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  • Weight of Whiskey

    I am writing a short sory and would like to know the weight of a gallon of whiskey? Can anyone help me with that? I understand that it would be different than a gallon of water, but can't find out what that differeance would be. Thanks!

  • #2
    Re: Weight of Whiskey

    Originally posted by Unregistered
    I am writing a short sory and would like to know the weight of a gallon of whiskey? Can anyone help me with that? I understand that it would be different than a gallon of water, but can't find out what that differeance would be. Thanks!
    Hello Poster,

    Sounds like an interesting story!

    Yes, you're right, whiskey is lighter than water because of its content of ethanol (grain alcohol), which is 21% less dense than water.

    My best estimate would be that a gallon of whiskey weighs 7.7 pounds, which is 0.6 pounds (or 7%) less than a gallon of water.

    This estimate is based on the data below for the specific gravity of whiskey. The references are old, because they come from a time when whiskey was also treated as a medical substance, but I don't think there would be any major difference today.
    The Dispensatory of the United States of America (1926)
    0.923 to 0.935 at 25 C

    The British Pharmaceutical Codex (1911)
    0.924 to 0.947

    King's American Dispensatory (1898)
    0.917 to 0.930
    Lastly, for fun, here's an interesting video demonstrating the difference in density between whiskey and water:
    Neat whiskey trick (55 sec)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8gH4q5Fmrpg

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    • #3
      Re: Weight of Whiskey

      Thanks Roy, that was a fascinating demonstration! Even without the music.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Weight of Whiskey

        Yes, the soundtrack is not exactly a vital part of the demonstration . But I think the pun in the title "Neat whiskey trick" is brilliant. For anyone who's not sure they get it, see entries #4 and #6 here.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Weight of Whiskey

          Excellent. My kids are gonna flip. Thanks Roy.

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          • #6
            Re: Weight of Whiskey

            Hey smartfisherman, just make sure they learn a bit of physics in the process!


            By the way, although alcohol (ethanol) itself is lighter than water, there are also alcoholic drinks (many liqueurs, for example) with specific gravities greater than 1.

            The differences in the specific gravities are used to create the visual effect of the pousse-caf and other layered drinks--
            Last edited by Roy Nakatsuka; 12-09-2007, 12:03 PM. Reason: Broken hyperlink

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            • #7
              Re: Weight of Whiskey

              If you mix 100mL of pure ethanol and 100mL of pure water together, you get a resulting solution that contains about 160mL total volume. This is because the combination of the two different molecules fit together better, or closer.

              I can't remember the exact volume of the resulting solution, so look this up if you are going to quote it for homework or anything

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              • #8
                Re: Weight of Whiskey

                Man, you guys got to do all the cool experiments.

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                • #9
                  Re: Weight of Whiskey

                  I did this same experiment in college. I found that exact same outcome except I made the layers in my belly.

                  The interest part was that the solutions became homogenous with the acid in my stomach.

                  Don't ask how I found this out.

                  uke:

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                  • #10
                    Re: Weight of Whiskey

                    Weigh a pint of water on kitchen scales. Say it weighs one pound

                    Find out the percentage water in the whiskey


                    99% pure alcohol weighs .7988

                    1 x % water + (1 % alcohol x .7988) x 8 (pints in gallon


                    Examnple. strength of whiskey 43% 86 proof in US


                    Say pint of water is one pound weight. 8 pints in gallon

                    water = 1x57 devided by 100 = .57 lbs.

                    Alcohol 1x.7988 x 43 devided by 100 = .34348

                    total x 8 pints in a gallon = .91348

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                    • #11
                      Re: Weight of Whiskey

                      Originally posted by Mrs X View Post
                      If you mix 100mL of pure ethanol and 100mL of pure water together, you get a resulting solution that contains about 160mL total volume. This is because the combination of the two different molecules fit together better, or closer.

                      I can't remember the exact volume of the resulting solution, so look this up if you are going to quote it for homework or anything
                      We have hopped in "the way back machine" here.

                      True, volume is not conserved as you always point out in "mixing" problems. It is not quite that dramatic though, I get 192.9 mL.

                      My Handbook of Chemistry & Physics has a set of tables on "concentrative properties of aqueous solutions" one of which is ethanol. It is laid out in percent by weight, but gives grams of solute and solvent per liter for various concentrations. By dividing by the densities of the solute and solvent, either or both can be expressed as volume. (only given for 20 C)

                      US 86 proof is 43% ABV. This works out closest (using the tabulated entries) to 36% ABW, with a density of 943.1 g/L. (339.5 g/L EtOH, 603.6 g/L H2O). Dividing by densities, that is 430.1 mL/L EtOH, 604.7 mL/L H2O (which would add to 1034.8 mL, except for being non-additive). To answer the poster's question first, 943.1 g/L is 7.87 lb/US gal at 20 C.

                      Your example of 100 mL of each is 78.93g/(78.93g +99.82 g) = 44.16% ABW. The closest tabular data is for 44% ABW. It has 407.8 g/L (or 516.66 mL/L) of EtOH, and 519.1 g/L (520.4 mL/L) of H2O. For 100 mL of each component, you would get about 192.9 mL total.

                      The maximum volume shortfall occurs around 48% ABW, where the sum of the components for a 1 L mixture are 1036.8 mL

                      All of this strictly applies only to pure water-ethanol mixtures; however, it should be good for most distilled spirits. It would not work for liqueurs, with high sugar content or flavorings.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Weight of Whiskey

                        :rofl::rofl::rofl::rofl::rofl:

                        Ha ha ha, the class must have been overcome by the fumes! (I hope no one quoted me. )

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                        • #13
                          Re: Weight of Whiskey

                          Originally posted by Mrs X View Post
                          :rofl::rofl::rofl::rofl::rofl:

                          Ha ha ha, the class must have been overcome by the fumes! (I hope no one quoted me. )
                          As much as I enjoy experimenting with whiskey and water, this experiment was theoretical, conducted entirely within the pages of HoC&P.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Weight of Whiskey

                            Originally posted by gubment_cheez
                            different types of whiskey would weigh different weights, depending on how much alcohol was in them. therefore, a gallon of water weighs 8.3452641 lbs. so you might say a gallon of whiskey weighs 8 lbs.

                            I don't have a gallon of whiskey available to me so I don't know if that's close or what. additionally, no place that I know of measures liquid by weight, so I wouldn't know where to find out this information
                            Ok..suppose you were driving a tanker truck registered for 50,000 lbs..how many gallons of alcohol can you legally haul in your truck without getting nailed by Mr. Highway Patrolman for being overloaded??

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Weight of Whiskey

                              Originally posted by Unregistered View Post
                              Ok..suppose you were driving a tanker truck registered for 50,000 lbs..how many gallons of alcohol can you legally haul in your truck without getting nailed by Mr. Highway Patrolman for being overloaded??
                              The answer varies slightly with the proof of the whiskey but see posts 3 and 12 for credible estimates.

                              Using the density in post #12 about 6353 US gallons.

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