Alcohol Content - Home Brew Forums

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10-30-2009, 01:00 AM   #1
historian
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Oct 2009
new jersey
Posts: 4

Is there a way to determine the percent alcohol of a beer without using a hydrometer to measue OG and FG?

I found a recipe in Extreme Brewing that aims for a very high alcohol brew by adding sugar throughout the brewing process, in order to not shock the yeast at the onset. But if I do this, I will be screwing with the gravity throughout, so it will be impossible to get an OG i can trust.

I can estimate the alcohol content based on the fermentable sugars, but for a high gravity brew I'm sure that the yeast efficiency will start to be limited. (there is an addition of distiller's yeast at one point to try to keep things growing.)

Am I stuck telling people a wild guess when I brew it, or is there a better way?

10-30-2009, 01:05 AM   #2
ChshreCat

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Aug 2008
Camano Island, Washington
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Sure! Just enter all the ingredients into Beer Smith or Beer Calculus or something similar as if they were all going into the boil. It'll give you your expected OG and FG. It won't be exactly what you end up with, but should be within a few tenths of a percent as long as your brew doesn't go way off.
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10-30-2009, 01:13 AM   #3
historian
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Oct 2009
new jersey
Posts: 4

I was planning on doing that, but for a high alcohol brew I was afraid that the yeat might poop out before it go to the estimate. Do you think that will be considerable, or minor?

10-30-2009, 01:26 AM   #4
menschmaschine

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Jun 2007
Delaware
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Well, off the top of my head, if you have an accurate scale, you could take a sample of the end product, weigh it, boil off the alcohol at 173°F, weigh it again to find out the alcohol by weight. Then multiply that number by 1.25 to get the ABV.
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10-30-2009, 01:35 AM   #5
ChshreCat

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Aug 2008
Camano Island, Washington
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Just use the estimated OG and your actual FG and you can estimate the alcohol content.
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10-30-2009, 02:38 AM   #6
homebrewer_99

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Feb 2005
Atkinson (near the Quad Cities), IL
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Without any equipment I would simply catagorize them as "strong" and "weak"...
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10-30-2009, 07:44 AM   #7
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Apr 2009
Riverview, FL
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any one tried using one of these??
http://www.northernbrewer.com/winema...vinometer.html
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10-30-2009, 09:14 AM   #8
Pappers_
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Jan 2009
Chicago
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Quote:
 Originally Posted by ChshreCat Just use the estimated OG and your actual FG and you can estimate the alcohol content.
+ 1. This is what I was thinking, it would get you pretty close.

10-30-2009, 08:46 PM   #9
noblesquirrel
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Oct 2009
Chicago, IL
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Quote:
 Originally Posted by Benjibbad any one tried using one of these?? http://www.northernbrewer.com/winema...vinometer.html

that will only measure sugar in solution, you can't use it after fermentation for a reliable number, though it will give you a great OG.
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10-30-2009, 10:53 PM   #10
david_42

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Oct 2005
Oak Grove, Oregon, USA
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If you have a precision scale, weight out 25 gm of brew. Place it in a water bath and heat to 180F. After 15 minutes, remove from heat and re-weight. That will give you water by weight. ABW is the difference.
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