Moonshine: All You Wanted To Know About Abv And Alcoholic Percentage

moonshine alcohol percentage abv

While the connoisseurs of quality liquor are everywhere around the globe, very few know the actual alcoholic percentage in homemade drinks like moonshine. Others are confused between the terms alcohol proof and alcohol volume. What are these two parameters and what do they mean? In this article, we will attempt to answer these questions and shed more insight into alcohol and how you measure it.

How much alcohol does moonshine contain?

If you’ve wondered about the alcohol percentage in moonshine, you’re probably not the only one. So, what is the answer, and can you get an alcoholic high from moonshine? The answer is a resounding yes, however, there is no set percentage of alcohol in moonshine because the amount varies depending on the distillation method.

In America, for instance, you are Federally and legally allowed to produce moonshine with the highest ABV of 80%. When the same moonshine gets bottled, it comes down to a lower abv of around 60 to 62%. In certain situations, the final ABV is even lower.

Popular American brands sell the product with an average ABV ranging between 30 and 50. So, does this make moonshine stronger than your regular drinks? Well, of course, it does. Remember, your classic vodkas don’t have any more than 40 to 45% ABV whereas whiskey, gin, and other alcoholic beverages have ABV ranging from 30 to 55%.

That means a single glass of moonshine can get you as high as two or three glasses of regular alcohol like vodka, whiskey, or wine among others. Moonshine isn’t a light drink and while you may get some smooth sips depending on the distillation process, such is not the same in all scenarios. In the majority of the cases, moonshine tastes rough and bitter.

Having said that, we have mentioned the term ABV quite a few times in this section. So, in the following section, we will explain what ABV is and how it compares to alcohol proof.

What are alcohol proof and abv?

Any alcohol shopper who has bought whiskey, wine, or vodka from their nearby store has probably found multiple numbers stating the exact amount of alcohol the drink contains. One of the most common measures is alcohol by volume of ABV that we came across in the previous section.

When it comes to alcohol proof vs alcohol by volume, the former is easier to understand. In the simplest terms, it gives us a measure of the amount of alcohol the bottle of liquid contains. As you already know, ABV is common across many nations and is often deemed the international standard for measuring alcoholic beverages.

But what is alcohol by proof in that case? For the uninitiated, this is an alcohol measurement that varies depending on the nation where it is manufactured. The concept was first introduced in England during the 16th century. This was also the time when the incumbent government started imposing high taxes on �proof spirits’ which simply referred to beverages that contained more than standard alcoholic content.

Probably the inventors used the term �proof’ to further confirm and attest that the value, indeed, is accurate. When alcohol proofing was first invented, the British government tested the alcoholic value of liquor by directly dabbing a pellet from a gun right inside it. Next, they would attempt to light the concoction. In the event the pellet lights up it would prove that the liquid contains a high amount of proof alcohol. The result? It is then taxed at a high price. However, despite the early successes, many inventors discovered an issue with the proofing process. Some directly indicated that whether the liquor would light up would entirely depend on the surrounding temperature. Unless the temperature of an area is consistently stable, the method for deeming alcoholic content via proofing was considered incorrect.

By 1816, an apparent solution was discovered, and this process involved adding a certain upper standard for the proofing spirit. Therefore, the status of a proofing liquid was the same as alcohol with alcoholic content nearing 12/13. The total weight is the same as the weight of fully boiled water under 11 degrees Celsius. The overall method and experiments lowered the standard ABV to 57% for every alcoholic beverage.

However, Americans didn’t go by this proofing system. They used an easier process instead which is ABV as we discussed earlier. It is worth noting that the value of ABV is double the value of proof spirits. So, if the liquor is 60 alcohol proof, the ABV will be 30. This is the same ABV as vodka, whiskey, and light gins.

Cleaning Copper Proofing Parrots

If you make alcohol at home, you probably have a copper-proofing parrot. However, many people fail to retain their parrots due to the lack of proper maintenance and cleaning. If you do not want your object to witness the same fate follow the below cleaning tips to keep it spick, span, and durable. Most of the guidelines are easy to follow and once you incorporate them, your proofing parrot will last you the longest time.

  • First, get any type of quality brewery wash. Make sure it is in powdered form.
  • Next, fill your parrot with the powder and allow it to rest for at least one day.
  • The following day, take a tube brush and scrub your device well. You might need multiple brushes for a thorough clean-up.
  • Once you have completed the first round of cleaning, rinse the device in distilled water.
  • After this, scrub the parrot again with your tube brush and run it under hot water.
  • Once you are satisfied with the cleaning, take a clean rag and dry the parrot. Alternatively, you can get it air-dried

Well, that’s all you need to do to keep a copper proofing parrot clean and tidy.

Bottom Line

Well, that was all there to know about moonshine and the ABV it comes with. If you are having moonshine for the first time, do take proper precautions because the drink is known to be extremely strong. Now that you also understand the difference between alcohol proof and abv, you will also have an easier time picking the drink with just the kind of strength you want.

Dan Specht

Dan has been homebrewing beer for 8 years and holds a level 2 certifiication as a Cicerone.

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