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drainsurgeon

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This is a term I still do not understand. I know from reading here that it relates to Specific Gravity, but how? It seems to be on a totally different scale than SG. Some threads mention brix and SG, sometimes in the same post. A search here hasn't been any help and the Common Terms doesn't have it mentioned either.

I know the answer is here. :h
 

Scooter68

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Well You can talk in terms of Brix but if you want the techical definition (Including history thereof...)

Definition: Brix

Named for A. F. W. Brix, a nineteenth-century German inventor, the Brix scale is a system used in the United States to measure the sugar content of grapes and wine. The Brix (sugar content) is determined by a Hydrometer, which indicates a liquid's Specific Gravity (the density of a liquid in relation to that of pure water). Each degree Brix is equivalent to 1 gram of sugar per 100 grams of grape juice. The grapes for most Table Wines have a Brix reading of between 20¬? to 25¬? at harvest. About 55 to 60 percent of the sugar is converted into Alcohol. The estimated alcohol that a wine will produce (called potential alcohol) is estimated by multiplying the Brix reading by 0.55. Therefore, a 20¬? Brix will make a wine with about 11 percent alcohol.


So, being in this hobby for just over a year - I just look at my hydrometer if I want to convert from brix to SG or vice versa. I prefer to us SG personally but some things like a canned/prepared wine concentrate most often lists the Brix number instead of SG. Like a lot of things in this hobby there are often at least 2 acceptable ways to get to the same end point. Po-ta-toe vs Pa-tah-to
 
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BernardSmith

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I am no expert but I think that Brix is designed to provide the grape grower and the one buying the grapes with the information about the sugar content of the grapes - (and so their ripeness , and therefore their readiness for crushing). Many refractometers are designed with a Brix scale - so you need only use a tiny sample from single grapes still on the vine to determine their sugar content. Your hydrometer assumes that you have already crushed the fruit and expressed all the juice... but if the Brix is too low then you may want to allow the fruit to stay on the vine another few days or weeks... The idea being that the more ripe the fruit the higher the Brix.
 

ibglowin

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I can guarantee you if your working with grapes from a warm/hot growing region you will want to have a refractometer in your toolbox. Once you get above ~24 Brix a Hydrometer is totally WORTHLESS......
 

drainsurgeon

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OK, I now know that Brix represents a % of sugar in the must or in the grape hanging from the vine. It makes sense that you would want to know that before picking to get the grapes at peak ripeness. I still don't understand if it's relevant to know the Brix # once in the primary. If SG is a target # to start a batch of wine to achieve a certain ABV, and the finish SG to calculate the actual ABV, and also to know that the ferment is finished....what purpose does Brix have during the ferment process? (if any)
 

drainsurgeon

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I can guarantee you if your working with grapes from a warm/hot growing region you will want to have a refractometer in your toolbox. Once you get above ~24 Brix a Hydrometer is totally WORTHLESS......
So a refractometer is how you measure Brix? I'm betting that they cost a bit more than a hydrometer.
 

ibglowin

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Once you get above 24 Brix you are trying to measure SLUDGE. Sorry to break the bad news to anyone who loves their Hydrometer but measuring sludge with something that is supposed to just bounce up and down when its SLUDGE doesn't work all that well. The refractometer is a much better tool for high brix grapes.
 
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BlueStimulator

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I have been using my refractometer a lot latley, it was worth every penny. 20 or so grapes crushed has been giving me good reading where my vines are at
 

JohnT

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So, to sum up, Brix is just another measurement scale for specific gravity. You will find that most hydrometers will have both specific gravity and brix graduations. You question is like asking the difference between a mile and a kilometer. They both measure the same thing, just on a different scale.

I like to measure in brix. That scale (roughly the % content of sugar) just makes more sense to me.
 

BernardSmith

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OK, I now know that Brix represents a % of sugar in the must or in the grape hanging from the vine. It makes sense that you would want to know that before picking to get the grapes at peak ripeness. I still don't understand if it's relevant to know the Brix # once in the primary. If SG is a target # to start a batch of wine to achieve a certain ABV, and the finish SG to calculate the actual ABV, and also to know that the ferment is finished....what purpose does Brix have during the ferment process? (if any)
Both Brix and specific gravity are used to measure the sugar content of liquids. I think that both use different indirect measures based on our understanding of how light bends through a liquid (Brix) and how a body floats in a liquid (specific gravity). Brix is a measure of the percentage of sugar in a solution, specific gravity is a measure of the density of a liquid. The specific gravity could be measuring salinity (the salt content in a body of water), the amount of anti-freeze in your radiator .. or it could simply measure how dense an unknown liquid was compared to distilled water.

