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  • How often you need to test alcoholic strength

    To correctly report your liability for excise duty, you need to be able to determine the alcoholic strength of your products to a reasonable standard of accuracy. Excise (Alcoholic Strength of Excisable Goods) Determination 2019 provides rules that govern the measurement of the alcoholic strength of alcoholic excisable goods and provides a means for working out the duty payable when there are variations in strength.

    For non-commercial beer produced at BOPS, you can use the strength that is determined from the test brews of each recipe, instead of sampling each batch you produce.

    The strength of the recipe should be re-established if the recipe changes.

    Equipment used to measure the alcoholic strength must comply with legal requirements that relate to measurements. For more information about the legal requirements of measurements, contact the National Measurement InstituteExternal Link.

    Methods that may be used are:

    • gas chromatography
    • near infra-red spectrometry
    • distillation followed by the gravimetric measurement of the distillate or by measurement in a density meter
    • any other method that can measure the alcoholic strength of a product to an accuracy of + or − 0.2 percentage points of the actual strength.

    You can use a hydrometer and formula to calculate the alcoholic strength of fermented beverages (including beer) if you:

    • produce less than 100,000 litres of fermented beverages (including beer) in a financial year
    • have a documented testing process that shows your formula produces accurate results.
      Last modified: 22 May 2019QC 22202