# hist-brewing: RE:Help with brix

Jerry Harder mastergoodwine at alltel.net
Wed Feb 16 08:25:59 PST 2000

```Kirsty Pollock wrote:
> The numbers all work out the same. The only difference is

> > with brix people will
> > know what your talking about because its a standard form of
> > measurement.
>
> Not outside the US it's not!!
>
> I wouldn't swear to the rest of the planet, but U.K.
> book/kits/directions/people all use S.G. Brix is only mentioned in
one book
> I have (it says in case you encounter any American books or recipies)
and a
> conversion factor given.
>
> A minor point, but I had to say it
>

And in the US we seldom use the metric system but that doesn't mean that
the
metric system isn't a standard. Standardized also is the stupid obsolete
US
system we Americans use that isn't even the same as the historical
Imperial
System once used over most of Europe with units of the same names.  The
German
system of Oechsle (the same as the specific gravity but dropping the 1
and the
decimal point) is a standard as well but not used much outside Germany
or so I
understand.  Any good scientific book that I have ever seen will have
conversions for these STANDARDIZED forms of expressing the concentration
of
sugar in a must.  Some other standardized forms of expressing
concentration
though not often used in wine making except maybe in specific instance
are ppt,
ppm, molarity, normality, and density.

But I Do understand your point.  Most of the information you have does
not use brix in
any form.  I understand the dilemma this may put you in especally if you
don't have any resources that convert one to the other.  I myself "grew
up"
using specific gravity.  When I talked to wineries though they all
wanted to
talk in brix.  There is a good reason for this.  Calculations are very
easy with
brix if you know a little algebra. Brix is simply percent by weight.  If
you
have 100 lbs of must at 5 brix there is 5 lbs of sugar in it. Supposing
you want
to make something at 11.5% alcohol Starting with some fruit juice at
this 5 brix
level.  You will of course need a chart to tell you that the sugar
required to
do this will give a reading of 21 brix the same as you will need a
similar chart
to tell you that the specific gravity needed is 1.088.  But how much
sugar is
that? With SG you will have to interpolate from a chart again.  But from
the
basic percent by weight Brix definition we can write:

5+X / 100+X =0.21  or after rearranging  X =( .21(100)-5)/(1-.21) =20.25

We can easily check this result by the same basic equation: The total
sugar
divided by the total weight of everything:

5+20.25 / 100 + 20.25 = 25.25 / 120.25 = .2100 or 21 brix.

My point was the numbers in the previous post although correct in
proportion
don't jive with ANY standard system that I know of.  What I was asking
is what
is the significance of that particular set of numbers.  My thinking is
that they
must be uniquely useful in some way, but How? Why? In what fashion?

PS If anyone needs help crunching numbers, I'm always glad to help.

Master Gerald Goodwine.

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