View Full Version : Non laboratory calculation of carbs

Ted Briggs
12-19-2003, 12:18 PM
Can anyone post a calculation of carbs in beer? I get a lot of inqurieries, mostly about our "light" ale. Calorie content would be good too. Dont want to spend the $ for lab analisis though.
Thanks, Ted

12-29-2003, 09:46 AM

I cannot find a simple equation in all my texts for carbohydrate calculations. I think your best bet is to get a bottle tested. Alltech or Siebel can get an accurate measurement of carbs for around $50. The Siebel contact is jmurphey@northlandlabs.com, phone number is 847-272-8700 ext 313. If your customers are really curious about carbs I think this is a small amount of money to invest. The formula for caloric content is as follows (Fix-An Analysis of Brewing Techniques)

A=(OE-AE)/(2.0665-0.010665 X OE)
C=[6.9 X A +4 x(RE-0.1)] x 3.55 X SG

Where A is %ABW, OE is original extract, AE is apparent extract, C is caloric value, RE is real extract, and SG is specific gravity of beer. Formula should be accurate with error less than 1%.

01-06-2004, 04:15 PM
I've seen this carb calculation formula a number of times and its incorrect. An easy way to check the formula for (in)accuracy is to go to a brewery website where the give you OG, FG, etc., and the lab-tested carbohydrate count. You'll see that the calculation doesn't even come close, let alone within 1%.

From Siebel on how they calculate carbs: "We will need to run Alcohol, Ash, and Protein to Calculate the carbohydrates."

$50 seems like very little money to give your customers the info the want and take advantage of the current hyper-awareness of carbs in beer.

01-06-2004, 11:52 PM
The fore-mentioned formula I posted is for caloric content, not carbs. I believe the original postee wanted both calculations. There is a way to back-track to figure carbs based on caloric content. I will try to get it from our lab manager. It is of course subject to precision of other measurements. By the way our lab analysis has confirmed that you will not find accurate postings on brewery websites of "vital" information regarding low carb beers(OE, AE, etc.). Once again I would encourage shelling out the $$ for accurate analysis.

Ted Briggs
02-11-2004, 10:00 AM
Thanks for your replies- Ted:)

Larry Horwitz
02-11-2004, 07:20 PM
Hey Ted!

Larry here (now at Iron Hill, just left Manayunk)
Hope the Tun Tavern is treating you well.

I've got a carb counter that does carbs based on
residual extract, etc. uses calories from alcohol etc.
too. It seems somewhat acurate.

I'd be happy to e-mail it to you....but you should
be aware that most craft product isn't even going to
be close to acceptable for you carb counters...

Porter from Manayunk is over 100 carbs per Pint!

I was brewing a low carb product before I left the
'Yunk...used AG enzyme in the mash and in fermenter
after primary. Started with an O.G. of about 10 plato
and fermented down close to 1.0 before diluting by
about 10%....still couldn't get carbs much below 7grams

drop me an email at: Larryh@ironhillbrewery.com
and I'll pop you the counter.