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tashirosgt
2010-Feb-21, 06:22 AM
I don't drink more than one beer per day, if that. It wouldn't bother me at all to drink the imitation no-alcohol imitation beers if they had a pleasant taste. However, all the "near beers" that I have tried taste terrible. Which leads me to wonder if alcohol itself is the essential ingredient in the taste of beer.

clop
2010-Feb-21, 06:30 AM
I don't drink more than one beer per day, if that. It wouldn't bother me at all to drink the imitation no-alcohol imitation beers if they had a pleasant taste. However, all the "near beers" that I have tried taste terrible. Which leads me to wonder if alcohol itself is the essential ingredient in the taste of beer.

I think I read somewhere that taste is 10% taste and 90% smell. Neat ethanol certainly has a strong smell. Maybe that's why beer "tastes" different without ethanol in it.

clop

Ara Pacis
2010-Feb-21, 07:28 AM
Is the OP looking for an anecdotal response from personal lab experience or some sort of empirical statement? I know that isopropanol has a scent, but I've never tried tasting it. I don't have ready access to pure ethanol at the moment so I can't answer that one.

Tom Servo
2010-Feb-21, 07:51 AM
I don't drink more than one beer per day, if that. It wouldn't bother me at all to drink the imitation no-alcohol imitation beers if they had a pleasant taste. However, all the "near beers" that I have tried taste terrible. Which leads me to wonder if alcohol itself is the essential ingredient in the taste of beer.

absolutely.

give any chronic alchoholic a blind taste test and switch out his beer for near beer and they will freak out on you. (I know several)

Personaly I think beer tastes bad anyway. Ive tried almost all of them on the supermarket shelves. Some taste more tolerable than others though. Beer is very bitter to me. Never enjoyed bitter things much. Then again I dont drink beers to enjoy the taste, its the inebriated feeling that most are after. I do like the kind that mix well with citrus and salt. But still very bitter tasting in the end.

Well at any rate it definately is an aquired taste. (in my opinion)

I really dont see the point in the near beers. I guess there is a market for it out there. But personaly if Im not going to be drinking alcohol that night I would rather just drink a Dr. Pepper.

captain swoop
2010-Feb-21, 01:10 PM
removing the alcohol from the beer alters the taste anyway, it's the process they use.

I don't like bottled or canned beer anyway, don't like the taste, I stick to draught.

Fiery Phoenix
2010-Feb-21, 03:10 PM
As a Muslim, I don't drink alcohol. I do know it has more "smell" than "taste", though. I drink non-alcoholic, and only for the taste.

DrRocket
2010-Feb-21, 04:05 PM
I don't drink more than one beer per day, if that. It wouldn't bother me at all to drink the imitation no-alcohol imitation beers if they had a pleasant taste. However, all the "near beers" that I have tried taste terrible. Which leads me to wonder if alcohol itself is the essential ingredient in the taste of beer.

As you note from the responses in this thread, people find that different types of beer, with nearly the same alcohol content, taste different.

The same applies to hard liquor. Typical gin, rum and whskey usually have the same alcohol content (80 proof or 40%) but taste different.

Beer has a lot of ingredients other than alcohol, and it is those ingredients that determine the taste differences. Hops are responsible for the bitter taste, and they are added quite deliberately.

Everclear, which is basically just ethanol is sold in some liquor stores. It is not all that popular, I think largely on the basis of taste, or lack thereof. It is usually mixed with something else, both to cut it and for taste.

DonM435
2010-Feb-21, 04:28 PM
... I know that isopropanol has a scent, but I've never tried tasting it. I don't have ready access to pure ethanol at the moment so I can't answer that one.

I'm not sure that you can trust that. Don't they add scents and tastes to odorless/tasteless stuff that isn't to be consumed as a safety measure?

I have sampled the 90-99 proof, very pure (for use in chemistry) laboratory ethanol (hey, back in my student days! :hand:) and I believe the only taste effect was due to the rapid evaporation.

John Jaksich
2010-Feb-21, 04:46 PM
I know of a lab mate who sampled the "100 % alcohol" ---wasn't too happy after reading the bottle ingredients also included benzene, toluene and xylene(?) ---added to into the mix in about 0.5 % total.

Flavoring of rums, whiskeys, and for that matter beer has as much to do with how it produced as to what is added to the original "vat".


