Calculating Alcohol With A Hydrometer

How do I know the

If you have a hydrometer that shows the "potential alcohol" on its stem as part of the scales, then you will have a pretty good idea what your potential alcohol level is before you start. There will be variables of course, but it will mostly be within a percent or two. However, some people do not seem to be happy unless they can fiddle with numbers.

Here are a few formulas to calculate alcohol by volume (ABV) for beer and wine. Wine is a little trickier because it usually has higher alcohol and more variables to consider. It has been my experience that unless you are REALLY concerned about the ABV, the beer calculation (#1) works for both beverages within a few tenths of a percent.

OG = Original gravity before fermentation
FG = Final or Finished gravity after fermentation.


#2. WINE ABV (Simple version) %ABV

Here is a longer wine calculation if you're feeling mentally masochistic.

#3. WINE ABV (Long version) %ABV

Solutions using OG=1.055 FG=1.012 with different calculations.
5.64% #2: 5.84% #3: 5.64% ABV
Solutions using OG=1.090 FG=.995 with different calculations.
#1: 12.47% #2: 12.90% #3: 12.69% ABV


Kit Of The Month -

Our partial-mash (grains plus extract) house recipe is for a five (5) gallon batch of beer. Our beer ingredient kits include yeast, hops, select grains/malts, a muslin grain/hop sack and directions. We make the kit up fresh when it is ordered. Perfect for the beginning, intermediate and budget conscious brewer. Click here for more information.

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