Balling's attenuation theory and beer composition calculator


  • Vilém Nohel



Balling’s equations, alcohol factors, attenuation quotient, apparent attenuation, real attenuation, specific gravity, alcohol content, real extract, Tabarie's formula


This article deals with calculation possibilities and the control of basic parameters of beer on the basis of knowledge of two parameters. The importance of this method increases with the development of craft beer production in our country (mini-breweries, home brewing). The calculations are based on Balling's equations, alcohol factors and attenuation quotients, which have been published unchanged since at least 1876. In Balling's time, they were used to determine an extract with a specific gravities of 17.5 °C/17.5 °C. In current brewing, specific gravities of 20 °C/20 °C are used. For this reason, new alcohol factors of apparent attenuation were derived, and based on linear regression, regression coefficients of the dependence of the alcohol factor of apparent attenuation on the extract in original wort were calculated. Some variants of calculations based on two input parameters were incorporated into the beer composition calculator using formulas that replace extract and alcohol tables. The accuracy of the results from the calculator was checked with analyses from the Anton Paar automatic analyzer and with analyses obtained by the distillation method. The calculator is available at




How to Cite

Nohel, V. (2020). Balling’s attenuation theory and beer composition calculator. KVASNÝ PRŮMYSL, 66(5), 351-365.