Color and flavorings are blamed for much of the hangover that results after "alcohol poisoning" (over-indugence).


edit:

There is a well-documented link between smell and taste that ----> I am aware of a few synthetic chemists who have written their M.S. projects upon the subject...

There is a supposed neurological link from the olfactory lobes and the taste.

Here is one link to Wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Olfactory

JohnD
2010-Feb-21, 05:56 PM
Try vodka - a non-flavoured variety.
There is almost no taste in the usual sense, just the irritant burn.

Or moonshine. I have a friend with a 'magic flute', who regularly brings me a smple to tatsdte, your can twl,. by my typenigf how it affect s me.
He has got beyond the 'tastes of nothing'' stage, so I presume that his methods aren't bad, and he adds flavours now.
If only I could see the label, I'd know what this one is.

John

SkepticJ
2010-Feb-21, 07:18 PM
I don't have ready access to pure ethanol at the moment so I can't answer that one.

Where're you from? This stuff (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Everclear_%28alcohol%29) is available here and there in The States. Gem Clear is the same stuff, different manufacturer.

I've bought some before (190 proof), but I don't drink, so I can't answer if it has a taste or not.

Ara Pacis
2010-Feb-21, 07:58 PM
Where're you from? This stuff (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Everclear_%28alcohol%29) is available here and there in The States. Gem Clear is the same stuff, different manufacturer.

I've bought some before (190 proof), but I don't drink, so I can't answer if it has a taste or not.

I was thinking of reagents, not Everclear or other commercial brands that are less than pure.

Arneb
2010-Feb-21, 09:06 PM
Tashirosgt, no*, alcohol does not have a taste, if you define "taste" in the narrow sense - there are only five qualities of taste, which are bitter, sweet, sour, salty and umami (the taste of sodium glutmate in moderate amounts).

On the other hand, alcohol does provoke a sensory response in the mouth, namely, heat or, in lower concentrations, "warmth". In wines, a high alcohol content often contributes to the wine being perceived as "full", "round", warm", "rich". And it has an olfactory quality as well, which, as was said, is usually the largest contributor to the complex sensation we refer to as "taste" (in the broad sense).

Lastly, alcohol acts as a solvent to several aromas, and removing it from a complex drink such as beer will usually remove some aromas, too. This is one of the reasons for the inferior taste of "near beer".

If you want to come close to tasting alcohol as purely as possible, try a very good and pure unperfumed vodka, possibly thinned down with water. I'd say the "taste" (in the broad sense) isn't very strong and rather neutral. The feeling of heat predominates, especially if you taste it in high concentrations.

(I used "alcohol" for "ethanol" here. Of course, the whole matter of fusel oils (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fusel_alcohol) changes the equation substantially)

*[ETA: See correction below],

kleindoofy
2010-Feb-21, 09:12 PM
When consumed heavily, alcohol has the definite taste of failure.

Arneb
2010-Feb-21, 09:14 PM
There's that, too, yes.

Lord Jubjub
2010-Feb-21, 09:40 PM
I agree with Arneb. A lot of flavors become muted or non-existent dissolved in water as compared to alcohol. I think the kick or burn adds a nuance to the experience also.

Gillianren
2010-Feb-21, 09:42 PM
Whether it's true taste or not, I can determine the existence of alcohol in a substance by the chemical's reaction in my mouth. Welcome to "reason number one I don't drink." I don't like it.

John Jaksich
2010-Feb-21, 10:08 PM
I agree with Arneb. A lot of flavors become muted or non-existent dissolved in water as compared to alcohol. I think the kick or burn adds a nuance to the experience also.

Flavorings, by their very nature, are usually organic compounds which are more soluble in another organic liquid. ----> Ethanol -- on the other hand possesses the capability for (water solvation) hydrogen bonding ...as well as the abilty to solvate organic compounds much better than water.

In short, like dissolves like...

Arneb
2010-Feb-21, 10:11 PM
I must correct myself in one respect - I seemed to remember it, can, on second thought, confirm it from my own experience, and have looked it up in a "beginner's wine guide" book I own: Ethanol has a slightly sweet taste (taste in the narrow sense). I'd still say that in the vodka experiment, the burn and sting would be the dominant sensation, but if you water down a 45 % v/v vodka to an alcohol content of maybe 10 % with water, I suspect the sweetness would be more obvious.

