A vinometer is a device that is used to measure alcohol content of beer
or wine it consists of an open, graduated glass tube with a small
The vinometer's reservoir or funnel is filled with a small amount of
wine or beer being tested until the liquid exits out at the other end.
It is then turned around and placed on a flat surface, filling resevoir side down, and allowed to self drain.
The alcohol concentration level is read of the vinometer's scale, on
the capillary, at the top of the liquid being measured, in %v/v
The level of the liquid is determined by the modifying affect that
alcohol has on the interfacial tension between water and glass and the
opposing surface tension of water.
The greater the alcohol concentration the less marked the liquids
capillary action and the lower it will sit in the tube of the
The vinometer is calculated on the basis of pure alcohol and water
solutions, whereas wine is not a pure water/alcohol solution and the
accuracy of a vinometer can not be relied upon.
Sugar interferes with the interfacial effects that a vinometer's
action relies on and hence the method can only be applied to dry
Similarly other components in wine can also interfere with accurate measurements.
As a rough approximation of the wine alcohol content, the use of a
vinometer with an internal triangular cross section has been reported
to give improved accuracy.
This vinometer tests the alcohol content 4-15%, with special blue reflective background for easy reading when measuring white wines.
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