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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > Is there a way to measure the ABV after bottling?
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Old 08-18-2009, 03:10 AM   #1
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Default Is there a way to measure the ABV after bottling?

My third batch ever is now ready to be consumed. I still haven't quite got the hang of the hydrometer, so is there a way to tell what the alcohol content is now? The brew is an Imperial IPA, which had extra malt extract and was dry-hopped.

I think my hydrometer readings were SG: 1.050 and FG: 1.020

I'm drinking one now, and my estimate, based on the original buzz , is above 7%

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Old 08-18-2009, 03:23 AM   #2
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If your readings were 50 and 20 your abv is 4%ish.

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Old 08-18-2009, 03:28 AM   #3
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There are lots of calculators online:

Rooftop Brew » ABV and Gravity Calculator

Calculators from Brewhaus

Alcohol By Volume ABV Calculator | Brewer's Friend

Those are just the first 3 from google. If it was an Imperial IPA, the gravity should have dropped further than 1.020. Sounds like there were attenuation problems - did you aerate the wort and pitch enough yeast?

There are also about a million sites that can show you how to use a hydrometer. It's really easy.

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Old 08-18-2009, 03:36 AM   #4
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Default Placebo?

I got a measurement of about 4.7% on a batch I'M drinking right now.. (pale ale).. It "feels" like a lot more.

Are the effects of homebrew more apparent then commercial beer? or, am I getting some placebo effect because ive been waiting so long, ha ha.

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Old 08-18-2009, 03:41 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Palefire View Post
There are lots of calculators online:
Yes, I know - my question was, is there a way to measure it after the fact?

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If it was an Imperial IPA, the gravity should have dropped further than 1.020. Sounds like there were attenuation problems - did you aerate the wort and pitch enough yeast?
Yes and yes. The fermentation was going like crazy. I know it should be more, and since I think the variable here is my hydrometer reading, I just wanted to know if I could measure the ABV right out of the bottle.
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Old 08-18-2009, 03:42 AM   #6
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You're just enjoying your beer more than what's at the store. 4.7 is 4.7, except Utah, Minnesota, and Kansas. There it's 3.2.

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Old 08-18-2009, 04:21 AM   #7
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TastyBrew.com | Recipe Calculation

Is a good online calculator I use all the time, just plug in what you put into your beer, hit the volumes right and it should give you a good guestimate.
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Old 08-18-2009, 04:30 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kauai_Kahuna View Post
TastyBrew.com | Recipe Calculation

Is a good online calculator I use all the time, just plug in what you put into your beer, hit the volumes right and it should give you a good guestimate.
Very cool. I was thinking - maybe my hydrometer reading was 1.002 and not 1.020, which would put my brew at 6.3%. I entered everything into your calculator, and got ... 6.3%!
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Old 08-18-2009, 07:39 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sneaker View Post
Very cool. I was thinking - maybe my hydrometer reading was 1.002 and not 1.020, which would put my brew at 6.3%. I entered everything into your calculator, and got ... 6.3%!
Just pour a sample of the beer directly from the bottle and measure it again. I'd just stick the hydrometer in the sample and let it sit overnight as the carbonation can give a low reading but it won't be off by too much. Remember to correct for temperature.
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Old 08-18-2009, 02:04 PM   #10
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Yes, there is a very easy way to do it, and its actually the only proper way to do it in a short period of time.

Pour one of your beers in a glass, and then pour it into another glass. Just keep pouring between glasses many many times, at the very least until you see no more foam, then keep pouring it back and forth some more, just want to make sure the carb is all out of the beer.

Now one thing no one mentioned is the temperature, I think all hydrometers are meant for 60 degrees temps to be proper, so just throw a thermometer in there and when it hits 60 degrees go ahead and take the reading.

Easily done so long as you pour it back and forth a lot, otherwise you are going to get a very false reading from the carbonation.

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