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Ideas for Science Fair Projects -- Measuring Density during Fermentation

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Here are some ideas for an excellent science project that is can be performed by either middle or high school students. Fermentation of grapes is (also known as making wine) can be a fun project to work which encompasses many areas of biology and physics. Several colleges in the US give advanced degrees in Oenology (study and science of wine) .

About Fermentation:

Fermentation is the energy-yielding anaerobic metabolic breakdown of a nutrient molecule, such as glucose, without net oxidation. Fermentation yields lactate, acetic acid, ethanol, or some other simple product. Fermentation refers to the fermentation of sugar to alcohol using yeast, but other fermentation processes include the making of yogurt. The science of fermentation is known as zymology.

When fermentation of grapes occurs the density of the liquid decreases as sugar is changed to alcohol. The change is easily monitored by wine makers using a hydrometer. A hydrometer is an instrument used to determine specific gravity. By monitoring the density of the liquid you are able in effect the monitor the fermentation process.

Questions to consider:

What effect does temperature have on the rate of fermentation?

Can other microorganisms (aside from yeast) be used to produce fermentation?

What is the effect of adding more sugar to the fermenting mixture?

How does the rate of fermentation compare when different fruits are used?

Improve on this project!

You can improve on this project by making and testing your own hydrometer.

For more ideas search Google:


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