View Full Version : What is a suger break?

10-31-2007, 02:42 PM
I keep reading about 1/3 sugar break, 3/4 sugar break. What is a sugar break? Can't find any definition in Search. Can someone explain, please? Thanks.

10-31-2007, 02:51 PM
A sugar break is when the specific gravity of a fermenting must reaches a point relative to the original gravity of the must. So for a must that has a original gravity of 1.100 that is expected to ferment dry (1.000), the 1/3 sugar break would be 1.067, the 1/2 sugar break would be 1.050, and so on. If the final gravity is expected to be higher (1.010 or 1.020), then the calculation should be adjusted.

A simple formula to figure out the SG of a given sugar break

SG = 1 + (OG - FG) * SB
where OG is the original gravity, FG is the expected final gravity, and SB is the sugar break you're looking for (1/3, 2/3, etc)

If the gravity stuff makes no sense, do a forum search for hydrometer.

Hopefully that covers it.

10-31-2007, 02:55 PM
Your initial mixture has a given amount of fermentable sugars. That's what's measured with the SG (specific gravity) using a hydrometer (looks like a floating thermometer), or measured in brix using a refractometer (optical instrument that measures refraction).

I'm not familiar with brix so i'll ue Sg to explain :)

Water has an SG of 1.000
Water with 30% honey has an SG of about 1.100
once fermentation has started SG drops as sugars get eaten by the yeasts.
Once SG is at 1066, it's the 1/3 sugar break : 0.100/3=0.3333 , 1.100-0.3333 = 1.06666 so one thrid of the available sugars have been fermented so far.

it's that simple :)

10-31-2007, 02:56 PM
lol sync replying :)

10-31-2007, 03:55 PM
Hi Proton,

You have to be using the wrong search tool not to see many entries about the 1/3 sugar break. This subject is ubiquitous on the forums here at got mead.

See here (http://www.gotmead.com/index.php?option=com_smf&Itemid=412&topic=5593.0) for the correct tool to use.

Starting brix 30o

When your brix reading has dropped by 1/3 (ie 10o brix) you have reached the 1/3 sugar break.

Brix is easier to use than SG.



10-31-2007, 04:18 PM
Got it. Thanks all!

Oskaar, I did find a lot of "sugar break" entries from the search, just none of them defines what "sugar break" is.

10-31-2007, 05:44 PM
Proton, glad you got some resonses that you found helpful.

Also, this has been discussed in detail in several other threads.

Here are four example links I found using the forum search tool:





Going forward I suggest you follow the link I gave you earlier and try this a few times to get the hang of it.

Hope that helps,


11-01-2007, 02:10 PM
Thanks, Oskaar.

For my first batch, I don't have much expectation. If I end up with something not tasting bad, I'll be happy. I'll be more precise and try to have more control on my next batch. Take measurements from the out set for sure. Your links will be very helpful going forward. Thanks.

11-01-2007, 02:51 PM
No problem dude.

Listen, if you haven't already started a batch, think up what you want to make, post it in the recipes discussion area, and we'll help you tweak it around to make it a good first recipe for you. No reason you can't have a good batch of mead right from the start!



11-05-2007, 02:20 PM
I have a batch going. The recipe doesn't call for doing anything at any sugar break. I am just browsing and reading postings in the forum, and the term comes up. The must is doing its thing. I guess it's time to write up a brew log. I tastes the must every time I take a hydrometer reading. There is a bit of a off taste, but nothing as bad as mentioned by other newbees. I hope it will eventually go away as the mead ages.