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Alc. by Vol. Formula:
Schwartz Factors

When I attended the 60th Dipoloma Course at the Siebel Institute in 1988, I visited Victor Ecimovich, then the Brewmaster at Goose Island in Chicago. Vic had a little booklet called, "Schwartz Tables," and he used it to calculate the alcohol level of his beers.

I asked Vic where he got it, and he told me he got it from Siebel. I asked at school, and they told me they only had a few copies left, but I got one.

Examining the Schwartz Tables, I noticed a pattern. I converted the tables into Factors, and I extrapolated estimates for all those marvelous big gravity beers that were "off the charts" for the booklet's tables.

The formula was slightly logarithmic, but below is what I came up with. I have successfully been using my Schwartz Factors since 1989.

How to Use these Schwartz Factors:

1. Use a good temperature-corrected Plato hydrometer.
2. Take a starting gravity reading. (SG)
3. Take a final gravity reading. (FG)
4. Find the difference: subtract the FG from the SG.
5. Find the starting gravity reading on the left side of the chart below. Do not round up! The chart is designed so that if your beer had a SG of 13.9, you would look at the Factor for 13, not 14.
6. Multiply the difference you calculated in step 4 by the Factor you found in step 5.
7. The answer is a fairly close estimate of your final alcohol level.

Schwartz Factors:

10 = .531
11 = .534
12 = .537
13 = .540
14 = .544
15 = .548
16 = .552
17 = .556
18 = .560
19 = .564
20 = .568
21 = .572
22 = .576
23 = .580
24 = .585
25 = .590


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