Brix is another way to measure sugar content and correlates with specific gravity. This hydrometer has a brix scale as well. A refractometer can also be used to measure brix. A Brix value, is the number of grams of sucrose present per 100 grams of liquid. The value is measured on a scale of 1 to 100 and is used to calculate an approximate potential alcohol content by multiplying by 0.59. So, if a pre-fermented liquid measures 18 °Bx, its potential alcohol content will be approximately 10.6 percent ABV. This is estimated or an approximate value because there are other factors in the brewing and distilling process that can effect the efficiency.
The Approximate Potential Alcohol Reading
This a good quick look at how much alcohol you will potentially produce if everything goes right in the fermentation process. FYI – the most alcohol you can create in fermentation is around 20%. What happens is when the alcohol gets around 20% the yeast cells die off and stop producing more alcohol.
Specific Gravity Reading
Using this specific gravity reading when using a hydrometer is an estimated way to know how much alcohol was produced in fermentation. In order to accomplish this, you get a reading right at the start before you add yeast and you get another reading at the end of fermentation.
Use a simple math formulation and then you know how much estimated alcohol was created during fermentation so ultimately you have an idea of how much estimated alcohol there will be to distill out.. This gives you an estimate. Not every drop will be distilled out and also you will be removing foreshots, heads, and tails when you make your cuts.
See below step by step how to use a hydrometer using the specific gravity reading.