ABV: How Much Alcohol Does Tepache Have?

Your new favorite drink is tepache, but while you’re sipping on its fermented goodness, you stop and wonder just how much alcohol might be in that can. How does it compare to red wine? What about white wines like Chardonnay? 

Don’t worry—we’ve got answers. You’ll sound like an expert bartender the next time your friend looks at the menu and asks about ABV.

What Is ABV?

ABV is an abbreviation for the term “alcohol by volume.” But what does that really mean? There are many terms used to explain the alcohol content in drinks. Proof (a measure of the alcohol in a drink), percent ABV, ABW (or alcohol by weight), and IBU (International Bitterness Units) are often thrown around willy-nilly. 

Let’s get down to it. You came here to find out how much alcohol there is in tepache, a fermented beverage. We get it, but to understand where tepache falls in terms of alcohol content, it is useful to get a comparison of different alcoholic beverages to compare them. 

General ABVs

First, to see where tepache falls on the spectrum of alcoholic beverages, we should know what a standard drink is. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, a standard drink will have about .06 ounces of pure alcohol in it. 

To put that into perspective, here is a handy dandy list that displays the amount of pure alcohol usually found in a standard measure of the following commonly consumed beverages. 

  • 12 ounces of craft beer, or one bottle at 5% ABV.
  • 8 ounces of malt liquor at 7% ABV.
  • 5 ounces of wine at 12% ABV.
  • 1.5 ounces of hard liquor like vodka, at 40% ABV.
  • 8-9 ounces of malt liquor at 7% ABV.

All of these measurements are in a perfect standard drink-abiding world. There are so many different alcoholic beverages with different ABVs, so it may not always be the case that the drink you purchase follows these standards. 

Some wines can have only 7% ABV or beers with an alcohol content closer to 12%. Even tepache has a variant alcohol content. Your beverage should note its ABV—you'll usually find it in a pretty visible spot on liquor and beer labels. 

What Is the ABV of Tepache?

Tepache is a fermented beverage, often compared to kombucha. This beverage is perfect for sharing with friends and family, especially on a hot day when looking to unwind. But is it alcoholic?

If you already have a knowledge of ABV and want to skip out on our little science lesson, power to you! The ABV content of our tepache is less than .5%. You can try out the gently boozy beverage in a ton of different flavors without worrying about the negative side effects you may feel the next day from a drink with a higher ABV or alcohol content. 

Traditional tepache has about 2-3% ABV from the natural fermentation process that it undergoes, which produces ethanol. 

The beauty of tepache is that you can brew it yourself if you want to! If you choose to do this, you may want to control and be aware of the alcohol content in the beverage. In order to do this, we get a little scientific. Bust out your beakers and lab coats! You can find an online alcohol by volume calculator, or you can do it yourself.

If you still want to know more of the nitty-gritty, hard facts about ABV and how to calculate it, we’ve got you covered.  

How To Calculate ABV

To calculate the ABV of a beverage, you’ll need to know a few things about the beverage. There are two key attributes in calculating the ABV in a beverage, and you can use this method if ever making homebrew! 

First, you need to know the original gravity and the final gravity of the beverages. To do this, you will need a tool called a hydrometer, which measures the change in specific gravity (SG) of a beverage. This tool will tell you the amount of sugar in the drink at the beginning of fermentation. Then, upon measuring it again afterward, the brewer can see how much of a change there has been in sugar content, therefore telling us how alcoholic the drink is! 

Gravity is a measurement that describes the density of a liquid. The more sugar in a drink, the denser it becomes. As sugars are broken down and fermented in the process of making tepache, the liquid becomes less dense. Now we’re really getting into lab coat territory. 

The formula to calculate ABV comes from subtracting the final gravity from the original gravity of your brew. Then multiply it by a constant. Voila! You are now a master of ABV. 

ABV Formula

  • Subtract the Original Gravity from the Final Gravity
  • Multiply this number by 131.25
  • The resulting number is your alcohol percent, or ABV%

To remind you of the good old days of chemistry class, here is the equation written out in shorthand. Remember PEMDAS! 

(FG – OG) x 131.25 = ABV %

So, How Alcoholic Is Tepache?

Our tepache has a similar alcohol content to kombucha. In the same way that drinking a bottle of kombucha won’t make you drunk or impaired, neither will a can of tepache. 

Tepache’s alcohol content comes from the natural breakdown of sugars in the fermentation process. For this reason, tepache’s alcohol content varies based on how long that particular brew may ferment. Brews left to ferment for longer may have higher alcohol content. 

In short, tepache contains a relatively low ABV in comparison to most other standard drinks. It is certainly not like taking a shot of liquor, nor is it all that similar to the alcohol content of beer. 

Hold the tequila, don’t bust out the brandy, and keep the rum in the bottle. Tepache is just as good a time, thanks to its delicious taste and the variety of flavors ready for you to test out!

Enjoy your tepache knowing just what is in it and just how much of that drink is actually “alcoholic.” How much alcohol does tepache have? Not very much. But, now ask how much flavor and fun there is in each sip of a fresh tepache? Very much! Tepache has a low ABV but a very high DBV—that is, a deliciousness by volume. Enjoy and drink it happily


Sources: 

Alcohol by Volume (ABV): Beer, Wine, & Liquor | Alcohol.org 

National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism | National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)

ABV Calculator | Home Brew Academy 

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