We are a California manufacturer of a carbonated low-alcohol beverage and are looking for a relatively low-cost way to test samples to make sure alcohol is below 0.5%. Would your refractometer work for this?
Unless your beverage is just ethanol and water, a refractometer will not be able to directly measure the alcohol content. This is because sugars in the solution will conflict with a reading of alcohol and vice a versa. Probably the best way to test this is by distilling the beverage and measuring the distillate with a Palm Abbe digital refractometer equipped with an ethanol scale.