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A refractometer is an optical instrument to determine the sugar content of must. It is measured through the refraction (Latin origin: fractus = breaking) of the particles in a liquid (for example sugar). A refractometer therefore determines the density of a liquid. The higher the density is, the higher the refraction. A refractometer used to measure must weight may be calibrated on degree oechsle. Handheld refractometers for measuring the must weight may be taken out to the vineyard. Apart from their use in wine production refractometers are used to determine the salt content or mixing ration of other liquids.

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