Brix (%) and Brix (Fuzzy)
Soil health indicator: brix reading on a scale of 0-30
“With Brix you are measuring the light refracting through the dissolved solids on the screen of this sawn-off little telescope. You are literally measuring nutrient density or, more accurately, your skills as a chlorophyll manager.”
- Refractometer (0-32%)
- Heavy duty Garlic Crusher
- Water Squirt Bottle (optional)
- Dry cloth/kitchen roll
- Quadrat (optional)
- Decide whether you want to test the field more generally (under the W walk category), or repeatedly test a specific sample site over time (using the GPS feature to find the same sample location to place the quadrat).
- From within a quadrat collect about a handful of forage, by tearing. Pretend you are a cow or sheep munching away on the plants.
- Squish the handful into the garlic crusher.
- Hold refractometer in one hand, flip back the plastic flap to expose the glass face.
- Hold filled garlic crusher in the other and squeeze ‘juice’ from picked grasses onto the glass face of the refractometer.
- You need just one drop of ‘juice’ on the glass screen. Then drop the refractometer’s plastic flap on top of the drop so it smears across the screen.
- Hold the refractometer up to the sky (about 15degs) and look into the lens.
- There will be an area/line on the scale where it changes from light blue below to dark blue above.
- Record the number on the scale and if the line is fuzzy or not in the app.
- Clean and dry the glass screen with your water ready for the next test
- Remove residues from garlic crusher.
What to record in the Soilmentor app:
- Number 0-30 on ‘Brix’ scale of refractometer and
- Yes/No for whether the line is fuzzy or not.
Measuring brix with Tim Williams at English Farm: