- Environmental Controls
- Fans, Ventilation, and Ducting
- Hydroponic & Gardening Accessories
- Growing Mediums
- Hydroponic Systems
- Irrigation And Oxygenation
- Measuring, Testing, and pH
Nutrients & Supplements
- Nutrient Starter Kits
- General Hydroponics
- Roots Organics
- General Organics
- Soul Synthetics Nutrients
- Neptunes Harvest
- Happy Frog Soils And Fertilizers
- Calcium Magnesium Supplements
- Root Development
- Compost Tea Supplies
- Dyna Gro
- B Cuzz Atami
- Earth Juice
- Grow More
- SM 90
- Spray N Grow
- Pest & Disease Control
Home Brewing Knowledge
- Sweet Chocolate Stout Cake with Wee Whiskey Frosting
- Hop Head Beer-Braised Brussels & Bacon
- Smoky Beer, Bacon & Cheese Soup
- Beer Braised Pulled Pork Sliders
- Jacked-Up Java Stout Cocktail
- Beer Belly Baked Beans
- Hot and Hoppy IPA Pickles
- How to Force Beer Carbonation
- When to Add Honey to Beer
- How are 2-Row and 6-Row Malted Barley Different?
- What is Partial Mash Brewing
- How Do You Make Non-Alcoholic Beer?
- What Are the Advantages of Conical Fermenters?
Wine Making Knowledge
- How to Make Wine at Home
Fruit Wine Making
- Fruit Wine History
- How to Make Fruit Wine
- Where To Get Fruit For Fruit Wine
- How To Process Fruit For Fruit Wine
- How To Freeze Fruit For Fruit Wine
- How To Use Juice Concentrate To Make Fruit Wine
- What Yeasts Make Fruit Wine
- How To Make Fruit Wine With Fruit Purees
- Fruit Wine Making Equipment
- Small Batch Fruit Wine Equipment
- Fruit Wine Recipes
- Cooking with Wine Recipes
- How to Make Hard Cider & Mead
- Wine Making Troubleshooting
- Types of Wine
- Cheese Making Knowledge
- Coffee Knowledge
Notes on Wine Making
- Should I Chill a Red Wine?
- Coffee Roasted with Wine
- Sulfite Allergies: The Facts
- Creamery In A Box, Cheese, And You
- Does Wine Need to Age?
- Wine Skins in Recipe Kits
- Residual Sugar in Wine
- Pairing Wine With Cheese
- Cellaring: How long will my wine last?
- The Sovereign Fermenter
- Organic, Vegan, Gluten-Free Wine
- Cleaning and Sanitizing Wine Equipment
- How To Taste Wine
- Wine Storage Temperature
- Water and Wine Making
- Bentonite Clay
- Wine Filtering Myths
- Taking Care of the Cork
- How Long to Age Master Vintner Wines
- Wine Crystals
- Degassing Your Wine
- Headspace in Wine Making
- Wine Without Alcohol
- The Hidden Story of Wine Kits
- Cabernet Sauvignon
- Stir It Up
- Keeping Fruit Flies Out
- Red Wine Ribs
- Making Fruit Wines with Wine Kits
- Aging Wine and Making it Last
- Tim's Favorite Wine Kits
- Filtering Your Wine
- Setting up your Winemaking Space
- Taming the Yeast Beast
- Do I have to use sulfite in my wine?
- Old Wines and Young
- Staying Classy: Tasting Wine
- Understanding Your Hydrometer
- De-alcoholizing Wine at Home
- How long will my wine last?
- Wine ABV - A Numbers Game
- Wine and Beef Pairings
- Cooking With Wine
- Why Do You Concentrate Wine?
Wine ABV - A Numbers Game
One of the things about home winemaking that eventually occurs to everyone who does it is that you're actually making alcohol--that's kind of the point. Unlike the bottles you get from commercial vineyards and liquor stores, the wine you make won't come with a label attesting to the ABV.
Kit manufacturers sometimes hint at an estimated ABV in some of their brochures, but a hard number is something you just won't find, because it's going to be different, however slightly, for every batch.
The variation is due to small differences in sugar content, caused by variances in the kit fill itself, or in an over- or under-addition of water to rehydrate your must. This might mean as much as a half-percent difference either way, so kit manufacturers are wary about committing to a number they could be held to.
Not to worry: you can figure out the alcohol content of your wine very easily, provided you have the foresight to follow the instructions and take (and record) a specific gravity reading at the beginning of the process.
Getting an accurate reading at the beginning gives you a number representing the sugar content of the wine (yes, gravity is actually the density of the liquid compared to the density of pure water, but for our purposes we're dealing with sugar content).
As fermentation goes on the yeast eats the sugars in the juice, converting them into alcohol. As the sugar is converted the density of the wine decreases, until if finally goes below 1.000 and coasts to a stop. It's when the wine is fully fermented that we can learn the alcohol content to a pretty accurate degree.
To get the alcohol content by volume, subtract the starting gravity from the finishing gravity. Let's use the example of a wine that starts out at 1.090 SG and finishes at 0.995 SG.
0.995 - 1.095 = 0.10
Now that we have the difference between the two gravity readings, we multiply it by 131 to get our ABV reading.
0.10 x 131 = 13.1, or 13.1% ABV
Fast and easy, and accurate enough to put on your label--as long as you remember to take and record your specific gravity readings!