HenrikOlsen
2010-Feb-21, 10:34 PM
I agree with Arneb. A lot of flavors become muted or non-existent dissolved in water as compared to alcohol. I think the kick or burn adds a nuance to the experience also.
The change in solubility of different flavors as the alcohol content changes is why some whiskys get better and some get worse with the addition of a bit of water, it depends strongly on the specific whisky whether it's a good idea or not.

RAF_Blackace
2010-Feb-21, 11:02 PM
removing the alcohol from the beer alters the taste anyway, it's the process they use.

I don't like bottled or canned beer anyway, don't like the taste, I stick to draught.

I agree, there is a world of difference between draught beers and any bottled or canned product. When you taste a good draught beer, it feels like an Angel has flatulated in your mouth.

As for it being bitter, well that is probably why it is called "Bitter" in the north of England. The other variety's being "Mild" and "Stout".

tashirosgt
2010-Feb-22, 12:22 AM
I wonder if there is a simple way to remove (only) alcohol from beer without letting the beer go stale. Perhaps there is an expensive way that commercial brewers won't use, but which an interested consumer could try.

Swift
2010-Feb-22, 12:39 AM
removing the alcohol from the beer alters the taste anyway, it's the process they use.

That would be my guess, that the processes for decreasing the alcohol content are also impacting other taste and smell factors, which are probably from a very complex and subtle mix of a large variety of chemicals.

The change in solubility as you change the water/ethanol ratio might also be a factor, but the change is small enough, and the differences for most substances in their solubility is small enough, that I wouldn't guess that's a big factor.

As to the taste of alcohol, I've tried grain alcohol, and as others have said, it doesn't have a "taste" in the narrow sense of the word, but it definitely has a mouth sensation.

kleindoofy
2010-Feb-22, 12:40 AM
There are a number of very acceptable beers here in Germany without alcohol, notabley König Pilsener Alkoholfrei (aka "Kelts") (http://www.koenig.de/produkte/alkoholfrei/) and Jever Fun (http://www.jever.de/index_jever_website.jsp) (sorry, no direct link).

I know the breweries took a while (years) to get them right and that it's not a minor task to brew them.

I'm wagering a guess that the non-alcoholic German beers are better than your average full beer in the US. :D

sarongsong
2010-Feb-22, 01:01 AM
Interesting sidelight'em:
...The word "alcohol" has an unlikely origin. It came from the Arabic "al" (the) = "kuhl" (a fine impalpable powder) and referred originally to finely powdered antimony which women used to tint their eyelids.
medterms.com (http://www.medterms.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=20078)

HenrikOlsen
2010-Feb-22, 01:14 AM
Not quite so unlikely as you'd think, as it originally didn't refer to the alcohol itself but rather to the powdery residue that's left behind after distilling wine.
Same etymology for kohl (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kohl_(cosmetics)), as that residue was used to produce the cosmetic.

SkepticJ
2010-Feb-22, 01:37 AM
I was thinking of reagents, not Everclear or other commercial brands that are less than pure.

Reagent alcohol isn't pure. It's poisoned with isopropyl alcohol (if you're lucky, or more nasty stuff if you're not), so you can't have fun drinking it.

I wouldn't even slosh the stuff around in my mouth without swallowing. Benzene? No thank you, I don't want cancer.

Ever- and Gem Clear are the strongest drinkable ethyl alcohol you can get, basically. 95% ethyl, 5% water. Since water doesn't have a taste, what effect is 5% impurity going to make?

sarongsong
2010-Feb-22, 02:22 AM
Not quite so unlikely as you'd think...Oh, I don't know; Arabs and wine, did they go hand-in-hand back then :confused:

Nick Theodorakis
2010-Feb-22, 02:27 AM
Reagent alcohol isn't pure. It's poisoned with isopropyl alcohol (if you're lucky, or more nasty stuff if you're not), so you can't have fun drinking it.
...

Pure (100%) reagent-grade ethanol (not "denatured") was available in every lab I've worked in.

Nick

Lord Jubjub
2010-Feb-22, 02:37 AM
And that purity degraded fast once the bottle was opened. Pure ethanol is hydroscopic--which is why a shot of pure ethanol is rather painful.

Nick Theodorakis
2010-Feb-22, 02:41 AM
And that purity degraded fast once the bottle was opened. Pure ethanol is hydroscopic--which is why a shot of pure ethanol is rather painful.

