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Old 05-01-2009, 05:36 PM   #1
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Default Plato vs. specific gravity

I was just wondering why exactly we use specific gravity as opposed to Plato like most (all?) commercial brewers do. I personally have no idea what a Plato measurement means when I see it and have to convert since I've always used SG, but why do we use different units than pro brewers?



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Old 05-01-2009, 06:14 PM   #2
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Why do we still use ounces and gallons? English tradition.



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Old 05-01-2009, 06:24 PM   #3
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Old 05-01-2009, 06:28 PM   #4
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Don't quote me on this, but I believe in the food science or general science industry, pro-brewers are one of the only ones who use °Plato.

°Plato = percent extract (or "sugar", although it's not all sugar) by weight in solution. So, 10°P = 10% extract by weight. This makes things easy for brewing calculations.

Specific gravity relates to (instead of weight of extract) the weight of the whole volume of solution relative to an equal volume of water. So, a 1.060 volume of wort is 6% heavier than the same volume of water.

For brewing purposes, °Plato makes as much sense as using the metric system in everyday life (i.e., a LOT of sense).

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Old 05-01-2009, 07:05 PM   #5
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Luckily, it's an easy conversion. Multiply the degrees Plato by 4, divide by 1000, and add 1. Or, in other words, 4 degrees plato = 1.016 SG.

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Old 05-01-2009, 07:09 PM   #6
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I always wondered about this... Yet again learned something new about brewing!

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Old 05-01-2009, 07:09 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hegh View Post
Luckily, it's an easy conversion. Multiply the degrees Plato by 4, divide by 1000, and add 1. Or, in other words, 4 degrees plato = 1.016 SG.
Or, IIRC

260 / ( 260 / P ) = SG
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Old 05-01-2009, 07:23 PM   #8
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So is *Plato the same at % Brix?

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Old 05-01-2009, 08:00 PM   #9
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I was in Asheville yesterday celebrating my dad's B-day. He wanted to go to a few local microbreweries there....one is a brand new one that's starting to get some awards. Anyway, when we were there, I peered through a window to catch the mash tuns they had. Brand new equipment and quite large to boot (quite a few 60 gallon fermentors taking up an old warehouse). Anyway, the thing that really caught my eye was a standard hydrometer conversion table taped on a mash tun...same one I use with my hydro readings.

My mom says she likes this place's IPA second best (next only to my "tongue splitter ale")....and yes, she's a great cook and likes hoppy beers. Some of her great food recipes use standard American and metric measurements (whatever is most popular for that particular group). In the long run, who really cares if the measurement is metric or some American measure? It's just a means to an end for keeping a correct proportion of ingredients/ABV.

It's like why do we Americans like using a U.S. standard of lbs, Brits like stones, and many countries like kilos....it just is!

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Old 05-01-2009, 08:20 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AZ_IPA View Post
So is *Plato the same at % Brix?
No but close.


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