hist-brewing: Different Alcohols

Lars Hedbor lhedbor at attbi.com
Fri Jan 4 19:45:47 PST 2002

This is a writer who knows squat about chemistry.  Nevertheless, (s)he's
batting .500 for this round.

The alcohol that humans drink for recreation is ethanol, whether it's in a
directly fermented beverage like beer or wine, or whether it's in the
distilled product of fermentation, such as is used to make a Martini.  A 10%
beer and a 10% wine both have the exact same alcohol, in the exact same
proportions -- the only possible difference is that beers are typically
consumed in 12 to 16 ounce servings, whereas a serving of wine is (IIRC) 6
to 8 ounces.  In addition, the carbonation of a typical beer has been shown
to speed the impact of the ethanol on the brain.

A 10% beer, at 12 to 16 ounces will contain 1.2 to 1.6 ounces of pure
ethanol -- indeed comparable to a Martini (if I recall the makeup of a
Martini correctly...).  So that part of the statement's roughly correct, so
long as you disregard the effect of the additional fluid volume in the beer
on the speed of intoxication.

Personally, I wouldn't drive with even one of any of these recently in my
system.  :-)

- Lars D. H. Hedbor

----- Original Message -----
From: <PBLoomis at aol.com>
To: <hist-brewing at pbm.com>
Sent: Friday, January 04, 2002 6:46 PM
Subject: hist-brewing: Different Alcohols

>    In an article of beers, my local Friday supplement includes the
> following statement:
>     "... don't confuse a 10 percent beer with a 10 percent wine -- the
> alcohols in these drinks are different, and you'll find that a 10 percent
> beer packs about the same punch as a martini."
>     There are two statements here (1) the alcohol in beer is different
> from the alcohol in wine, and (2) a 10 percent beer packs about the
> same punch as a martini.  I don't believe either one of them.
>     Any of you knowledgeable people care to comment?
>     Scotti
>     Knowledge is never wasted, nor is the time to acquire it.
> _______________________________________________
> hist-brewing mailing list
> hist-brewing at pbm.com
> http://www.pbm.com/mailman/listinfo/hist-brewing

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