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Getting to the bottom of the kettle

The extract content in beer wort can be measured based on density, directly at the wort kettle.

Different beers – different extract

Ale, wheat beer, lager or hybrid beer? Which one do you prefer? To each his own, personal preferences strongly differ from each other and the beer industry reacts with a huge variety of beer products differing in color, taste and alcohol content. The latter is mainly influenced by the extract content of the wort before start of fermentation. This calls for an extract check at the wort kettle - based on density measurement with DMA™ 35 from Anton Paar.

This procedure relates to financial aspects as well: In most countries, the beer tax is calculated based on the wort’s extract content, not on the beer’s alcohol content.

An extract about extract

The extract corresponds to the dissolved solids - mainly sugars - in the wort. It is measured in degrees Plato (°P), expressing the concentration in percentage by weight. A rough rule of thumb: The extract divided by three will approximately give the alcohol content of the resulting beer, since during fermentation the extract turns into carbon dioxide, alcohol and non-fermentable ingredients in equal parts.

Let DMA™ 35 do all the work

The DMA™ 35 portable density meter by Anton Paar supports beer brewers in their routine extract checks at the wort kettle. After taking up some milliliters of sample from the wort kettle, the instrument measures the density and temperature of the sample within a few seconds and displays the temperature- compensated result in the preferred unit (°Plato, Specific Gravity, Baumé, etc.). Sampling points can be identified automatically via RFID (“Radio Frequency Identification”) tags. The ID is stored together with the result, ensuring full traceability.

All in all, DMA™ 35 leaves no secrets at the bottom of the kettle.

Good to know

Checking the fermentation process

Besides determining the extract content in beer wort, DMA™ 35 is also used to monitor the fermentation process.

By measuring the density at regular intervals it is possible to check the continuous density decrease of beer wort.