I have been cruising the blog-o-sphere and some recipe database sites recently. For some reason, my mind started to focus on the alcohol content rating for recipes and brewed beers. Some sites list alcohol as a % by volume or a % by weight, some places even both.
I don’t think I have ever really paid attention to the alcohol level in my beers. I know how to calculate it, even though I use BeerSmith and it will tell me instantly once I put the FG data in. However, I have never been concerned about it I guess. I see forum posts and questions that pop up occasionally with a dude asking how to increase his alcohol. Also when I serve homebrew to people they occasionally ask me how much alcohol is in there. I usually just say “5.5% give or take”.
If you follow the site regularly you’ll notice that John and I don’t brew too many big beers, so maybe that has something to do with it. The Baltic Porter I brewed is really my first significant big beer at 1.080OG, and I have been thinking of doing an English Barleywine too. I am certainly thinking about alcohol with that porter as I think I should get to at least 9-10%.
How often do you care about alcohol levels? Do you prefer to see it posted as ABV or ABW? Does it matter?
Here is the quick calculation for ABV if you are interested and an Article at Beer Advocate about the matter:
(OG-FG)*131=%ABV your gravity #s should be in the format of 1.040, for example.
(1.045-1.008)*131=4.8% ABV (See, I didn’t even use a high gravity example!!!)