Well, yeah, they absorb water, but my point was it is available without other organic contaminants. People fussy about water in ethanol stocks (typically electron microscopists, in my experience) add molecular sieves to to ethanol to absorb water.

Nick

SkepticJ
2010-Feb-22, 02:45 AM
I'm not trying to be contrary, but I don't think so (http://www.physicsforums.com/archive/index.php/t-49176.html).

It may say 100% pure, and for all practical purposes for the lab it is, but when there's a fraction of a percent that does this (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benzene#Health_effects) to you, I don't think you want to make mixed drinks with it.

kleindoofy
2010-Feb-22, 02:49 AM
... Pure ethanol is hydroscopic ...
And hard core alcoholics are hydrophobic. ;)

publius
2010-Feb-22, 02:51 AM
The highest concentration of ethanol you can easily get is roughly 96%
(95.6%, I think). That's the "eutectic" or "azeoptropic" for vapor-liquid phase changes I think they call it.

That mixture has the lowest boiling point, below that of both pure ethanol and pure water. Thus if you start stilling below that ratio, the best you're going to get off the top is 96% ethanol. To get it down below that, you've got to go to fancier methods.


-Richard

Nick Theodorakis
2010-Feb-22, 02:53 AM
I'm not trying to be contrary, but I don't think so (http://www.physicsforums.com/archive/index.php/t-49176.html).

It may say 100% pure, and for all practical purposes for the lab it is, but when there's a fraction of a percent that does this (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benzene#Health_effects) to you, I don't think you want to make mixed drinks with it.

They call it > 99.5% pure:

http://www.de.fishersci.com/downloads/fisherbioreagentsethanol.pdf

And less than 0.1% methanol, < 0.2% water, and <2 ppm benzene.

Nick

HenrikOlsen
2010-Feb-22, 03:03 AM
Oh, I don't know; Arabs and wine, did they go hand-in-hand back then :confused:
Yes, alcohol was first isolated by distillation by Islamic chemists (http://www.history-science-technology.com/Notes/Notes%207.htm) in the eighth century.

Reading some more indicates that my explanation is likely wrong, to my defense I'll say that it wasn't invented by me but was given in one of my chemistry books:)

SkepticJ
2010-Feb-22, 03:09 AM
They call it > 99.5% pure:

http://www.de.fishersci.com/downloads/fisherbioreagentsethanol.pdf

And less than 0.1% methanol, < 0.2% water, and <2 ppm benzene.

Nick


Bold mine.

The legal limit for benzene in drinking water in the United States is 5 ppb. In Europe it's 1 ppb.

I wouldn't feel comfortable drinking something that contains hundreds of times that amount.

SkepticJ
2010-Feb-22, 03:18 AM
Yes, alcohol was first isolated by distillation by Islamic chemists (http://www.history-science-technology.com/Notes/Notes%207.htm) in the eighth century.

Thanks. :) I did not know that.

Makes sense. They invented the alembic sometime around then.

Who needs Greek fire, when you've got moonshine?

kleindoofy
2010-Feb-22, 03:20 AM
... alcohol was first isolated by distillation by Islamic chemists ...
There's a saying in Turkey which I heard one evening in 1987 while sitting in a small waterside cafe about halfway up the Bosporus (Asian side) to the north of Istanbul:

"The Prophet forbid us wine, but he never said anything about raki."

Nick Theodorakis
2010-Feb-22, 03:25 AM
Bold mine.

The legal limit for benzene in drinking water in the United States is 5 ppb. In Europe it's 1 ppb.

I wouldn't feel comfortable drinking something that contains hundreds of times that amount.

I suspect you drink a whole lot more water than ethanol.

Anyway, I'd bet if you did GC/MS analysis of wines or whiskies you'd probably find benzene or other organics (http://books.google.com/books?id=_OvXjhLUz-oC&q=benzene#v=snippet&q=benzene&f=false).

Nick

Jens
2010-Feb-22, 03:39 AM
Oh, I don't know; Arabs and wine, did they go hand-in-hand back then :confused:

If you think about it, I think the reason that alcohol was banned in Islam is actually because people enjoyed it, not the other way around. If people didn't like it, there wouldn't be any need to ban it in the first place.

Gillianren
2010-Feb-22, 04:47 AM
Makes sense. They invented the alembic sometime around then.

