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don't believe est. abv

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stale

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Just wondering if there was a way to test the actual abv of a beer. I have a pale ale that according to Beersmith is only in at 4.2% but I know tht I can only drink a couple before I can start feeling the affects. I've been drinking beer for a lonngg time and know that the abv is usually much higher for me to be having this kind of affect. Is there some other way of measuring actual abv?
 

Beerrific

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A better estimate of ABV is to take the original and final gravities using a hydrometer.

ABV=(OG-FG)*131
 
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stale

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Thanks guys for the responses but I guess I should have been a little learer in my post. I also used the hydro and the og-fg compaison. I just find it hard to believe. I'm trying to find out if there is anyway other than this to measure actual abv,ig. smples sent womewhere other any other device that could be used to test a sample of the actual beer. (damn I need to be more careful with my typing)
 
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stale

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guess that's what I'm trying to find out. does anybody know?
 
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stale

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the beer is a little green but doesn't taste harsh or anything. it's actually quite tasty. It just doesn't normally affect me like this unless it's a higher abv beer
 
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Evets said:
Doesn't a refractometer do that?
I thought so, too. Then I was corrected.

A refractometer is most useful before any alcohol is produced (during the mash or to measure OG). Once alcohol is in the mix, a refractometer becomes less accurate, and there are a bunch of formulas to correct it.

Silviakitty said:
Some hydrometers have an ABV scale in addition to the gravity. That's the only way I know of, but I'm sure there are others.
That scale measures alcohol potential in unfermented wort and is nearly useless because most of them assume an FG of 1.000. It's slightly more useful for wines, ciders, and meads that typically finish closer to 1.000 than beer.
 

brett

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Send off a sample to a laboratory. I've never done this, but I have heard of it. They're mostly used by major breweries and the government to verify ABV.
 

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Yuri_Rage said:
I thought so, too. Then I was corrected.

A refractometer is most useful before any alcohol is produced (during the mash or to measure OG). Once alcohol is in the mix, a refractometer becomes less accurate, and there are a bunch of formulas to correct it.


That scale measures alcohol potential in unfermented wort and is nearly useless because most of them assume an FG of 1.000. It's slightly more useful for wines, ciders, and meads that typically finish closer to 1.000 than beer.
Ah! I didn't know this for either instrument...thanks. :)
 

BierMuncher

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You may need to pay attention to the temperatures when you take your readings. If your OG reading was taken at 75 degrees and your final gravity was taken at 65 degrees, then the delta between the two is actually greater than simple math would indicate.
 

JeanLucD

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Biermuncher is quite correct, but I must say that I find that my homebrew affects me a lot more than anything else too. For example, I can quite easily have 4 or 5 coronas (if that's all there is) and feel like I've just been drinking water or even a bit of spirits, but after 2 750ml homebrew bottles I start feeling a bit tipsy.
 
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JeanLucD said:
Biermuncher is quite correct, but I must say that I find that my homebrew affects me a lot more than anything else too. For example, I can quite easily have 4 or 5 coronas (if that's all there is) and feel like I've just been drinking water or even a bit of spirits, but after 2 750ml homebrew bottles I start feeling a bit tipsy.
While I haven't found that my homebrew affects me much differently than anything else of a similar style/alcohol content, my friends swear that my beer makes them drunk faster than anything they can find in the store. I think it stems from the fact that the first few brews I shared were fairly high in alcohol, so they have a preconceived notion that all of my beers will be that way. Most recently, they were making the same comments about my Scotch Ale that was a few tenths of a point under 5%.
 

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Make sure you didn't do your temperature conversion wrong. Most conversion charts are set for hydrometers that are calibrated at 60F, but there are hydros that are calibrated to 68F.
 

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Get a quality 100 ml graduate cylinder. Fill it with FLAT brew. Weight as accurately as you can. A good digital scale should be able to reach 0.01 grams. Place it in a 190F water bath, until the alcohol stops boiling off (about 30 minutes) or the internal temperature reaches 180F.

Weight it again. The difference is the alcohol by weight. You can read the cylinder when the temperature it cools off, but your accuracy will be better using the weights.

[Note: not all of the alcohol will be driven off at 190F, but fairly close.]
 
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