High-Tech In Winemaking
23/05/2021 | Alex G
Measuring the sugar content of grape and wine is the most important technique a winemaker must have. Yeast converts sugar into alcohol, so measuring it accurately in grapes and wort will give you a good estimate of the alcoholic potential of a wine and an understanding of the problems you might run into.
Many winemakers use special tablets for this. This is a fairly simple test: a few drops of wine are placed in a test tube with a tablet that reacts with the wine and changes color. The color is then compared to a standard strip to determine the percentage of sugar in the wine. The disadvantage of this method is that it can be difficult to measure the color change with red wine.
Other instrument often used by winemakers to measure sugar is the Refractometer. A drop of juice is placed on the quartz glass surface at one end of the instrument while you look through the sight glass at the other end. The sugar in the juice will cause light to be refracted at a certain angle, depending on the amount of sugar. A refractometer measures this angle and has an appropriate scale to measure the amount of sugar dissolved in the mixture. The instrument is usually graduated in °Brix (grams of sucrose / 100 g solution).
But this method is not very convenient and accurate either. Real revolution in industry was made by digital refractometers.
For example, such as Milwaukee MA871 Digital Brix Refractometer
"I am in love with this instrument. No more large samples. No more phony readings from badly made refractometers."
With this excellent instrument, it takes 1.5 seconds only, to measure sugar in wine or in any other liquid. It couldn't be easier! At the same time it has the highest measurement accuracy!