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Thread: Alcohol question:Is ABV the same as the %?

  1. #1
    I'm wanting to say this:

    "Due to growing public health educationabout the dangers of drinking strong spirits/liquors , Chinese drinkers are now turning to lower ABV drinks.?

    Is that the right terminology?

    Someone told me that % of alcohol and ABV content are 2 different things. So, a bottle of vodka is 40% alcohol and not 40% ABV.

    Anyone know the answer?

    Cheers!!
    Last edited by jimbo12345; 07-08-2007 at 07:39 AM.

  2. Lounge   -   #2
    lynx's Avatar .
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    They are the same.

    The alternative would be to measure alcohol by weight (ABW), but since alcohol is much dense than water (the other basic ingredient of alcoholic drinks) working out the amount of alcohol is more complex.

    With ABV, at 20% you know there are 200ml of alcohol per litre, at 40% you know there are 400ml of alcohol per litre, etc.

    With ABW, at 20% there are at 241 ml of alcohol, at 40% there are 459 ml of alcohol. It isn't linear so you can't easily work out how much you are getting.

    I need a drink after working that out.
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  3. Lounge   -   #3
    Sextent's Avatar Version Five
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    ABV and percent proof are entirely different things.

    ABV is Alcohol by Volume and simply represents the percentage of a liquid which is alcohol. So 5% abv would mean 5% of the beer is alcohol.

    Percent proof is a far higher number and historically a wee bit mental. Dating from about the 18th century and used to prove how high the alcohol content was in spirits. Ball park the ratio is about 7:4 (Proof:ABV).

    Anyhow, your comment re lower ABV etc makes sence

  4. Lounge   -   #4
    cheers lynx! Helps a lot, thanks

  5. Lounge   -   #5
    and thanx Sextent also

  6. Lounge   -   #6
    Busyman™'s Avatar Use Logic Or STFU!
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    Quote Originally Posted by lynx View Post
    They are the same.

    The alternative would be to measure alcohol by weight (ABW), but since alcohol is much dense than water (the other basic ingredient of alcoholic drinks) working out the amount of alcohol is more complex.

    With ABV, at 20% you know there are 200ml of alcohol per litre, at 40% you know there are 400ml of alcohol per litre, etc.

    With ABW, at 20% there are at 241 ml of alcohol, at 40% there are 459 ml of alcohol. It isn't linear so you can't easily work out how much you are getting.

    I need a drink after working that out.
    Thanks for that.

  7. Lounge   -   #7
    Barbarossa's Avatar mostly harmless
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    Quote Originally Posted by lynx View Post
    They are the same.
    Quote Originally Posted by Sextent View Post
    ABV and percent proof are entirely different things.

    Well that's cleared things up then

  8. Lounge   -   #8
    Chip Monk's Avatar Darth Monk Like.
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    Actually it's the question which causes the problem.

    I answered as a comparison between ABV and % Proof, which are the common measurements outside of the US. lynx answered as a comparison between ABV and ABW, ABW being really a USA thing. I have to say I found his explanation a bit bizarre, as he said they were the same thing then went on to explain the difference. Unless he was saying that ABV and % Proof are the same. Which they aren't.

    "Someone told me that % of alcohol and ABV content are 2 different things. So, a bottle of vodka is 40% alcohol and not 40% ABV." Is kind of nonsensical because ABV is actually a % measurement. So I took it that he meant % Proof (The normal way of measuring the content in spirits).

    Hope that's cleared things up a bit further.
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  9. Lounge   -   #9
    Barbarossa's Avatar mostly harmless
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    So 5% ABV means that in 300 ml of lager, there are 15 ml of alcohol. That makes sence.

    But "percentage proof" is something completely different, and a little bit mental, that nobody has defined yet, except you said it's about a ratio of 7:4 or something.

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    Biggles's Avatar Looking for loopholes
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    Some drinks come in pint glasses and some in small glasses. As a rule I have found it wise not to ask for a pint of the stuff that comes in little glasses.

    How hard is this?
    Cogito cogito ergo cogito sum


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