I have what I believe is a high-school level chemistry question, although it’s not likely something you’d do in high school chemistry...
I’m brewing kombucha and want to measure its sugar content each day while it ferments. As I understand it, the byproducts of kombucha fermentation (small amounts of alcohol and acetic acid) will render the readings of a refractometer (measuring Brix (g sugar per 1L)) inaccurate.
My first thought was to boil off the solution, leaving behind sugar crystals. At that point I figured I could reconstitute the simple sugar/water solution with fresh water. I quickly learned how to make caramel. By lowering the heat, I was able to reduce the solution to a thick syrup, but the heat required to boil off the remaining liquid would eventually burn the sugar.
So my question: what is a reasonable method of removing alcohol and acetic acid from an otherwise sugar/water solution? Considering acetic acid’s boiling point (118.1°C) is higher than water’s, it seems unlikely I could boil if off before reaching the thick syrup stage.