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  • fruit purees and sugar content

    Hello All,

    Putting together a pilot batch with some Oregon fruit puree. Now, the raspberry provides an sg range of 1.040 - 1.053 on the can. Working backwards from the sugar content in the Nutrition Facts panel I get about 1.036. Not bad. The cherry puree is even farther off - the can provides an sg range of 1.092 - 1.115 but again, working backwards from the sugar content I get an sg of about 1.052.

    I ran the same calculations using the Total Carbohydrate entries in the Nutrition Facts panels and the numbers are still way off.

    Why the discrepancy? Am I missing something? Just curious.

    Thanks in advance!

    John
    John Bleichert
    Water Street Brewing Co.
    Binghamton, NY

  • #2
    Curious how you work backwards from the nutrition label? It may be that there are other contributing factors besides fermentable sugars. Have you done a measurement of the puree itself? Seems like that might be the most direct way to check published gravity of puree.
    Phillip Kelm--Palau Brewing Company Manager--

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    • #3
      Yep - I will be checking the gravity of the purees directly when I open them.

      The Nutrition Facts panel lists the amount of sugar per serving in grams. It also lists the serving size. Calculating the number of servings per can and converting that to gallons leads directly to the SG I should think. The listed sugar content is a subset of the total Total Carbs listed but even that number isn't very close.

      I think a Brix reading is, by definition, total carb (sugar) content? The specific gravity range is given on the can, also in Brix. What else in a fruit puree besides the Total Carbs could effect the Brix reading?

      I would expect it to be off by a little due to natural variations. The raspberry is indeed close but the sweet cherry is way off...

      As I said, just curious!
      John Bleichert
      Water Street Brewing Co.
      Binghamton, NY

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      • #4
        I think the difference is that there's more than sugar adding to the specific gravity. The skins, etc. of the fruit, the fiber, and anything else that isn't sugar or water. I'd be interested to see if the Brix matches the nutrition label - that should be much closer I think.

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        • #5
          Although not exactly the same, Balling/Brix/Plato are for our intents and purposes the same--mostly. Balling/Plato/Brix is NOT by definition sugar content. They are merely different scales on a hydrometer. Use your Balling/Brix/Plato hydrometer to measure glycol, saline, or crude oil. None of those have sugar yet they do show a density greater than pure water. It is the total dissolved solids EXPRESSED as if they were sucrose (and close to % sucrose--not just any sugar--in water). By only looking at sugar you are missing protein, pectin, cellulose and anything else that is not "fermentable sugar". Any standard brewing text will likely have at least a paragraph explaining gravities in brewing. Here's a good homebrewing reference:
          http://morebeer.com/brewingtechnique...3/manning.html
          Cheers!
          Phillip Kelm--Palau Brewing Company Manager--

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          • #6
            A hand held refractometer will give you a better indication of sugar level. You might want to strain/filter the sample first.

            Pax.

            Liam
            Liam McKenna
            www.yellowbellybrewery.com

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            • #7
              Liam: I will be checking the purees when I open them.

              Phillip: I was under the impression that refractometer design is based completely on the refractive index of a sugar solution and that any non-sugars would either cloud the reading or corrupt it (as in alcohol). After poking around a bit I see that refractometers are used to measure density in many non-sugar solutions.

              Back to the original post: I can see why the SG on the label would not necessarily agree with the sugar content on the label, but then why provide that information? Do winemakers (at whom the data is targeted) really care what the SG of the puree is if it doesn't give them a measure of sugar content?

              As I said - just curious.

              John
              John Bleichert
              Water Street Brewing Co.
              Binghamton, NY

              Comment


              • #8
                Not really sure what to tell you about the provided information. If it were me, it wouldn't be about the sugar as much as the flavors. Dose and trial repeatedly to get the results you want. First time is never perfect anyway. And BTW, if the puree is too thick & gooey for your refractometer, you can always do a few serial dilutions to get it within range. Good luck!
                Phillip Kelm--Palau Brewing Company Manager--

                Comment


                • #9
                  Absolutely agree about the flavor balance. Hence the pilot batch(es)! The sugar question was more about me wanting the numbers to line up.

                  Thanks for help! Will report back if anything interesting turns up.
                  John Bleichert
                  Water Street Brewing Co.
                  Binghamton, NY

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