Food Word: Brix Refractomer
Updated: Dec 1, 2018
Food word: Brix Refractomer
What is it? Invented by Adolf Brix, the Brix Refractometer is a device that optically measures the sugar (sucrose) content in a solution. The Brix scale, with units of degree Brix (°Bx), numerically indicates the sucrose concentration at a given temperature. The Brix refractomer is typically used in wine & beer making and in the sugar industry as it provides accuracy and consistency in products.
Why I like it? I first heard about Brix in the‘Heston Blumenthal at Home’ cookbook. The refractometer is a handy tool to have if you make a lot of fruit-based frozen desserts like sorbets. It’s especially useful when working with tart fruits as it can be hard to judge how much sugar to add if you want to end up with a dessert that pleasantly sweet and still has a good texture –> if a sorbet mixture is too sweet it’ll end up soft and melt quickly. If the mixture is not sweet enough, it’ll be hard and icy.
Anything more? Simple Brix refractometers are not expensive. You can get affordable ones for less than $25 on Amazon. The Brix reading for fruit sorbets varies depending on personal preference for texture and sweetness but a typical range is 24 – 26 °Bx.