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Jun 08, 2022 View:

Bottling Proof for Liqueurs

We have always operated by the premise that 22% abv or higher is antiseptic, therefore covering ourself when it comes to bottling, shipping, etc. However, I've seen various liqueurs out there that are bottled at lower proofs than that. Does anyone know how low is too low for bottling proof for liqueur-type products? Also, if you do drop to a certain abv/proof, is there certain shipping conditions to take into account? Thanks much for any information.


Reply:

We have always operated by the premise that 22% abv or higher is antiseptic, therefore covering ourself when it comes to bottling, shipping, etc. However, I've seen various liqueurs out there that are bottled at lower proofs than that. Does anyone know how low is too low for bottling proof for liqueur-type products? Also, if you do drop to a certain abv/proof, is there certain shipping conditions to take into account? Thanks much for any information.


Reply:

I wouldn't go below 17% abv, Mr. Tomaszewski. Not without serious lab support.

JMHO.


Reply:

I have seen liqueurs as low as 13% abv. Ours is 15% avb and we have no problems. I imagine the level(%) of sugar will impact the likelihood of spoilage, as well.


Reply:

Among the big boys, Malibu's 21%.


Reply:

I make a couple of mistelles (a type of fortified wine _much_ less fermented than a port) under the BW side of the business. They hold up very nicely at 17-18%

I think that down around 14% (11% is certainly at risk), you might run the risk of discovering an osmo-tolerant yeast in your facility or ingredients. They survive in juice concentrates and are a reason big label UK cider is all pasteurized. I've found them in pear juice concentrate. Nasty buggers, as they are not only tolerant of low water activity, they are resistant to sorbic acid, too.

There may be low ABV liquers - but they may be pasteurized. It's not like it has to be noted on the label.


Reply:

I make a couple of mistelles (a type of fortified wine _much_ less fermented than a port) under the BW side of the business. They hold up very nicely at 17-18%

I think that down around 14% (11% is certainly at risk), you might run the risk of discovering an osmo-tolerant yeast in your facility or ingredients. They survive in juice concentrates and are a reason big label UK cider is all pasteurized. I've found them in pear juice concentrate. Nasty buggers, as they are not only tolerant of low water activity, they are resistant to sorbic acid, too.

There may be low ABV liquers - but they may be pasteurized. It's not like it has to be noted on the label.