Does ageing whiskey affect alcohol measuring?

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jayka
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Does ageing whiskey affect alcohol measuring?

Post by jayka » Tue Nov 03, 2020 5:24 am

So was wondering does ageing alcohol with wood affect the measuring capabilities of the alcometer?

Will what's extracted from the wood affect how accurate my alcometer is?
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Re: Does ageing whiskey affect alcohol measuring?

Post by Expat » Tue Nov 03, 2020 5:40 am

Good question, I believe the answer is no.

Easy to check if you got any store bought; give it a test with your hydrometer, after calibration it should match what's on the label.
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Re: Does ageing whiskey affect alcohol measuring?

Post by bluefish_dist » Tue Nov 03, 2020 5:42 am

There is nothing that suggests aging changes the accuracy of Hydrometers. The ttb does not have anything in the tables or regulations on this, so I suspect there is no change. The abv will change during aging, but that is a function of the atmospheric conditions, ie humidity, temperature.

Adding sugar and other additives will change the accuracy. This is covered extensively.
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Re: Does ageing whiskey affect alcohol measuring?

Post by jayka » Tue Nov 03, 2020 5:52 am

Expat wrote:
Tue Nov 03, 2020 5:40 am
Good question, I believe the answer is no.

Easy to check if you got any store bought; give it a test with your hydrometer, after calibration it should match what's on the label.
Will do that.
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Re: Does ageing whiskey affect alcohol measuring?

Post by hellbilly007 » Tue Nov 03, 2020 6:48 am

I'd suspect the sugars extracted from the wood would slightly affect the accuracy of a proof & tralle hydrometer. To what extent I have no clue. We're not trying to keep up with TTB standards so the sugars shouldn't be enough to skew a reference from a hydrometer

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Re: Does ageing whiskey affect alcohol measuring?

Post by 8Ball » Tue Nov 03, 2020 6:48 am

bluefish_dist wrote:
Tue Nov 03, 2020 5:42 am
There is nothing that suggests aging changes the accuracy of Hydrometers. The ttb does not have anything in the tables or regulations on this, so I suspect there is no change. The abv will change during aging, but that is a function of the atmospheric conditions, ie humidity, temperature.

Adding sugar and other additives will change the accuracy. This is covered extensively.
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Re: Does ageing whiskey affect alcohol measuring?

Post by still_stirrin » Tue Nov 03, 2020 7:13 am

hellbilly007 wrote:
Tue Nov 03, 2020 6:48 am
I'd suspect the sugars extracted from the wood would slightly affect the accuracy of a proof & tralle hydrometer....
It’s “within the margin of error” of the hydrometer; how it is calculated and marked, and how well you can even read the miniscus.

Since what you’re actually “measuring” is the density, or more specifically, the specific gravity, that is the “relative density to a known standard/liquid” such as water, it is assumed that the constituents leached from the wood have minimal affect on the hydrometer’s measurement.

If, during the aging process, sugars are extracted from the wood, then indeed that can affect the accuracy of the measurement. But this will be minimal, at best. And your reading should be within tolerances.
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Re: Does ageing whiskey affect alcohol measuring?

Post by kiwi Bruce » Tue Nov 03, 2020 7:25 am

If you have a lab it could be measured but the difference is tiny... your talking amounts in the ppt range.
If you need to know, weigh a large "watch class" and take the tare. Pour a 1/2 fl oz of whisky onto the watch glass and let the liquid evaporate to dryness and reweigh the watch glass and you'll see that the solids in the spirit have almost nothing to them, weight wise, it's the solids that would rise the ABV.
Me...I'd just throw the 1/2 fl oz down my throat, wink and say to my self "right on, no difference at all"
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Re: Does ageing whiskey affect alcohol measuring?

Post by still_stirrin » Tue Nov 03, 2020 7:39 am

kiwi Bruce wrote:
Tue Nov 03, 2020 7:25 am
...I'd just throw the 1/2 fl oz down my throat, wink and say to my self "right on, no difference at all"
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Re: Does ageing whiskey affect alcohol measuring?

Post by jonnys_spirit » Tue Nov 03, 2020 8:41 am

Yeah just enjoy it and approximate'ish is usually close enough for most home distillers.

I believe the TTB delineate's between different amounts of eg; solids in the product under measure. ie if it's a liquer with sugars added it's going to measure different or perhaps a fruit macerated product with solids and sugars in the product. They have a couple methods defined to determine ABV based on PPM of solids in product.

Removing solids from test product - General idea:
- Measure an accurate amount of test product - eg; 100ml - add some specified amount of distilled water to prevent boiling it dry.
- Distill test product until all alcohol is removed into test flask - I think they specify a volume but you could go by vapor temp as well depending on your setup.
- Top up test flask accurately to 100ml with distilled water.
- Use precision hydrometer & thermometer to measure ABV of topped up test distillate.

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Re: Does ageing whiskey affect alcohol measuring?

Post by jayka » Tue Nov 03, 2020 11:24 am

Yeh cool, I didnt think it would be anything significant but was curious.
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Re: Does ageing whiskey affect alcohol measuring?

Post by Canuckwoods » Tue Nov 03, 2020 2:40 pm

does ageing on the wood affect the reading from a refractometer I was proofing down today my reading on the hydrometer was 40% on the refractometer it was 50%

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Re: Does ageing whiskey affect alcohol measuring?

Post by jayka » Wed Nov 04, 2020 12:18 am

Canuckwoods wrote:
Tue Nov 03, 2020 2:40 pm
does ageing on the wood affect the reading from a refractometer I was proofing down today my reading on the hydrometer was 40% on the refractometer it was 50%
So which one was out?
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Re: Does ageing whiskey affect alcohol measuring?

Post by Canuckwoods » Wed Nov 04, 2020 2:25 am

I would assume the refractometer as the hydrometer is approximately where it should be.

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