A - like alcohol gauge

Whisky ABC - A like Alcohol Gauge

What is the purpose of an alcohol meter?

The alcohol meter is used to determine the amount of alcohol produced in the distillery. Additional data such as density and temperature are used to determine and display the liters of pure alcohol. The liters of pure alcohol are relevant under customs law.

What kind of alcohol are we talking about?

The alcohol, the quantity of which is determined by means of the alcohol meter, is the entire middle run (heart, spirit), which is collected during the second distillation in the Spirit Pot Still and is intended for subsequent filling of the barrels.

How does the center run get to the alcohol gauge?

The heart of the second distillation, i.e. the spirit, flows via the condenser and through the spirit safe further via a sealed, double-walled pipe directly to the alcohol meter. The alcohol meter is covered with a metal hood that has also been sealed by customs to prevent unauthorized opening.

What parameters does the alcohol meter measure?

The density, temperature and volume of the spirit are measured using the alcohol meter.

How are these parameters measured?

The spirit flows over the tube to the alcohol measuring gauge, enters it and fills a chamber containing a float. This float is used to measure the density of the spirit. The corresponding temperature is determined using bimetals. Last but not least, the volume of the spirit is determined by means of a pouring drum. This has three chambers, each containing exactly five liters. When a chamber is completely filled with five liters of spirit, the drum rotates and pours out the contents again. The number of rotations is recorded and gives the total volume of spirit.

How are the liters of pure alcohol determined?

The liters of pure alcohol are determined using the three measurement parameters of volume, density and temperature of the spirit. This is done entirely without electronics, but purely mechanically via pinions and weights.

What data can be read from the alcohol meter?

The alcohol meter displays the liters of brandy (old name for spirit), the temperature in °C, and the mechanically determined liters of pure alcohol at 20°C. The volume data can be read to two decimal places. The volume data can be read to two decimal places. The maximum flow rate of the alcohol meter is 3,000 liters of spirit per hour. The operating temperature is between 0°C and 30°C.

Will the alcohol meter be checked?

Yes. To ensure that the alcohol measuring clock functions accurately to the decimal point, it is calibrated at two-year intervals by employees of the former Federal Monopoly Administration and today's General Customs Directorate. This complex calibration is very time-consuming and takes a whole working day.

How old is the alcohol meter?

This purely mechanical marvel of technology, which has been reliably performing its work at St. Kilian since 2016, is already over 40 years old. This so-called Siemens wine spirit counter was previously used in an industrial ethanol plant.

Is this type of alcohol gauge still being manufactured?

No. These mechanical alcohol measuring clocks have not been built since the 1980s.

How is the amount of alcohol determined today?

Today, the liters of pure alcohol are measured with electronic devices. With all the problems that this new technology can bring. But our old, purely mechanical alcohol measuring clock has been running reliably and constantly like Swiss clockwork for years.

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