44444 - Measuring the amount of alcohol in beer

For all of those home brewer fans and those interested in beer process, measuring the amount of alcohol in a beer is key to consistency.  In 1784, John Richardson, a Hull brewer introduced the "saccharometer" for the measurement of the wort strength. For the first time, the relative value and efficiency of the use of extract-yielding materials could be quantitatively assessed.  This had a huge impacts on the economics of beer making with brewers being able to measure how much alcohol they were able to get out of a specific amount of grains.

By 1800, many of the larger common brewers had adopted these instruments. Because of the scientific approach and documentation created from this measuring device, the Handbook of Brewing was created and this documentation was used by many brewers to make their brewing process more efficient.