The Full Wiki

Baumé scale: Wikis


Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Baumé scale is a pair of hydrometer scales developed by French pharmacist Antoine Baumé in 1768 to measure density of various liquids. Notated variously as degrees Baume, degrees Baumé; B°, Be°, Bé°, Baume. One scale measures the density of liquids heavier than water and the other, liquids lighter than water. The Baumé of plain water would be 0.



At 20 °C, the relationship between specific gravity (s.g.) (relative density) and degrees Baumé is

  • For liquids denser than water: s.g. = 145 ÷ (145 - degrees Baumé);
  • For liquids less dense than water: s.g. = 140 ÷ (degrees Baumé + 130).

An older version of the scale for liquids heavier than water, at a reference temperature of 15.5 °C, uses 144.32 rather than 145.


Baumé degrees (heavy) originally represented the percent by mass of sodium chloride in water at 60 degrees Fahrenheit (15.5 °C). Baumé degrees (light) was calibrated with 0°Bé (light) being the density of 10% NaCl in water by mass and 10°Bé (light) set to the density of water.

Other scales

Because of vague instructions or errors in translation a large margin of error was introduced when the scale was adopted. The API gravity scale is a result of adapting to the subsequent errors from the Baumé scale. The Baumé scale is related to the Balling, Brix, Plato and 'specific gravity times 1000' scales.


Before standardization on specific gravity around the time of World War II the Baumé scale was generally used in industrial chemistry and pharmacology for the measurement of density of liquids. Today the Baumé scale is still used in various industries such as brewing, sugar beet processing and winemaking.

See also


Further reading

  • Boulton, Roger; Vernon Singleton, Linda Bisson, Ralph Kunkee (1996). Principles and Practices of Winemaking. Chapman & Hall.   ISBN 0-412-06411-1


Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary




From the name of French pharmacist and chemist Antoine Baumé (1724-1804)


Baumé scale


Baumé scale (uncountable)

  1. The original scale used on the Baumé type of densimeter to quantify the density of liquids.


See also


Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address