hist-brewing: brix

Dan McFeeley mcfeeley at keynet.net
Mon Feb 14 07:17:53 PST 2000

At 04:00 AM 2/14/00 -0800, Renee Peterson wrote:

>Please help!  I normally brew metheglins, but am attempting to delve into 
>the world of melomels.  Unfortunately, I'm having a slight calculations 
>problem.  If 11.5 brix of sugar is 9 brix of honey, and my calculations tell 
>me I need 5 1/4 lbs of sugar, how much honey is that?  I thought it would be 
>around 4.1 lbs, but my brewing mentor tells me it's much higher, around 6 
>3/4 lbs honey. How can this be?
>11.5 / 9= 1.278, but 9 / 11.5= .75 (or there abouts.)  What's going on?
>I really hope someone can help me.  Thank you.

Brix is a measure of grams solid matter per 100 grams water.  Because
approx. 90% or so of the solids in grape must are fermentable sugars,
Brix is easily compared with simple sucrose solutions.  For the sake of
ease, the charts used by winemakers to work with Brix and specific 
gravity are based on sucrose solutions.  

The Brix measure of honey is approx. 78% fermentable sugars, however, which
is why you can't use charts and graphs designed specifically for winemaking
and get accurate results.  You'll notice that 9 Brix of honey is 78.261%
of the 11.5 Brix for a sugar solution, so the conversions are accurate.

Dan McFeeley
mcfeeley at keynet.net

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