All kinds of "things" can affect the density of a liquid - including temperature , but home wine makers typically use specific gravity as a good enough indication of the amount of sugar in their must or wine (because the assumption is that sugar is the one substance in the liquid that will have a real significant impact on the density of that liquid).

Brix is a measure of the percentage of sugar in the fruit (grapes or strawberries or passion fruit - whatever..), although , my lack of detailed knowledge not withstanding , I think Brix still uses an indirect method to determine this - usually, the refraction of light by a liquid - the greater the bending of the light the more sugar there is in the liquid since, again, the working assumption is that the only thing in the juice that will significantly contribute to a change in the refractive index is the amount of sugar in the liquid (water)- but refractometers can also be used to measure salinity and levels of anti-freeze ...but they need to be calibrated for those measurements. That is because the same quantity of say, table salt in water does not bend light at the same angle that sucrose will bend a beam of light - so you cannot use a refractometer calibrated for measuring salinity to measure Brix in any simple way. And brewers and wine makers who use refractometers to measure the sugar content of their wort or must need to do all kinds of calculations when they use the same tool after they have pitched the yeast because there is alcohol in the liquid - the meaning of the angle at which light bends (the sugar content or the density of the liquid) is based on the base solution being water , not a mix of alcohol and water.
 
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bkisel

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Earlier this year, for the first time, I entered a wine tasting competition. The entry form required I give the Brix for my wine. Never paid attention to Brix before. Long and the short of it I just used the Brix reading off my hydrometer that aligned with my final SG. Close enough I think for entry into a small local wine tasting contest.
 

drainsurgeon

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So, to sum up, Brix is just another measurement scale for specific gravity. You will find that most hydrometers will have both specific gravity and brix graduations. You question is like asking the difference between a mile and a kilometer. They both measure the same thing, just on a different scale.

I like to measure in brix. That scale (roughly the % content of sugar) just makes more sense to me.
This makes sense to me, but why do most of the recipe's I've looked at here use SG to measure the sugar content to start a batch of wine? To me it seems like the most commonly used term. Is one really more accurate than the other? Or is it more of a region thing? (like metric in Europe and std measure in US)
 

drainsurgeon

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Earlier this year, for the first time, I entered a wine tasting competition. The entry form required I give the Brix for my wine. Never paid attention to Brix before. Long and the short of it I just used the Brix reading off my hydrometer that aligned with my final SG. Close enough I think for entry into a small local wine tasting contest.
In what area of the country was this? Just curious.
 

drainsurgeon

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So, to sum up, Brix is just another measurement scale for specific gravity. You will find that most hydrometers will have both specific gravity and brix graduations. You question is like asking the difference between a mile and a kilometer. They both measure the same thing, just on a different scale.

I like to measure in brix. That scale (roughly the % content of sugar) just makes more sense to me.
Just curious why you prefer the Brix scale. Do you feel that it's more accurate? Don't you have to do a lot of converting when reading a new wine recipes?
 

hounddawg

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ok i grew up in construction we built many brix homes i pick up brix bats, an so on,,,
i see all answers to brix pertained to grapes, does the same rules do the same with country wines, every wine i have made has been from berries and fruits only, i know many purest look down on country wines, i'm ok with that, because all that interests me is what i enjoy, no offence meant and no offence taken, i have been very pleasantly surprised that so many purest have taken their valuable time to help a country wine maker
thank each and every one of yall.
Dawg
 

drainsurgeon

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ok i grew up in construction we built many brix homes i pick up brix bats, an so on,,,
i see all answers to brix pertained to grapes, does the same rules do the same with country wines, every wine i have made has been from berries and fruits only, i know many purest look down on country wines, i'm ok with that, because all that interests me is what i enjoy, no offence meant and no offence taken, i have been very pleasantly surprised that so many purest have taken their valuable time to help a country wine maker
thank each and every one of yall.
Dawg
It's OK Dawg. It's hard to offend a plumber!:)
 

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