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Degree Oechsle goes back to the German pharmacist and goldsmith Christian Ferdinand Oechsle (* 26.12.1774 in Baiersbronn, † 17.03.1852 in Pforzheim), son of the lead glass manufacturer Israel Oechsle. Ferdinand Oechsle and his son Christian Ludwig developed the Oechslemeter, an hydrometer to measure the density and therefore the sugar content of grape must. The must weight is given in Oechsle, Degree Oechsle or abbreviated as °Oe. Degree Oechsle show how much more 1 liter of must (grape juice) weighs compared to 1 liter of water. Must with 78 °Oe therefore weighs 1078 grams.

There are different measurement units to determine the sugar content in liquids. Degrees Oechsle are used to measure the must weight of wine in Germany, Luxemburg, and Switzerland. In Austria °KMW or Babo is used. International standard for wine makers (especially in English speaking countries) is Brix or Balling, in France and Spain the measurement unit Baumé is used to determine the sugar content in percentage of the weight (%wt).

The formula to determine the must weight in Degree Oechsle from the density in g/cm3 with the help of physical base units is: "°Oe = (density g/cm3 * 1000) - 1000". This is also the definition of "Degree Oechsle". So if the must has a density of 1,15 g/cm3, the must weight is (1,15 * 1000) 1000 = 150 °Oe.

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