Degree of sweetness (brix)
Words by Simon Difford
A liquid's sweetness is measured on a scale called 'brix'. At 20°C, 1.0°brix is equal to 1 gram of sugar in 100 grams of water and sugar solution. Or, to put it another way, there is 1 gram of sucrose sugar and 99 grams of water in the 100 grams of solution.
The following shows the differing levels of sweetness between the most commonly used (sucrose) sugar syrups.
Homemade sugar syrup 2 sugar to 1 water by weight = 66.7°brix
Homemade sugar syrup 2 sugar to 1 water by volume = 65.1°brix
Homemade sugar syrup 1 sugar to 1 water by weight = 50.0°brix
Homemade sugar syrup 1 sugar to 1 water by volume = 48.0°brix
A 2:1 (sucrose) sugar syrup made by measuring by volume has a 65.1°brix, a near-as-damn-it identical brix to the leading brand of commercially made cane sugar syrup.
Monin Pure Cane sugar syrup (855g sugar per litre) = 65.0°brix
Monin Gomme sugar syrup (835g sugar per litre) = 64.7°brix
Balancing citrus acidy
To balance citrus fruits such as lemon and lime juice, a rough rule of thumb is to use 20ml (2/3oz) of 65.0°brix (2:1) syrup to 30ml (1oz) of citrus juice.
If using a 48°brix (1:1) syrup you will need roughly 1.5 times as much syrup (one-third more).