How can you find out how much alcohol content is in your homemade wine?
What equipment do you have?
A hydrometer and a little preplanning. You'll need an initial S.G. reading (before fermentation) to compare to your final reading (after fermentation completes).
...or, from what i hear, with some expensive equipment you can determine the alcohol content just at the end.
Thats basically it, or you could use the simpleton method and Drink a bottle and see if your drunk. This method is not always fool proof so you might need to try it a couple of times.
Also search the site ozwino has a method on here I think it requires boiling a pint of wine.
Bob- do you know where ozwino's post is? I couldn't find it. Thanks.
Copied his original post
This method was developed through quite extensive research by an academic in the U.S. (William Honeyman, B.Sc., PhD.) and is said to be as accurate as the ebuliometer which most wineries and labs use.
1. Measure the Specific Gravity (S.G.) of the wine you wish to test. We will call this figure S.G.1 (you need a hydrometer to measure this)
2. Measure exactly one pint of the wine. We will call this the sample.
3. In an enamel or glass pan, boil the sample down to roughly half its original volume. This drives off some of the water and all of the alcohol, because alcohol boils at a lower temperature than water. The sample now consists of water, residual sugar, polyphenolics, pigments, acids and proteins - that is all the non-alcholic constituents of the wine.
4. With distilled water or rainwater, make the boiled down sample up to exactly 1 pint again. Do not use tap water here because of its considerable mineral content which affects the result. Some bottled waters are okay, but check the back label and ensure it is mineral free (there are some brands available in Australia so I imagine the U.S. would have some also).
5. Cool the sample down to 60 degrees farenheit, or whatever temp your hydrometer is calibrated for.
6. Read the S.G. of the sample (we will call this S.G.2. You will find it is higher than S.G.1 because you have removed alcohol and replaced it with water.
7. Subtract S.G.1 from S.G.2. The difference is called the Spirit Indication (S.I.).
Read the alcohol strength from the figures below:
1.5 = 1% alc/vol
You do have to be willing to forgo 1 pint of your lovely wine for this of course
Very intersting! I'm going to have to give this a shot.
yes I thought I might play with this one day also
Thanks Bob, for the ozwine post. It goes without saying that if the SG2 reading is taken at 60 degrees F, then probably the SG1 reading should also be at 60F. My hydrometer came with a calibration-temperature correction table, but come on, how precise are these? Whenever I sample my wines, I always take a sample and get it to as close to 60F as I can get it.
yea the difference between 60 deg. and a 80 deg. reading is 0.0025. so that small I dont care. Where that really comes into play is brewing beer so we can hit a target SG.( 1.040 @ 120 deg = 1.050) . So for wine dont fret it to much. Now if for some reason you let your wine get that hot you have more to worry about than its sg.
you can also use a vinometer from most brew shops or on ebay, for around £2+