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ABV post canning


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How do I test the ABV of the finished canned cocktail after mixing all liquids & dry ingredients (vodka, flavors, citric acid, water, etc)? I'm not starting from fermentation so I don't have an OG reading to go off of.

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If there is sugar added you're going to need to do a Proof Obscuration Measurement (watch the series) or buy a TTB approved desktop meter - https://rudolphresearch.com/products/density-meters/alcotest-ri/

We bit the bullet for the meter last year. Solves record keeping to as the system logs every reading.

 

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There a several software packages that will help estimate your ABV. Alcodens will help. In the though the only way to get TTB accurate ABV measurements is via obscuration proof or a very expensive TTB approved ABV meter, as stated above. Of all the crap we deal with as distillers this is the biggest annoyance. There isn't a way around it. We've all tried.

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Golden Beaver and Foreshot - Either I have misunderstood the regulations or the advertising material from the DDM manufacturers is deliberately vague.  My understanding is that the best  DDMs are certified for measuring the ABV of spirits containing alcohol and water only.  I am not aware of any that are certified for liquors containing sugar.  These DDMs will certainly measure the ABV and the sugar content pretty accurately (and very quickly), but not accurately enough to be certified for tax purposes.  I believe they are accurate enough for doing process and blending calculations, but the final measurement of the product for tax purposes must be done using the distillation method.  Having one of these meters will certainly save a lot of time because you do not need to perform the full distillation process at every stage.  During the proofing stage it can be necessary to make several adjustments to simultaneously get the ABV and sugar level correct.  Using one of these DDMs to check the levels after each adjustment is much quicker than using the distillation method and using software like AlcoDens LQ to calculate what needs to be added to meet the ABV and sugar targets decreases the number of iterations needed, but once you believe you have the correct ABV you need to do a distillation - at least that is my understanding if you are operating under the TTB rules.

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@Foreshot Yes, they will measure ABV but is it certified if there is sugar present?  GBD's link certainly implies that it is certified but it never actually states it.

You cannot measure ABV directly using the density if there is sugar present.  You have to correct the apparent ABV by using some other measurement - usually refractive index. As I stated before this process is pretty accurate, but can it be certified?

If anyone from Rudulph Research or Anton Paar reads this your input would be appreciated.

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15 hours ago, SlickFloss said:

You for sure need a consultant. 
 

Some digital desktop solutions as mentioned above will work but the cheapest solution at the end of the day is always a bench top distillation. 

I believe she is the "consultant" for the distillery.

 

Just agreeing with the others, an obscuration proof is the cheapest and fastest way to answer the question.

The other option is sending it out for lab testing or buying a very expensive piece of equipment.

 

 

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Lisa is good people - comes from the moonshining community. Might go easy on her @SlickFloss she posted a legitimate question to this forum and deserves a respectful response.  I asked similar questions 18-months ago and I don't remember you going off on me like you've done with Lisa.

Yes, bench distillation is the cheapest, but might not be faster or easier for someone not familiar with the process. If not done correctly, it's not accurate. 

I can have any of my crew pull a sample, run it in the AlcoTester and within five minute I have an accurate test result that is part of both our digital and written records for TTB. Five minutes. I don't have to worry if a mistake was made that might be a tax liability once the product is out the door. 

Every operation has its way of doing things that may not conform to your ideas of how it should be done but that doesn't mean it's not correct. 

https://www.wwaytv3.com/carolina-beach-distiller-on-discovery-channel-tv-show/

 

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4 hours ago, Golden Beaver Distillery said:

Yes, bench distillation is the cheapest, but might not be faster or easier for someone not familiar with the process. If not done correctly, it's not accurate. 

I can never make two bench distillation read the same...  Its not always so easy to do 

 

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1 minute ago, adamOVD said:

Any chance as RTDs become more popular that abv standards will become less strict, like beer and wine? Or is it a too tied up in taxes?

id say zero chance. Its still treated just like a bottle of vodka by the feds.  State / local might shift but not the feds 

 

 

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On 3/8/2022 at 11:29 AM, Kindred Spirits said:

I believe she is the "consultant" for the distillery.

 

Just agreeing with the others, an obscuration proof is the cheapest and fastest way to answer the question.

The other option is sending it out for lab testing or buying a very expensive piece of equipment.

 

 

Nope, not the "consultant" as you mentioned, just the distiller tasked with something I've never dealt with which is why I turned to this forum for help.

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On 3/8/2022 at 7:18 PM, Golden Beaver Distillery said:

Lisa is good people - comes from the moonshining community. Might go easy on her @SlickFloss she posted a legitimate question to this forum and deserves a respectful response.  I asked similar questions 18-months ago and I don't remember you going off on me like you've done with Lisa.

Yes, bench distillation is the cheapest, but might not be faster or easier for someone not familiar with the process. If not done correctly, it's not accurate. 

I can have any of my crew pull a sample, run it in the AlcoTester and within five minute I have an accurate test result that is part of both our digital and written records for TTB. Five minutes. I don't have to worry if a mistake was made that might be a tax liability once the product is out the door. 

Every operation has its way of doing things that may not conform to your ideas of how it should be done but that doesn't mean it's not correct. 

https://www.wwaytv3.com/carolina-beach-distiller-on-discovery-channel-tv-show/

 

 

 

 

On 3/8/2022 at 7:18 PM, Golden Beaver Distillery said:

Lisa is good people - comes from the moonshining community. Might go easy on her @SlickFloss she posted a legitimate question to this forum and deserves a respectful response.  I asked similar questions 18-months ago and I don't remember you going off on me like you've done with Lisa.

Yes, bench distillation is the cheapest, but might not be faster or easier for someone not familiar with the process. If not done correctly, it's not accurate. 

I can have any of my crew pull a sample, run it in the AlcoTester and within five minute I have an accurate test result that is part of both our digital and written records for TTB. Five minutes. I don't have to worry if a mistake was made that might be a tax liability once the product is out the door. 

Every operation has its way of doing things that may not conform to your ideas of how it should be done but that doesn't mean it's not correct. 

https://www.wwaytv3.com/carolina-beach-distiller-on-discovery-channel-tv-show/

 

Thank you so much @Golden Beaver Distillery.  I got cold called by Anton Par for this purpose so they're going to bring devices out to use when we start canning production (obviously to sell me equipment too). I also took your recommendation and contacted Rudolph. 

Seriously @SlickFloss, why do you have to be so mean spirited?

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  • 2 weeks later...

Just stumbled onto this thread from something else I read. Just so you guys know they did liberalize the ABV requirements for Distilled Spirits. We finally got .3%ABV not Proof. Its not amazing but it definitely helps.

 

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