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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Brew Science > At what strength (% by vol) does a drink become flammable
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Old 08-09-2010, 01:54 PM   #1
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Default At what strength (% by vol) does a drink become flammable

ie Brandy at 35% is, wine at 12% isn't.


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Old 08-09-2010, 01:57 PM   #2
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Brandy at 35% is, really? I don't think I was ever able to get an 80 proof alcohol to catch flame (at least more than just a split-second flash.) I think the ability to make flaming shots begins at 100 proof.


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Old 08-09-2010, 02:11 PM   #3
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I believe brandy is not flammable but if you heat it, it will produce flammable vapor (eg flambe).
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Old 08-09-2010, 02:34 PM   #4
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Oddly enough, 100 proof is the standard. Before there were good methods for determining ABV, flammability was proof of the strength.
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Old 08-09-2010, 02:44 PM   #5
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proof is a throwback to when they would proof by gunpowder. the higher the proof, the larger the flame, and the faster the gunpowder lit. i think that 80 proof is minimum to light. According to wikipedia (and most people that I have talked to about this), it is 100 proof, but I did see an Episode of Good Eats (yesterday) where AB lit an 80 proof liquor in a tray of gunpowder.
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Old 08-09-2010, 03:23 PM   #6
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In the old days proof spirits were spirits that would ignite alone (in some cases) or when poured over gun powder (in other jurisdictions). In any case, 100 proof is roughly the concentration at which you should be able to sustain a flame but certainly flambee'd desserts are made with spirits at lower proof. In those heat seems to be used to drive the vapors out of solution and it is the vapors that are ignited. That also seems to be the case with, for example, sambucca (84 proof) which is often served flaming.
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Old 08-09-2010, 05:08 PM   #7
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You guys are all wrong. Flaming Moes light up just fine and are made with cough syrup.
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Old 08-09-2010, 05:23 PM   #8
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mmmmm Flaming Moe! (drool)
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Old 08-09-2010, 05:25 PM   #9
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You can also proof by the bubble retention and size.

100 proof is theoretical. If you aspirate/mist wine, you can light the alcohol in it.
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Old 08-09-2010, 05:29 PM   #10
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Which all begs the question........


WHY?


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