Ask Mr. Wizard

Higher Alcohols


Matt Stich - Bellwood, Pennsylvania asks,

How and why do hot alcohol (solvent) smells get produced and is there a way to eliminate them in brewing?

The “hot” and solvent-like aromas you describe are associated with higher alcohols. The term “higher alcohol” is used to describe alcohols that have a higher molecular weight than ethanol, and grammatically, the
Response by Ashton Lewis.