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Old 04-06-2013, 05:46 AM
Qwertol is offline
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Does pure ethanol have a taste?


When you're drinking vodka or other similar alcohols the taste comes mostly form contamination. But does a pure ethanol (like in laboratory pure - 99% or more) have a taste itself?
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Old 04-06-2013, 06:25 AM
abel29a is offline
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How could one tell? 99% proof with be so strong that the bruning sensation in your mouth would probably override any taste.
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Old 04-06-2013, 06:39 AM
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It tastes (or smells, as apart from basic sweet/salty/sour/bitter/umami gustatory sensations most of the taste experience derives from the olfactory senses) of alcohol - try adding different amounts of pure alcohol to pure water. You certainly can sense the difference when blind-tasting the resulting mixtures, although I don't know how well you would do with your nose closed.
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Old 04-06-2013, 08:00 AM
WhyNot is offline
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Been there, done that, with lab grade ethanol for herbal medicine making (we thought it might make the math easier, but it was a pain in the ass to order and to store, so we went back to Everclear and our ratio calculators). No, no taste. But yes, quite a strong odor, like rubbing alcohol only more so. Taking the lid off the tank was a giddy experience.
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Old 04-06-2013, 09:34 AM
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with 99% alcohol in your mouth you get a definite sensation due to the damage caused to your cells.

it has an odor. but not a taste.
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Old 04-06-2013, 09:42 AM
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It tastes like...burning.
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Old 04-06-2013, 10:16 AM
Ruken is offline
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Try adding some pure ethanol to pure water. It's certainly detectable well below the mouth-burning level.
Not that I was sampling the lab supplies or anything. Although if I were going to do something so foolish, I'd shoot some on the GCMS first.
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Old 01-21-2016, 07:06 PM
amused_j is offline
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Yes, it has a taste. Always a bitter component, sometimes a sweet or sour one too, depending upon the person
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10940547

Last edited by amused_j; 01-21-2016 at 07:07 PM. Reason: .
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Old 01-21-2016, 07:24 PM
Ignotus is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Qwertol View Post
When you're drinking vodka or other similar alcohols the taste comes mostly form contamination. But does a pure ethanol (like in laboratory pure - 99% or more) have a taste itself?
Vodka has almost no contaminations; what you're tasting is pure ethanol diluted with water. It has a slightly sweetish taste (at least, that what I sense).
More concentrated alcohol might dumben your taste-buds and leave you with nothing but the burning sensation you would get from other stuff like acetone.
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Old 01-22-2016, 08:01 AM
Oly is offline
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Also been there and done (or dumbed) that. I agree: Slightly sweet, slightly, and what I can only best describe as "chemically".

A curious thing I noticed is that if you take just a small sip, which is your initial self protective instinct, or as my mom futilely said, common sense, the liquid evaporates in your mouth before you can swallow it. It just sort of disappears and you swallow nothing. If you up the sip volume enough to have a residual gulp, the burning takes over.
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Old 09-18-2019, 12:18 PM
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Vodka is not pure ethanol


People are using vodka as an example of "pure" ethanol. It is not. By US law it must be distilled to 190 proof (95%) or more. Distillation has a limit of 194ish proof so it is not possible to be pure from distillation. Medical grade ethanol is "dried" to remove the remaining water. But here is the thing with vodka- the law allows for the addition of small amounts of both sugar and citric acid to vodka. So you can't drink vodka and expect it to have no taste. The taste is from either the 5% OTHER things remaining and/or the citric acid and sugar.
That being said there is a difference between sensing alcohol and tasting it. Also the "smell" certainly burns the nose but that is not the same as an odor. For certain things we have a difficult time distinguishing between the sensation and an odor or taste.
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Old 09-18-2019, 03:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Distillingdude View Post
But here is the thing with vodka- the law allows for the addition of small amounts of both sugar and citric acid to vodka.
Can you please provide a cite for that ? I always understood that Vodka, per US laws required to be distilled till it had no flavor : Cite :

From (Bolding mine) : https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/27/5.22

Quote:
Class 1; neutral spirits or alcohol. “Neutral spirits” or “alcohol” are distilled spirits produced from any material at or above 190° proof, and, if bottled, bottled at not less than 80° proof.

(1) “Vodka” is neutral spirits so distilled, or so treated after distillation with charcoal or other materials, as to be without distinctive character, aroma, taste, or color.
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