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Beer Data:

Alcohol, Calorie, and Attenuation Levels of Beer

This site gives the percent alcohol, number of calories, specific gravity before (OG) and after (FG) fermentation, and apparent
attenuation for ~1000 commercial beers from ~100 breweries, as of 1999. It also gives equations for calculating these data for home-
made and commercial beers.

I have included beer from large, regional, and micro-breweries, but not beer from brewpubs. Data comes directly from brewery web
sites or personal communications with breweries; from calculations (given in italics) based on these data, as explained in the Technical
Notes below; or from data given in the Index of Attending Breweries at the GABF XVI (1997), formerly posted at
http://beertown.org/GABF/97breweries/brewerylist.htm. I have not included data from secondary sources, such as the Pocket Guide to
Beer by Michael Jackson or the Beer Brand Index by the Institute for Brewing Studies.

There are several caveats. Some products, particularly high alcohol beers, vary among the states due to restrictive laws in certain
states. In addition, breweries are always reformulating recipes, creating new products and abandoning old ones, so this list should not
be considered ever-lasting.

Obviously, my list is far from complete. Some additional web sites also list alcohol and calorie levels of commercial beers:

• Beer Alcohol and Calories - an "oldie", posted to alt.beer in 1993

• Benelux Beers (Peter Crombecq) - beers of Belgium, Netherlands, and Luxemburg

• Oxford Bottled Beer Database - more than 2500 beers


Technical Notes
1. Specific Gravity & Plato Scale
A solution's specific gravity (SG) is its density (g/ml) relative to water, and is easily measured with a hydrometer or other suitable
instrument. Wort (unfermented beer) has a specific gravity greater than water due to the presence of sugars. Beer has a specific gravity
less than wort because some of the sugars have been fermented into alcohol. Professional brewers often use the Plato (°P) scale,
instead of specific gravity, as a metric for the sugar levels in wort and beer. The Plato of a solution is equivalent to its percent by weight
of sucrose and has dimension of (g equiv. sucrose)/(100 g solution). Thus, a 1% sucrose solution is a 1 °P solution. For the same
weight of other sugars, the Plato of a solution is slightly different. The relationship between Plato and specific gravity is nonlinear.

Jan DeClerck [A Textbook of Brewing, 1957, reprinted by the Siebel Institute in 1994] gives a least squares fit for conversion from
specific gravity to Plato at 20 °C. DeClerk's equation is used for all subsequent calculations below since it deviates from the values
given by the ASBC ["Table 1" in: American Society of Brewing Chemists, 1992, Methods of Analysis of the ASBC. American Society
of Brewing Chemists.] by less than 0.04% °P from SG 1.010 to 1.083:
(1) °P = (-463.37) + (668.72 × SG) - (205.35 × SG2)
Example: The specific gravity of a wort is 1.070 and that of the resulting beer is 1.015 at 20 °C. What are the densities on the Plato
scale?
According to eq. 1
°P[initial] = °Pi = (-463.37) + (668.72 × 1.070) - (205.35 × 1.0702) = 17.06
°P[final] = °Pf = (-463.37) + (668.72 × 1.015) - (205.35 × 1.0152) = 3.82

2. Real Extract
Ethanol has a density of 0.79 g/ml at 20 °C, so its presence in beer, along with the loss of sugars due to fermentation, also reduces the
specific gravity of beer relative to wort. The "Real Extract" (RE, in °P) is a measure of the sugars which are fermented and accounts for
the density lowering effects of alcohol. The Real Extract is calculated from the initial and final densities (in °P) and an old empirically
derived formula from Karl Balling [see Homebrew Digest 880-9]:

(2) RE = (0.1808 × °Pi) + (0.8192 × °Pf)


Example: The specific gravity of a wort is 1.070 and that of the resulting beer is 1.015 (measured at 20 °C). What is the Real Extract?
According to eq. 2
RE = (0.1808 × 17.06) + (0.8192 × 3.82) = 6.21 °P

3. Attenuation
Attenuation is a measure of the degree to which sugar in wort has been fermented into alcohol in beer. Ceteris paribus, a sweet beer
has more residual sugar and lower attenuation. Hydrometer measurements of the specific gravity before fermentation and
after fermentation are used to determine attenuation. However, the residual sugars are not in a solution of pure water;
rather they are in solution with water and ethanol, which has a density of 0.79 g/ml. Thus, many brewers give a number
which must be called the "Apparent Attenuation" (AA):
(3a) AA = 1 - [°Pf / °Pi]

The "Real Attenuation" (RA) can be calculated from the RE (see eq. 2) and the initial density, °Pi:
(3b) RA = 1 - [RE / °Pi]
Example: The original gravity of a wort is 1.070 and the final gravity of the resulting beer is 1.015. What is its apparent attenuation and
real attenuation?
According to eq. 3a
AA = 1 - (3.82 °P / 17.06 °P) = 0.776
According to eq. 3b
RA = 1 - (6.21 °P / 17.06 °P) = 0.636

