Why Brix Is Important?

Why Brix Is Important

Utilization of the Brix scale is a key component in determining the nutritional density and the number of dissolved solids, including sugar, in plant juices. Brix measurements play a large role in determining when wine grapes are at their peak sugar content for harvest. Brix testing can also be used with other forms of produce to determine the sugar, mineral, protein and amino acid concentration of the plant.

Brix readings provide an accurate summary of soil management practices. Brix readings will be higher when soil is amended properly for optimum plant growth.

Slight variations in Brix readings can alter the taste and nutritional density of produce, so it is critical to monitor Brix levels in plants that develop consumable produce, such as wine grapes and cannabis. Overall Brix levels will have an impact on taste, nutritional density and aroma of the final product.

Elevate Your Growing

As Brix levels rise in plants they taste better and produce more nutritious produce. In plants such as cannabis, increased Brix levels lead to improved taste and aroma of the dried flower. With increased Brix levels plants also produce larger, healthier crops and are able to fight off pests and diseases. Pests go after the weaker plants and studies have shown a direct correlation between higher Brix levels and stronger pest resistance.

Amending soil with additives such as humic and fulvic acids will allow cultivators to increase Brix levels to the recommended level for each plant. Humic and fulvic acids allow for more oxygen, water, and nutrients to reach the plant roots and be available for uptake.

There are many resources available which list appropriate Brix levels for various types of plants. Each individual plant species will have an ideal Brix level for optimum produce production. Knowing the optimum Brix level for the plants you are growing will greatly improve yields and nutritional value of your crop.

How To Test Brix

In order to test Brix levels in a plant, a gardener requires a Brix specific refractometer, a small piece of equipment that will measure the refractive index of a plant’s liquid content. These devices cost around $100 but are a great addition to any vegetable, fruit, wine or cannabis farmers tool bag.  

When light is passed through a liquid it changes direction, which is called refraction. If solids are dissolved in the liquids it produces different refraction angles of the light, indicating the concentration of the solution.

In order to test Brix levels in plants a small amount of plant liquid, usually taken from the leaves or fruit of the plant, is placed on the refractometer and a refractive index measurement is taken. This measurement is then compared to a standardized guide to determine the Brix level of the plant.

If Brix levels are low, further amending of the soil may be necessary. Brix is sensitive to phosphate and increasing available phosphate at the plant roots will increase Brix measurements in the fruit and leaves.

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