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37 Vinometers




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This article is from the WineMaking FAQ, by malak@CAM.ORG (Don Buchan) with numerous contributions by others.

37 Vinometers

{Could someone tell me the principle of how a vinometer works?}

Water's structure causes it to have a very high surface tension and
exhibit marked capillary action. In other words if you stick a narrow
tube in the water the water is pulled up the column.

The more alcohol present the more the capillary action is affected thus
the height of the column changes. Add graduations based on standard
solutions of water and alcohol and you have a reasonably accurate
method of determining the concentration of a water alcohol solution.

Problem is that wine has lots of other things that can affect capillary
action and surface tension. The most prominent of these are residual
sugars. That's why the instructions that come with the device probably
say to only use it on dry wines (wines with minimal residual sugar).

 

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