# Alcohol Volume in Homebrew Beer

Hello,
These questions may make me sound like a novice, because I am. I just got the starter 1 gallon brew kit in the American Wheat. I was wondering after the the beer is complete how much alcohol is in a bottle. Also, step 2 on brew day is the steep the grains and I don’t have any is that how its supposed to be? Do I need them? What should I do?
Thanks

Looking at the recipe, I didn’t see any specialty grains, so you’re good.

The ABV is determined by the difference between original gravity (OG) and final gravity (FG).
The instructions should give a target OG, but you need a way to measure your FG.
Such as a hydrometer or refratometer.

Just looked again, the one gallon doesn’t give an OG, but the 5 gal is 1.043.
I would estimate about 4% ABV

BTW, a hydrometer is cheaper, but wastes too much for a 1 gal batch.

[quote=“mrv”]Just looked again, the one gallon doesn’t give an OG, but the 5 gal is 1.043.
I would estimate about 4% ABV[/quote]

mrv is right. The easiest ballpark figure for ABV is to take the last two digits of the specified original gravity, and stick a decimal point in between, and that will give you the approximate ABV within about 0.2%. So for OG=1.043, your alcohol will be around 4.1-4.5% ABV. This method works for almost every recipe.

[quote=“dmtaylo2”][quote=“mrv”]Just looked again, the one gallon doesn’t give an OG, but the 5 gal is 1.043.
I would estimate about 4% ABV[/quote]

mrv is right. The easiest ballpark figure for ABV is to take the last two digits of the specified original gravity, and stick a decimal point in between, and that will give you the approximate ABV within about 0.2%. So for OG=1.043, your alcohol will be around 4.1-4.5% ABV. This method works for almost every recipe.[/quote]

I know you’ve posted that before, thanks for the reminder.

Its actually amazing how that works out. I read that in an article about 7 years ago and over the course of my brewing “career” its pretty damn close.

Even if your kit does not need grains steeped here is how anyway. Steeping grains just means putting crushed specialty malts in a bag and dunking it in hot water. You use the water for your extract batch for this by heating it to about 150-170° then dunking a grain bag in for 20 min or so. Keep the temp under 170 or you will extract tannins that will give your beer a astringent (like aspirin) taste. Remove the bag and squeeze out what you can into the water. Then proceed with the recipe. That will give your beer flavor and color from those grains but no or not much fermentable stuff.

For alcohol by volume if you take specific gravity readings called OG for original gravity and FG for final gravity, just Google homebrew ABV calculator and there are lots of them. Dave’s method will be very close to what you will come up with.

If you don’t have a hydrometer don’t worry about it but you will want one some day. Here is a little write up I did in the FAQ section almost 12 years ago :shock:

Thanks for all the feedback! Helped a lot!