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Thread: Brix vs. Plato

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2004

    Brix vs. Plato

    What is the difference between the Brix and Plato? I have been using the Brix scale but my new hydrometers use the Plato scale. What is the formula for figuring alcohol content using Plato? I have been using the formula OG-FG x .43= alcohol% by weght. Is it the same for Plato and Brix? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
    Jeff Lockhart Guest
    I believe they are the same just different names.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2006

    Plato vs. Brix

    Brix is used for measuring the amount of sucrose dissolved in water. It is expressed as % (g/g). It's not really used in the brewing industry.

    Plato is a measure of the weight of the solids dissolved in water. It is also expressed in %. Not all of these solids are fermentable.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Henley-on-Thames, England

    Brix versus Plato

    I've been using brix for a while now, just because my refractometer is in that scale. I use it to measure the gravity of my runnings and as a guide throughout the boil.

    If you have proMash, you don't have to worry about the formulas and conversions, as it will do it all for you. Check it out if you haven't yet:


    Jeff Rosenmeier (Rosie)
    Chairman of the Beer
    Lovibonds Brewery Ltd
    Henley-on-Thames, Englandshire
    F: LovibondsBrewery
    T: @Lovibonds

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Brix and plato are close, but not the same, as mentioned and explained before.
    There is also, Specific gravity and braume', balling........and more.
    All just to make us different! and confuse others.

    As far as determining alcohol, many factors are involved, ABV or ABW, O.G - T.G., but as far as I remember....I use Specific gravity, unless you are reporting to the Government your numbers should be alright.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    The equation for Plato ABV is (OG-FG)x .52

    As far as I know...

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Polson, Montana, USA
    There is a great article on SG and plato/brix at

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2006

    Got Alcohol?

    My addition to the discussion as I see it....Brix is used primarily in non-alcohol applications, for example a vineyard owner can take a grape from the vine, measure the refractive index of the juice and directly calculate the degrees Brix (i.e. sucrose mass percent.) This is because there´s a direct correlation between sucrose concentration and the refractive index. The only species concerned are water and sugar.

    Beer has water, "sugar", and alcohol. The alcohol introduces a third variable to the equation and the R.I is no longer directly proportional (alcohol lowers the density). Two beers can have the same R.I. but have different alcohol/extract values. There are various ways to get alcohol% -either mathematical "best fits", or various analytical instruments (e.g. measuring the oscillation frequency or directly via IR.) The official EBC method involves distilling off and sampling the resulting alcohol solution. I´m interested how other people do this....

    Here´s one polynomial:
    Alcohol (in mass percent)=.2965(R)-295.8(D)+291.2825 where R is the R.I. of the beer and D is the Pyknometer ratio of the beer at 20degrees....

    The easiest approximation I´ve seen so far is a nomogram consisting of 5 lines (one each for final gravity (apparent),final gravity (real), R.I., Original Gravity, and Alcohol.) You only need 2 points and you can create a line from which you can read the other points. The easiest 2 to determine are final gravity apparent, and final gravity real. From the resulting line you can determine the alcohol %.

    This is what I´ve learned over here in Germany so far...any other ways??

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