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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Brew Science > ABV of distilled with hydrometer
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Old 04-10-2013, 06:38 PM   #1
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Default ABV of distilled with hydrometer

I am not talking about distilling!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I am wondering if there is a way to determine alcohol content of a distilled alcohol after it has been "burned off" using a hydrometer.

Using a hydrometer.

The gravity of a spirit pre heating and post heating should be different. Is there a way to calculate remaining ABV from the difference in those numbers?


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Old 04-10-2013, 07:04 PM   #2
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I'm not sure I understand the question but I think it is something like "If I light some Sambucca, extinguish the flame after a couple of seconds and then measure the specific gravity of what's left can I estimate the remaining alcohol?". Practically speaking the answer is no in this case because all the sugar obscures the effects on the alcohol. If the question were the same except that the beverage were Vodka then the answer would be yes. As vodka can be considered a binary mixture of water and ethanol a density measurement would be considered adequate for 'proofing' before or after partial combustion of the alcohol.

Where the obscuration is high (Sambucca) TTB would make you separate the alcohol from the liquor before the density measurement.


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Old 04-10-2013, 07:05 PM   #3
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I believe that they have a special hydrometer that measures "Proof". The brewing hydrometer might not read a 40 proof liquor. The SG might be below 1.000 but dont quote me on it.
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Old 04-10-2013, 08:22 PM   #4
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The spirit in question is whiskey.
And rather than flambe it, I plan on heating it in a pan and holding it at a low simmer for around 10 minutes.

I'm trying to make a non alcoholic version of a mixed drink that uses blended Scottish whiskey.
For my purposes, I have to know how much alcohol is actually remaining in the spirit.
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Old 04-10-2013, 09:28 PM   #5
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Depending on how much accuracy you need that is doable. Obtain a Tralle hydrometer. This is one designed especially for proofing. The reason for the accuracy comment is that the density of aqueous solutions of alcohol are not much different from that of water until the proof becomes appreciable meaning that the marks for the lower percentages are very close together and hard to read.


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