March 29, 2018
Fermented beverages have been around since ancient times, as fermentation is a practice that has been used by humans for thousands of years. While it has been used for preserving food and beverages, fermentation has arguably been used more commonly for the creation of alcoholic beverages such as beer, spirits, and wine. Beer is a popular option, as annual production in U.S. is in the hundreds of millions of barrels.
Over the last decade, the popularity of craft brews has led to a tremendous boom in the number of smaller microbrewing operations across the U.S., and recently small craft distilleries have also begun to emerge. There is a large variety in flavors, styles, and crafting techniques across the nation. However, the testing techniques to determine alcohol content for all alcoholic beverages is largely the same, and accurate ABV content must be reported to government agencies as part of regulatory standards. It is imperative to understand the use of these methods as a craft brewer or distiller, especially when creating products for consumer use. All of these methods are used when measuring the specific gravity of an alcoholic beverage, which is required for the computation of ABV.