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Workflow with SmartRef Digital Refractometer

Step by step guide on how to start your first measurement with SmartRef:

1. Download the mobile app for SmartRef

Before you can use your digital refractometer, you have to download the Lab Meister mobile app in the Apple App Store or Google Play Store.


When you open the app for the first time you can choose between different projects. Depending on what you would like to measure, you either continue with Lab Meister mobile app or you can download one of the other available apps for SmartRef.


2. Sample Preparation

Before you start your measurement, you have to prepare your sample depending on its condition:

  • Liquids containing CO2, (like beer) will cause bubbles in the sample area, which lead to invalid measurement results. For that reason you should degas your samples before measurement.
  • For samples containing suspended solids, it is recommended that the sample is filtered or sieved (0.5 mm mesh diameter) before measurement.
  • Viscous samples (such as honey) have to be homogenized by stirring thoroughly (~5 minutes) at room temperature. Additionally, sieve the sample if it contains any coarse material.


3. Connect your SmartRef to your mobile phone

  • Activate Bluetooth on your mobile phone. Open the Lab Meister mobile app and turn on the device by pressing the power button.
  • The status LEDs next to the power button start blinking. This indicates that your SmartRef is ready for the connection.
  • Click “Connect” and the Lab Meister mobile app will establish a connection between your mobile device and SmartRef. After the connection has been succesfully established, the status LEDs are permanently on. 


4. Cleaning

Check if the prism surface and sample well are clean before you proceed. For cleaning, use a few drops of distilled water or ethanol and a soft tissue. If the prism surface is not clean enough the integrated SmartGuide+ will give you a warning during measurement. (Learn more...)

5. Zero Adjustment

A water check should be performed before starting a measurement series. This is necessary to ensure the accuracy and reliability of your measurements. Depending on the selected unit of measurement, the result should be e.g. 0.0 °Brix, 0 ppt, etc. within the respective accuracy. If you get a result that deviates from the target value of your sample by more than the given tolerances, you need to adjust the device by performing a zero adjustment.

The zero adjustment can be performed quickly in the app: Apply distilled water on the measuring surface until the sample well is filled up to the marked height (> 0.4 mL are required in order to get proper measurement results). You can simply perform the zero adjustment directly in the section Measure at the "More options" sign in the upper right corner.

After the adjustment, clean the sample well and prism surface according point 4.

NOTE: Make sure that the prism surface and sample well are completely clean before making a zero adjustment to ensure that the measurement results are not affected by contamination.


6. Measurement

Now, you can start your measurement. Apply the prepared sample on the measuring surface using a plastic pipette or plastic syringe until the sample well is filled up to the marked height. To start a measurement, tap on “Start” in the Measure section. The measuring result can be directly saved in a preexisting or new log.

7. Cleaning

Between and after each measurement, the prism surface and sample well need to be cleaned according to following instructions:

  • Wipe off the sample or use the provided plastic pipette to remove the sample from the sample area.
  • Rinse the sample area with a suitable cleaner (e.g. distilled water or ethanol).
  • Empty the sample well using a plastic pipette/syringe.
  • Dry off any remaining droplets with a clean and soft cloth (cotton or microfiber).

Note: Do not use aggressive solvents (e.g. Acetone) to clean the device. Only use approved and compatible cleaning agents, otherwise your device could suffer permanent damage.


8. Storage

When you have finished your measurement series for the day and the SmartRef is cleaned, store the device in a dry environment away from direct sunlight and temperature extremes.


If you need assistance with the measurement process with SmartRef, please contact our support team at


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