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How strong is your booze?
Date:3/22/2010

fizz, which can interfere with measurements.

The authors say that not only does unrecorded alcohol account for a quarter of all alcohol consumed worldwide, but in most cases, "not even the most basic chemical composition such as alcoholic strength is known for these beverages."

Ever since French chemist Gay-Lussac's work on alcohol-water mixtures, scientists have measured alcoholic strength by volume (% vol) using distillation and then a pycnometer to measure the liquid's density. Infrared spectroscopy is a more recent, popular method, but typically requires expensive equipment, and complicated calibration.


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