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AlcoTest is Multi-Purpose Tool for the Distillery Lab

The AlcoTest-RI from Rudolph Research is many tools in one. Almost all the testing needed for a busy and productive distillery can be done with the Alco-Test-RI. Your goals as a distiller are to produce consistent tasting, high quality, alcohol beverages that are compliance with the TTB and it labeling requirements

Product Category: Alcohol testing

Industry: Distilleries, Food, Dairy and Wine

Supplier: Rudolph Research Analytical


Alcohol Laboratory Testing Solutions

Alcohol producers have all the demands of manufacturing a constant product with the added burden of making a product that must comply with government measurement and labeling guidelines. In most countries, the production of alcohol is highly regulated and tax reporting must be accurate. Government prescribed measurement methods can be very slow and require laboratory skills to produce an accurate measurement.Rudolph addresses the need for alcohol producers to make fast, accurate measurements at various stages during the production process. Rudolph also addresses government requirements, by providing certified instruments that will keep your production facility in full compliance.

The Problem – Efficiency, Regulation and Taxes

Alcohol manufacturers operate in a competitive world. They must keep costs under control and keep production operating efficiently to ensure profitability.However, manufacturers must report correct % ABV values and must do this to the satisfaction of the local government authority. Many governments require testing methods such as distillation, which are very slow and can significantly disrupt production.

AlcoTest-RI Scales


Alcohol Testing Solution

The AlcoTest®RI offers a certified government compliant method and a rapid non-certified method to read % ABV. Certified results can be used for taxation purposes and will serve as the benchmark method. Using the “Production Method” you can measure alcohol content, without distillation, and also read the sugar content which is the source of most obscuration in flavored alcohol beverages. It just takes a few keystrokes to move between the certified Government Compliant Method and Production Methods.

Principle of Operation

Regulatory method – Vodka and similar products. Vodka is a mixture of alcohol and water. The density of water and alcohol are well known, so the user simply measures a sample in the density meter and the measurement display shows % ABV. Different countries use different scales and even different expressions of the same scale. AOAC ABV is used in the USA, OIML ABV is used in Europe, the UK uses Proof, Canada uses ABV, and the Japan Taxation Department uses AOAC Proof. These are just a few of the many scales that can be used to present % alcohol.

Alcohol ObscurationRegulatory method – Other Products. The difficulty with many alcohol products today is that other ingredients besides alcohol and water are included in the final product. These other ingredients are important because they add unique tastes and aromas with improved “mouth feel”. The consumer likes these additional ingredients which are generally sugar and flavorings but they obscure the % alcohol and alter the density measurement. The USA TTB solution is for the user to distill the sample before measurement in a density meter. This distillation process is time consuming and can take as long as 2 – 3 hours according to the US TTB. At the end of the process, the user has an alcohol water mixture which they can measure in the density meter in the same way they would measure straight alcohol. Accuracy in regulatory mode is dependent on the model of density meter that the Alcotest-RI® is built around.

Production Mode – Other Products In Production Mode, the Alcotest-RI® also measures the refractive index. Refractive Index (RI) is a proven measurement used to estimate the amount of other ingredients in the sample and correct the density meter measurement for their effect on the % alcohol value. Production Mode allows a user to obtain a result in less than 2 minutes with no sample pre-treatment. Accuracy in Production Mode is sample dependent, but is often comparable to the results obtained using a standalone density meter and distillation step.

Testing Alcohol Proof Balanced with Fast Production

The AlcoTest®RI is designed to help the person in charge of an Alcohol Laboratory balance the need for both compliance and profitability. Government regulators don’t care how long it takes to make measurements,they don’t care how many resources are needed in the compliance process, they simply want accurate results done according to the approved method. The owner of the factory is interested in accurate measurements as well, but they see the laboratory as a cost center needed for compliance and meeting government regulations should be done with as few resources as possible. The AlcoTest®RI responds to the need for fast results and the need for high accuracy government compliant measurements.

Alcohol Beverages and related Applications

High Proof Spirits including Bourbons, Straight Spirits and Flavored Spirits

Spirits GlassManufacturers of spirits are generally subject to the highest tax rates and benefit the most from the use of the AlcoTest®RI. With the recent explosion in the growth of flavored or obscured spirits, the ability to make specialized methods for each product will mean that the number of distillations a lab needs to do can be dramatically reduced. The AlcoTest®RI is the perfect solution to help with this. Instead of making 2, 3 or even 4 distillations on a batch of flavored product, the AlcoTest®RI can reduce that number to one.

AlcoCalc LogoThe AlcoCalc® option allows the AlcoTest®RI to be used for calculating dilutions of alcohol and water solutions. The AlcoCalc® feature will automatically calculate for you the amount of water to dilute a high %ABV solution to a desired %ABV based on known tables, or how much alcohol to add in order to recreate the %ABV


There are many, non approved, quick methods for wine analysis. While wine alcohol content is often not as critical for wine as it is for spirits there are still regulatory requirements. Wine GlassDepending on the country there may be a point above a certain alcohol level that the tax rate changes (16.0 % ABV in the USA). It is critical for a winery to use an approved method when they are producing product near that point. Some of the non-approved methods are geared more toward measuring other components in wine and may provide % ABV but not with the accuracy available with the AlcoTest®RI.

