have found letting the sample sit on the glass for 45 seconds or so makes a significant difference in the reading and the final reading is more accurate (tends to be higher) when compared to a full hydrometer reading.
January 23, 2018
over 6 years ago
Rated 5 out of 5
Great Product, Consistent Results
I originally purchased this because of all the 1 gallon sour experiments I am working on. A small sample (such as one drop) is all you need to get a reading, which can be quite useful when you have a small volume to take a sample from. I always keep a fresh bottle of distilled water nearby to zero in the device, and it always seems to work perfect. After using for a couple of months, and tons of samples, the only bad thing about this Hanna refractometer are the necessary conversions (you have to convert out of Brix and Celsius). When I originally purchased this refractometer I didn't trust it completely, but since I've verified results with a hydrometer many times and any small variation in results I can only assume is from my variation in reading the hydrometer. If and when this goes out, I'll probably just have to get another so I don't have to waste time with a hydrometer again!
May 28, 2015
Rated 5 out of 5
Great - no more guessing!
I love having my readings in clear digital numbers and with temp so I can adjust gravity appropriately. Super easy to operate and a great addition to brew day!
May 27, 2015