>I am confused about checking gravity in country wines. It is said
>that you add all your fruit and water to the fermenter and then sugar
>to a certain SG. What I don't understand is, if you are doing it this
>way, are you not taking into account the sugar in the fruit? There is
>NO WAY you will get any gravity from some apples that have been
>chopped and thrown in water unless you puree them. You will get the
>gravity of the water you just added.
You are correct. However, the task is to find out how much sugar you
have in that must, not accurately (unless you have lab equipment) but
Setting apart any guessing or accepting the 'fate', this is what I
1. Get a sample by using a fine strainer to hold back 'the thick
stuff'. If this fails to give a readable sample, I would..
2. Measure this 'thick sample' and add to it an equal amount of water.
In effect, you are diluting the sugar content by 100%. Then read the
SG and simply double the result. Actually, I would still subtract
from this result 0.007 (divided by 2, to account for 100%
dilution)to allow for supended solids.
For example: the diluted sample reads 1.037
double it to 1.074
and adjust it to 1.071
Now you make your adjustments according to plan.
>So do you just assume the sugar
>in the fruit is negligible and go entirely with SG from adding sugar?
No, but in the case of apples or other fruit it may be more difficult.
I usually try to break up whater fruit the best way possible, then let
the whole thing (including any added water) cold macerate for 2-3 days
before taking any measurements. This, in my opinion, allows for some
kind of 'balance' to be established in the must, which should give you
>The fruit does not break down and release sugars for several days
>after the yeast has been attacking it.
Remember that you are trying to find out 'how much' sugar you have in
there. You are not trying to break down anything. Let the yeast, or
other, do that. :-)
>MADwand at earthling dot net
Good luck and Season's Greetings.