Which, from an etymological perspective, also makes sense. "Alembic," after all. Things starting in "al-" are generally of Arabic origin.

Ara Pacis
2010-Feb-22, 07:14 AM
Perhaps it would be useful to note that arab does not necessarily mean muslim or vice-versa. One's an ethnic identity, the other's a religious identity.

Jens
2010-Feb-22, 07:33 AM
Perhaps it would be useful to note that arab does not necessarily mean muslim or vice-versa. One's an ethnic identity, the other's a religious identity.

And although we tend to associate the two, in fact the four countries in the world with the largest Muslim populations (Indonesia, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and India) are all non-Arabic. The fifth largest (Egypt) is, but the next (Turkey) is not. And I imagine that Iran, another non-Arabic country, is also a big component. So I imagine (though this is a guess, not a calculation) that Arabs don't make up anywhere near even half of all Muslims.

Gillianren
2010-Feb-22, 08:05 AM
Perhaps it would be useful to note that arab does not necessarily mean muslim or vice-versa. One's an ethnic identity, the other's a religious identity.

When I use it in etymological discussion, I pretty much exclusively mean the language and say "Arabic."

Ara Pacis
2010-Feb-22, 08:28 AM
When I use it in etymological discussion, I pretty much exclusively mean the language and say "Arabic."

I assume you know the difference, but someone else mentioned something about arabs and alcohol.

Jens
2010-Feb-22, 09:18 AM
I think I read somewhere that taste is 10% taste and 90% smell. Neat ethanol certainly has a strong smell. Maybe that's why beer "tastes" different without ethanol in it.


I definitely concur with that. I can easily tell if a beer is non-alcoholic, just because the smell/taste isn't right. Just as a point of interest, I have heard that evolutionary, the reason that we are attracted to ethanol in the first place is that it is a smell that comes from fruits when they are ripe and start fermenting. So other animals like bears and monkeys, for example, are also attracted to alcohol.

Gillianren
2010-Feb-22, 09:19 AM
I assume you know the difference, but someone else mentioned something about arabs and alcohol.

True. That was me being defensive unnecessarily.

mahesh
2010-Feb-22, 09:43 AM
...so if you don't behave yourselves...i'm gonna tell

...umami...

Ivan Viehoff
2010-Feb-22, 12:13 PM
The word taste may be used to refer to the detection of the 5 tastes (as appears to be the currently accepted number, though some claim more) by the tongue. But it is also used to refer to the complete the human "taste" experience, which comes from a combination of tongue and nose. The tongue only detects those 5 or so tastes, but the nose detects hundreds or thousands of different aromas. Which is why food is so bland when the nose is blocked. The combination of tongue-taste and nose-aroma can be referred to as "flavour" to avoid semantic confusion.

One effect of alcohol is that it is more volatile than water, and seems to help other volatile aromas to be released. Another effect of alcohol is that it reacts with other organic compounds, for example with carboxylic acids to form esters: esters are notably aromatic. As esterisation seems to be an easily reversible reaction, removing the alcohol probably also reduces the esters.

But almost certainly the dealcoholisation process causes "damage" to the rest of what is there. Given the great care that is taken in the making of alcoholic beverages, then to apply some clumsy physical or chemical process to remove the alcohol must surely affect all the trace ingredients that so affect the taste.

When I was doing high school chemistry, the lab alcohol seemed to smell and (as just a drop on the tongue) taste sweetish. The smell to me was a bit like gin, though less aromatic. I wonder if there were small small amounts of ester impurities, though. Vodka often smells more "oily" due to small amounts of so-called "fusel oils", ie small quantities of higher (C3 to C5) alcohols and furfural. Though as someone said, vodka that is cleanly distilled can be pretty neutral.

clop
2010-Feb-22, 03:46 PM
Yes, alcohol was first isolated by distillation by Islamic chemists (http://www.history-science-technology.com/Notes/Notes%207.htm) in the eighth century.

Reading some more indicates that my explanation is likely wrong, to my defense I'll say that it wasn't invented by me but was given in one of my chemistry books:)

Indeed, the word alcohol is derived from the Arabic word al-kohl, which means fermented grains, fruits, or sugars that form an intoxicating beverage when fermented.

