Figure 1. The citric acid cycle.
Other fruits may also be fermented to wine, but only apple juice, as cider, has found even limited acceptance.
The solution from which beer is made, called wort, is made at the brewery and not in nature. As such, its concentration and fermentability (see Beer) are designed for the beer being made and may vary widely. But the concentration of the wort only varies between 12 and 18°Brix, and the fermentability between about 60% and 90%. So beer is never as high in alcohol as wine. Typically, beer contains
5% alcohol by volume (4% by weight). So-called malt liquors contain about 6% alcohol by volume.
As honey is about 82% solids, it must be diluted to about 20°Brix and then fermented. The high price of honey and the rather weak flavor of its fermented solution has not permitted mead to be more than a historical curiosity.
These spirits are distilled at a rather high proof, be they from grains (whiskey or vodka), molasses (rum), or wine
(brandy), and are diluted to a marketable strength. The normal concentration is about 80 proof or 40% by volume or 32% by weight. Whiskeys are usually consumed after mixing with water, often carbonated, and also flavored. As purchased, wine is 2 stronger than beer, and whiskey is 3 or more times stronger than wine.
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