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A new refractometric methodology used to monitor fermentations

Published in Scientific Papers. Series B. Horticulture, Vol. LVI
Written by George A. COJOCARU, Arina Oana ANTOCE

A new refractometric methodology for monitoring fermentations was developed. Refractive index is influenced by two facts that occur simultaneously during fermentations, the decrease of sugars from wine (leading to a decrease of refractive index) and the increase of alcohol concentration, due to fermentation of sugars (leading to an increase of refractive index). This deviation of refractive index induced by the presence of alcohol in solution can be corrected by applying some mathematical equations derived by polynomial regressions. By this methodology a good prediction model can be obtained. The methodology allows the winemaker to follow the fermentations and decide when to add nutrients or cool down the wine to slow the fermentation. If the fermentation rate is too slow, real Brix values determined refractometrically decreases by 0.2-0.4 units/day and a decision is rapidly required. Also, the decision of pressing red-wine at a certain sugar concentration or the establishment of the fermentation ending can also be based on accurate refractometric determinations.

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