4. Alcohol Level
Given the OG and FG, several empirically derived formulas estimate the alcohol content (alcohol-by-volume, ABV in (ml alcohol)/(ml
beer)) of beer. Dave Miller (The Complete Handbook of Homebrewing, 1988, Storey Communications) gives a simple formula, where
the easy-to-remember constant (0.75) has dimension of (g beer)/(ml ethanol):

(4a) ABV = (OG - FG) / 0.75


A convenient number (to be used in eq. 5 below) is the percent alcohol by weight (ABW) of beer, which has dimension of (g ethanol)/
(100 g beer). This is easily calculated from the ABV, the density of ethanol (0.79 g/ml), and the FG:

(4b) ABW = (0.79 × ABV) / FG

If the FG of the beer is unknown, but it has "normal" levels of alcohol and attenuation, then the ABW may be estimated as:
(4c) ABW = (0.78 × ABV)

George Fix [see Homebrew Digest 880-9] gives another formula, proposed by Karl Balling many years ago:

(4d) ABW = [°Pi - RE] / [2.0665 - (0.010665 × °Pi)]


Jan DeClerk [A Textbook of Brewing, 1957, reprinted by the Siebel Institute in 1994] also gives a method for estimating the percent
alcohol by weight (ABW) of beer based on measurements of the specific gravity (FG) and refractive index (RI) of beer. Unfortunately,
DeClerk expresses refractive index in "Zeiss Units", an out-dated metric. Louis Bonham [see Homebrew Digest 2923-13 & Homebrew
Digest 2925-3] converted DeClerk's Zeiss Units to the more commonly used Refractive Index (RI):

(4e) ABW = 1018. - (277.4 × FG) + RI × [(937.8 × RI) - 1805.]


Example: The original gravity of a wort is 1.070 and the final gravity of the resulting beer is 1.015. The beer has a refractive index of
1.3466. What is the alcohol level?
According to eq. 4a
ABV = (1.070 - 1.015) / 0.75 = 0.0733 = 7.33% v/v
According to eq. 4b
ABW = (0.79 × 0.0733) / 1.015 = 0.0571 = 5.71% w/w
According to eq. 4c
ABW = (0.78 × 0.0733) = 0.0572 = 5.72% w/w
According to eq. 4d
ABW = [17.06 - 6.21] / [2.0665 - (0.010665 × 17.06)] = 5.76% w/w
According to eq. 4e
ABW = 1018. - (277.4 × 1.015) + 1.3466 × [(937.8 × 1.3466) - 1805.] = 5.79% w/w

5. Calories
The number of calories in beer, all of which come from alcohol and carbohydrates, can also be estimated from measurements of
specific gravity before and after fermentation. The ASBC ["Caloric Content, Beer-33" in: American Society of Brewing Chemists, 1992,
Methods of Analysis of the ASBC. American Society of Brewing Chemists; Homebrew Digest 800-9] gives a formula for calculating
calories in beer:
(5) cal per 12 oz beer = [(6.9 × ABW) + 4.0 × (RE - 0.1)] × FG × 3.55
The first item in brackets gives the caloric contribution of ethanol, which is determined from the ABW and the known value of 6.9 cal/g
of ethanol. The second item in brackets gives the caloric contribution of carbohydrates, which is determined from the RE (see eq. 2)
and the known value of 4.0 cal/g for carbohydrates. An empirically-derived constant (0.1) accounts for the ash portion of the extract.
Together, these terms give the calories per 100 g beer. This is easily converted to calories per 100 ml beer by accounting for the final
gravity (FG, in (g beer)/(ml beer)). In turn, 100 ml is converted to 12 oz by a scalar (3.55, in (100ml/12 oz)).

Example: The original gravity of a wort is 1.070 and the final gravity of the resulting beer is 1.015. How many calories in a 12 oz bottle?
According to eq. 5
cal per 12 oz beer = [(6.9 × 5.72) + 4.0 × (6.21 - 0.1)] × 1.015 × 3.55 = 230
Density of Beer

The Physics Factbook™


Edited by Glenn Elert -- Written by his students: An educational, Fair Use website

Standardize
Result
Bibliographic Entry d
(w/surrounding text)
Result
"Do you know that a mere 2% increase in the moisture content of a new
Noonan, Greg. "Understanding Malt Analysis
lot of malt accompanied by a matching drop in the extract potential can
Sheets-How to Become Fluent in Malt Analysis 1.048 g/cm3
drag the density of a 12 Plato (S.G. 1.048) wort down to 11.5 P
Interpretation." Brewers Market Guide. 1997.
(S.G. 1.046)"
Manning, Martin, P. "Understanding Specific
"A specific gravity (SG) of 1.010 indicates that the substance is 5%
Gravity and Extract. Brewing Techniques." 1.050 g/cm3
heavier than an equal amount of water."
Brewers Market Guide. September 1993.
"If you are making beer at home, then the original gravity (density of the
Anheuser-Busch. Electronic Mail. 31 May 2000. liquid mix before fermentation starts) is usually between 1030 and 1.060 g/cm3
1060 kg/m3 at 20 °C."
Gebhard Sauseng. Austrian Beer. "The typical density of a good Austrian beer is 1.00680 g/cm3 which 1.00680 g/cm
Electronic Mail. 6 June 2000. corresponds to the specific gravity of 1.00861." 3
Budweiser. Telephone Interview. "1.004 g/cm3" 1.004 g/cm3
K&M Beer-Belgium Abbey (All grain). Ken & 1.062 g/cm3
"Specific Gravity, Starting: 1.062"
Mike's Floor Beer Co. 29 March 1998. (starting)
Tinseth, Glenn. Javascript Beer Specs
Starting: 1.050 g/cm3, Apparent Final: 1.010, Real Final: 1.017 g/cm3 1.017 g/cm3
Calculator. The Real Beer Page. 1997.

