Technique

Adding Sugar to your Wine

Step 1: Measuring What You Have The first step in figuring out how much sugar to add is to find out how much is present in the starting material/juice. These days, most suppliers of grape juices provide the buyers with the sugar concentrations of the juices we buy — either as weight percent or (equivalently) °Brix. If you have to do your own measurements of the starting materials, you will probably do those with a hydrometer, and we know that most hydrometers have three or four scales on them — with one of them usually a Brix scale so that the equivalent percent sugar can be read directly on the hydrometer scale. I think it’s true, however, that all home winemakers’ hydrometers also contain an SG or specific gravity scale. My old hydrometer has only SG and Potential Alcohol scales, so in order to confirm or determine the sugar content of a juice or must, I have to consult some sort of conversion chart to get from SG to °Brix. As will be shown in what follows, either the SG