Wine Word of the Week: Brix

By Kori ~ July 10th, 2012.

This week’s Wine Word of the Week is Brix.

Official definition from Jancis Robinson’s The Oxford Companion to Wine:
Brix is the scale of measuring total dissolved compounds in grape juice, and therefore its approximate concentration of grape sugars. It is used in the United States and, like other scales used elsewhere, it can be measured with either a refractometer or hydrometer. Degrees Brix indicate the percentage of solutes (of which about 90 percent are sugars in ripe grapes) by weight in the liquid, at a temperature specified for the instrument used. One degree Brix corresponds approximately to 18 g/l sugar.

Layman’s terms from Kori:
In the United States, sugar in grapes is measured in degrees Brix. To estimate the final alcohol level in a wine, the general rule is to divide the Brix measurement by two. For example, grapes harvested at 26 degrees Brix will probably yield a wine that is about 13 percent alcohol.

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