Accurate Determination of Alcohol

with Semi-Micro Still and Refractometer

It’s not possible to determine accurately the alcohol content in alcoholic beverages which contain sugar or extract like liqueur, beer, infusions, wine, or mash (e.g., turbo yeast fermented mash) if using simple measurement methods like an alcoholometer (hydrometer), refractometer, or vinometer because in all cases the dissolved sugar and extract distort the measurement. Therefore previously the sample has to be distilled. The distillate is free of distorting substances, so the indicated value of the measurement device like a refractometer is true. But the volume of the sample has changed due to distillation (though not the amount of alcohol when distilling completely), so the value has to be converted accordingly.


Calculation example:

Volume before distillation: 0.50 ml
Alcohol content of the distillate: 12.00 %vol
Volume of the distillate: 0.41 ml

The alcohol content of the sample is 9.30 %vol

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