Alcopops / RTD’s  (Canned and Bottled Alcoholic Beverages)


RTD - AlcoPops

Many very successful soft drink manufacturers are expanding into ready to drink alcoholic beverages, RTD’s. Beverage companies traditionally focused on monitoring Brix, but this value is now obscured by alcohol. The correct Brix value in their soft drink manufacturing process is very important to taste and can be maintained by correcting for the alcohol in the product obscuring the measurement. The AlcoTest®RI solves this problem, by measuring the Brix value as if no alcohol were present.

Flavors / Flavorings

The growth of flavored alcohols is an opportunity for flavor Flavors for Alcoholmanufacturers. The relatively short production runs and high cost of these new alcoholic beverages means that supplying flavors to this area can be very profitable. Making test beverages can be more complicated than with non-alcoholic beverages. The AlcoTest®RI eliminates this complexity making alcohol drinks as simple to measure as soft drinks. Best of all, the AlcoTest®RI is built on top of an instrument that is already used by flavor companies for measurement of Specific Gravity and Refractive Index of flavors. The methods for doing these tests are included in the standard AlcoTest®RI

Alcoholic Beverage Sample Handling Options

AlcoTest®RI with Syringe Sample Loading

Loading your sample with a simple syringe is often the preferred configuration for distilleries and many flavor companies. It is the least expensive configuration and uses the lowest sample volume. It also allows the measurement of extremely viscous or rheopectic samples which can be important in flavor companies.


AlcoTest®RI with the MM-Peri Pump Option.

For faster throughput and easy system cleaning the MM-Peri option allows the user to draw a sample from nearly any vessel including a bottle, load the sample via a Peri-Pump, measure and then rinse the system with the same speed and ease as the pump loading. Fast and ensures a thorough rinse, clean and drying every time.

Test Alcohol Obscuration

AlcoTest®RI with fully automated R837 Autoflex®

The AutoFlex® R837 is Rudolph’s most advanced highest throughput automation solution. It is ideal for laboratories with 40 to over 100 samples per day. While many smaller labs do not need the throughput of the AutoFlex® R837 initially it is possible to purchase a more basic system and upgrade later. For more information on the R837. See R837 Technical Bulletin # TB937.





Alcohol Proof Measurement – Testimonial Palmetto Moonshine
Alcohol Proof Measurement – Testimonial Palmetto Moonshine
Testimonial Palmetto Moonshine

March 26, 2015

Attn: Mike Pierpont
Rudolph Research Analytical Manager, Densitometry
55 Newburgh Road
Hackettstown, NJ 07840


Palmetto moonshine began needing a consistent method to monitor and record our

alcohol based products for our consumers and to the strict requirements of the Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB). There are many different methods that one could monitor and record the exact proof of their products but only a few methods approved to be used by the TTB that provides the definitive results of the findings such as the DDM2911 Plus (Density Meter).
I began asking friends and business associates within the industry about these various types of methods and concepts and which companies supplied the best equipment, best value, and best service. We researched online, spoke on the phone, read interviews of customers and then met with the reps of these different companies. After several months Palmetto Moonshine realized that there seemed to be only one provider that met those requirements. Rudolph Research.
From our first email requesting general information about Rudolph Research products, Mike was very responsive and extremely knowledgeable about not only the products that Rudolph research sold but the industry itself. During the time of trial testing of the equipment to the final visit 30 days after the installation to ensure the machine was still suiting our needs, our distillery staff learned a lot about the customers and experiences of Mike that spanned the globe from micro distilleries to NASA. I was not only impressed by his experience but the equipment of Rudolph Research offered.
As a young micro distillery that experienced fast exceptional growth, we needed a reasonable financial solution for our testing needs. Rudolph Research user friendly interface, price point, equipment size and utility of use coupled with the education and knowledge of Mike made our decision a no brainer of what was best for us. Palmetto Moonshine is proud to use and promote the density meter to our industry colleagues and will be more than happy to answer any direct question from any future customers of Rudolph Research.

Palmetto Moonshine Owner
Brian P. Boggs


200 West Benson St. Anderson, SC 29624
Phone (864) 226-9917 • Fax (864) 226-1097 •

Density Meter Testimonial – Painted Stave Distillery
Density Meter Testimonial – Painted Stave Distillery
Mike Pierpont June 26, 2014
Manager, Densitometry
Rudolph Research Analytical
55 Newburgh Road,
Hackettstown, NJ, 07840

Hi Mike!
Thank you for the excellent service you’ve provided throughout ordering, installing and updating our DDM2911 Plus (Density Meter). As you know, we primarily employ the DDM2911 Plus to proof the spirits we craft in our distillery. In our industry, our governing body, the TTB, requires 0.02% Ethanol accuracy for testing of % Ethanol in wine, beer, and spirits for the purposes of taxation and labeling. For several months we tested the DDM2911 Plus, side by side, against the (Competitor). In the end, we found the performance of the DDM2911 Plus to be superior in a number of categories, and in the end, its accuracy, repeatability, and intuitive user interface sold us. We have, and will continue to recommend Rudolph’s DDM2911 Plus to other members in our industry. It is an outstanding instrument that comes with outstanding technical support. Thank you again for your help and ongoing support. We certainly enjoy your visits and look forward to the next time you pass through.

Ronald R. Gomes, Jr., Ph.D.

CEO Legacy Distilling, LLC dba Painted Stave Distilling
106 W Commerce St.
Smyrna, DE 19977

Painted Stave Distilling

Scientific Solutions

Scientific Solutions have been providing carefully selected laboratory and analytical equipment to Australian Industries such as Environmental, Pharmaceutical, Food and Beverage and Research markets of the Science Industry for over a decade.

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