Liquor was soon forbidden in Islam but the discovery of alcohol distillation was employed to distil perfume from flowers and to produce kohl - a women's eye cosmetic where a black powder is liquified, then converted to vapour and allowed to re-solidify. This is where the word kohl came from when referring to eye makeup.

clop

NorthernBoy
2010-Feb-22, 07:29 PM
When consumed heavily, alcohol has the definite taste of failure.

Well, technically it's biphasic, which means that it has the taste both of failure and success.

Interestingly, both taste the same.

NorthernBoy
2010-Feb-22, 07:31 PM
As a Muslim, I don't drink alcohol.

Having just returned from Dubai, I'd say that B does not necessarily follow from A.

HenrikOlsen
2010-Feb-22, 08:37 PM
Not all Islamic cultures throughout time interpreted the Koranic injunction against losing oneself to fermented grapes as meaning all drinking of alcohol is forbidden, some has interpreted it to be simply an injunction against getting drunk.
Medieval Persia during its scientific glory years was in that camp as far as I know.

Ara Pacis
2010-Feb-22, 09:14 PM
I definitely concur with that. I can easily tell if a beer is non-alcoholic, just because the smell/taste isn't right. Just as a point of interest, I have heard that evolutionary, the reason that we are attracted to ethanol in the first place is that it is a smell that comes from fruits when they are ripe and start fermenting. So other animals like bears and monkeys, for example, are also attracted to alcohol.

That would be ethylene (C2H4) not ethanol (C2H6O) though I'm not sure about their relationship, having dropped out of college chemistry. IIRC, ripening and fermenting are different processes.

tdvance
2010-Feb-22, 09:15 PM
I'm not sure that you can trust that. Don't they add scents and tastes to odorless/tasteless stuff that isn't to be consumed as a safety measure?

I have sampled the 90-99 proof, very pure (for use in chemistry) laboratory ethanol (hey, back in my student days! :hand:) and I believe the only taste effect was due to the rapid evaporation.

isopropanol is bitter.

Yes, I was a curious kid.

tdvance
2010-Feb-22, 09:17 PM
Try vodka - a non-flavoured variety.
There is almost no taste in the usual sense, just the irritant burn.

Or moonshine. I have a friend with a 'magic flute', who regularly brings me a smple to tatsdte, your can twl,. by my typenigf how it affect s me.
He has got beyond the 'tastes of nothing'' stage, so I presume that his methods aren't bad, and he adds flavours now.
If only I could see the label, I'd know what this one is.

John

Mythbusters did an experiment. Experts can distinguish between brands of vodka, even after filterning. It seems there's always some traces left of impurities that flavor it.

HenrikOlsen
2010-Feb-22, 11:28 PM
That would be ethylene (C2H4) not ethanol (C2H6O) though I'm not sure about their relationship, having dropped out of college chemistry. IIRC, ripening and fermenting are different processes.
berries also ferment due to the naturally occurring yeast, so alcohol definitely is present in some berries, though normally first when overripe.

DonM435
2010-Feb-22, 11:31 PM
The lab ethanol I encountered had the same seal on the cap that you'd find on other liquor: it was clearly recognized as drinkable. I think this was for use in microbiological cultures. (For many chem lab uses, a few poisons in the mix could be tolerated.)

I'm told that absolute alcohol (200 proof or 100%) will actually dehydrate your esophagus, so don't drink that stuff undiluted.

kleindoofy
2010-Feb-22, 11:51 PM
... failure and success ... both taste the same.
Really?

My experience shows that failure is rather bitter while success is sweet.

[edit:] And alcohol is usually consumed before failure and after success.

berries also ferment due to the naturally occurring yeast, so alcohol definitely is present in some berries, though normally first when overripe.
Yes.

Where I grew up there was a small and pretty old vinyard (Concord red grapes) that was no longer attended to. We kids used to eat the grapes right off the vine and every so often we got a few that were fermented.

Lovurly. ;)

[edit: google maps shows it's still there.]

Ivan Viehoff
2010-Feb-23, 09:32 AM
That would be ethylene (C2H4) not ethanol (C2H6O) though I'm not sure about their relationship, having dropped out of college chemistry. IIRC, ripening and fermenting are different processes.
Ethylene has only a faint odour. It is mainly esters that give ripening fruit their sweet smell.

Fermenting is definitely a different process from ripening. Ripening is interior reactions in the fruit. Fermentation is due to the action of other organisms, eg yeasts, upon the fruit. The softening of the fruit in ripening assists in allowing those other organisms to invade.