Alcohol Proofing


Brewing and Distilling Analytical Services (BDAS), located in Lexington, Kentucky and Denver, Colorado, offers comprehensive alcohol proofing in our state-of-the-art labs. There are many challenges to measuring alcohol proof and measuring proof obscuration in flavored spirits. Alcohol producers have all the demands of manufacturing a consistent product with the added burden of complying with all the government measurement and labeling guidelines along the way. The production of alcohol is highly regulated and tax reporting must be accurate to avoid audits and fines.
At Brewing and Distilling Analytical Services (BDAS), the two main values used to indicate the alcoholic content of a beverage are alcohol-by-volume (ABV) and proof. Alcohol proof is a measure of alcohol percentage used for spirits (hard spirits or hard liquor). Proof is calculated by doubling the percentage of alcohol content by volume found in respective spirits. For example, a spirit that is 40 percent alcohol by volume (ABV percentage) is classified as being 80 proof. The higher the alcohol proof, the higher the alcohol strength. The term “proof” dates to 16th Century England. It was implemented as a crude measure of alcohol content for rum and eventually other spirits. In the mid-19th Century in the United States, 50% ABV was deemed a baseline for labeling spirits as “100 proof.” Therefore, the modern proof system is simply the doubling of ABV for any given spirit. Whether wine, beer, spirit, cider or hard seltzer, every alcoholic beverage label is required to show how much alcohol it contains. BDAS is TTB certified in wine, spirits, and beer.
Alcohol by volume (ABV) must be reported to the satisfaction of the government. The government requires testing methods such as distillation for proof obscuration measurements, which are very slow and can significantly disrupt production. Furthermore, obscuration values are only allowed for spirits with a specific set of parameters: they must be between 80 and 100 proof and have no more than 600 milligrams of solids per 100 milliliters. Our experienced staff can help you determine if your product falls in this category, and what to do if it does not.
At Brewing and Distilling Analytical Services (BDAS), digital density meters are utilized in conjunction with laboratory scale distillation equipment for measuring alcohol proof (ethanol) concentration of beer, wine, and spirits for quality control and to insure proper product labeling for declaration of alcohol proof testing.
For more information about alcohol proofing at Brewing and Distilling Analytical Services (BDAS), contact us in Lexington, Kentucky at (859) 278-2533 or in Denver, Colorado at (720) 450-7066.