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January 2000

Where exactly does the name "degrees Plato" come from? In other words, who is the Plato being referred to here? I couldn't find an answer in any encyclopedia or beer book anywhere.

From Beer Dave: The specific gravity (density) of the liquid known as wort is measured by a saccharometer. This device used to measure dissolved sugars was invented by a man named Balling. His scale was found to render results which were close but no cigar. So a Dr. Plato of Germany made corrections to the original device. In brewing we now refer to degrees Plato when measuring the specific gravity of the wort. Plato has done a great deal for those who think when they drink. Dr. Plato has perfected the tool which allows us to think deeply when consuming the "Nectar of the Gods" because the beer is good and the mind can wonder.

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