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Old 11-22-2012, 12:19 AM   #1
Satdaddy
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Default Soda & ABV %

Hi everyone, long time listener, first time caller here
So I've been making naturally carbonated soda with fresh fruit quite successfully and wanted to check out how much (if any) alcohol was being produced.
Got myself a refractometer and taking into account the natural sugar from the fruit, bumped up the brix level to 10% using cane sugar (this is after I strained the steeped fruit solids from the liquid). After adding the champagne yeast I let it carbonate in the bottle for about 48 hours.
Then checked the brix % which had gone down to 8.5%. So using a refractometer calculator found here http://onebeer.net/refractometer.shtml , it's telling me my ABV is nearly 1.5% !
I know it's not that much and understand you're going to get trace amounts, but from what I've been reading the soda should rarely get over 1% ABV. Am I doing something I doing something wrong here?
Thanks!

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Old 11-22-2012, 12:40 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Satdaddy View Post
Hi everyone, long time listener, first time caller here
So I've been making naturally carbonated soda with fresh fruit quite successfully and wanted to check out how much (if any) alcohol was being produced.
Got myself a refractometer and taking into account the natural sugar from the fruit, bumped up the brix level to 10% using cane sugar (this is after I strained the steeped fruit solids from the liquid). After adding the champagne yeast I let it carbonate in the bottle for about 48 hours.
Then checked the brix % which had gone down to 8.5%. So using a refractometer calculator found here http://onebeer.net/refractometer.shtml , it's telling me my ABV is nearly 1.5% !
I know it's not that much and understand you're going to get trace amounts, but from what I've been reading the soda should rarely get over 1% ABV. Am I doing something I doing something wrong here?
Thanks!
It's hard to use a refractometer to get an accurate reading once alcohol is in the mix, as it skews the reading. I'd try it with a hydrometer to check the number. Decarbonate the sample first, though.

Normally, putting the soda in the fridge once carbonation occurs means something like .25% ABV is in the soda. I'd be surprised it if got to 1.5% in 48 hours, but it certainly would be possible. I'm a wine maker, and I see drops of that much often in 48 hours.

Of course, with soda the goal is to carbonate the soda and not make alcohol, so the bottles are put in the fridge as soon as they carbonate- and that should happen by the time the ABV is .25%.
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