Although values can be calculated for the density of beer, there is no specific numerical value. this is because beer density (or specific
gravity) is dependent on a number of different factors. Some of these factors include temperature and moisture content of the
ingredients. Even the slightest change in any one of them can alter the density of a sample of beer.

There are many different types of beer, each with a slightly different density. Some of these types are ale, lager, and wheat. Each is
made differently but all contain the same basic ingredients. These are: hops, malt, yeast, and water. Specific gravity is the density of a
substance divided by the density of water. Therefore, the density is mostly a measure of the amount of water contained within a beer. A
beer with a higher percentage of water will have a correspondingly lower density. These changes are not necessarily connected directly
to the amount of water added. Changes in moisture content of malts can also alter density. Because of this, each component of beer
needs to be closely scrutinized before it is added into the mix.

Another factor which can change the density of a beer is temperature. This is because the density of water varies with temperature.
Because of this, reference temperatures need to be used in speaking or writing. It is known that water is at its highest density at 4
degrees Celsius so this temperature is sometimes used as a reference point.

Blair Elefant -- 2000


with additional references from Michael Hossain -- 2000

Standardize
Result
Bibliographic Entry d
(w/surrounding text)
Result
Liquid name
Specific Gravity
Sound speed [m/s]
Dv/°C [m/s/°C]
Rhosonics Vloeistoffentekst. Rhosonics Analysis
Beer (Pils 3.75 w/w alc. %) @ 4 °C 1.008 g/cm3
Instruments for Materials and Liquids.
1,008
1490
-3,6
Fermenting
After the wort is cooled and aerated — usually with sterile air — yeast is added to it, and it begins to ferment. It is during this
stage that sugars won from the malt are metabolized into alcohol and carbon dioxide, and the product can be called beer for the first
time. Fermentation happens in tanks which come in all sorts of forms, from enormous tanks which can look like storage silos, to five
gallon glass carboys in a homebrewer's closet.
Most breweries today use cylindro-conical vessels, or CCVs, which have a conical bottom and a cylindrical top. The cone's
aperture is typically around 60°, an angle that will allow the yeast to flow towards the cones apex, but is not so steep as to take up too
much vertical space. CCVs can handle both fermenting and conditioning in the same tank. At the end of fermentation, the yeast and
other solids which have fallen to the cones apex can be simply flushed out a port at the apex.
Open fermentation vessels are also used, often for show in brewpubs, and in Europe in wheat beer fermentation. These
vessels have no tops, which makes harvesting top fermenting yeasts very easy. The open tops of the vessels make the risk of infection
greater, but with proper cleaning procedures and careful protocol about who enters fermentation chambers, the risk can be well
controlled.
Fermentation tanks are typically made of stainless steel. If they are simple cylindrical tanks with beveled ends, they are
arranged vertically, as opposed to conditioning tanks which are usually laid out horizontally. Only a very few breweries still use wooden
vats for fermentation as wood is difficult to keep clean and infection-free and must be repitched more or less yearly.
After high krausen a bung device (German: Spundapparat) is often put on the tanks to allow the CO2 produced by the yeast to
naturally carbonate the beer. This bung device can be set to a given pressure to match the type of beer being produced. The more
pressure the bung holds back, the more carbonated the beer becomes.
Wort cooling
After the whirlpool, the wort must be brought down to fermentation temperatures (20-26°Celsius)[36] before yeast is added. In modern
breweries this is achieved through a plate heat exchanger. A plate heat exchanger has many ridged plates, which form two separate
paths. The wort is pumped into the heat exchanger, and goes through every other gap between the plates. The cooling medium,
usually water, goes through the other gaps. The ridges in the plates ensure turbulent flow. A good heat exchanger can drop 95 °C wort
to 20 °C while warming the cooling medium from about 10 °C to 80 °C. The last few plates often use a cooling medium which can be
cooled to below the freezing point, which allows a finer control over the wort-out temperature, and also enables cooling to around 10
°C. After cooling, oxygen is often dissolved into the wort to revitalize the yeast and aid its reproduction.

Ethylene glycol (IUPAC name: ethane-1,2-diol) is an organic compound widely used as an automotive antifreeze and a precursor to
polymers. In its pure form, it is an odorless, colorless, syrupy, sweet tasting liquid. However, ethylene glycol is toxic, and ingestion can
result in death.