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Define Dealcoholization - Explaining What It Means

We can define dealcoholization by identifying and describing the methods of how it is done. Also, we can do it by indicating the reasons why people do it. The term “dealcoholization” may sound technical but it can be easily explained.

Dr. Bill Butcher
Mar 16, 20232 Shares220 Views
We shall define dealcoholizationas the process of removing or reducing the alcohol content in beverages.
This process is commonly used for non-alcoholic beer and wine, as well as other beverages that are intended for individuals who prefer to abstain from alcohol or for those who cannot consume it for healthor religious reasons.
Dealcoholization can be achieved through various methods, including distillation, reverse osmosis, and vacuum evaporation.
Understanding what dealcoholization means and how it is achieved is important for individuals who wish to make informed choices about their beverage consumption.
In this article, we will delve deeper into the definition of dealcoholization and explore the various methods used to achieve it.

Zero Alcohol Dealcoholized or Low Alcoholic: How is it Made

What Is Dealcoholization?

Dealcoholization is the process of removing alcohol from a liquid, such as wineor beer, to create a non-alcoholic version of the beverage. This can be done through various methods, some of which will be discussed later.
“Alcohol reduction” or “alcohol removal” are two terms synonymous with “dealcoholization.”
One way to define dealcoholization and understand it is to know its goal, which is to create a beverage that has the same taste and aroma as its alcoholic counterpart, but with little to no alcohol content.
This allows people who cannot or choose not to consume alcohol such as pregnant women to enjoy a similar beverage.
It’s common knowledge that pregnant women are strongly advised by doctors to avoid drinking alcoholic beverages.
According to an articleby Howard E. LeWine, MD, and published by Harvard Health Publishing, where he is the chief medical editor, fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) is caused by heavy alcohol drinking.
Dr. LeWine wrote:
Babies with FAS may be born early . . . often underweight and don’t grow well. Children with FAS are slower to learn language skills than other kids. When they reach school age, they often have learning disabilities and difficulty with attention, memory, and hyperactivity.- Howard E. LeWine, MD
Still - and this shall also serve as warning to pregnant women - while dealcoholized beverages may have very little alcohol content, they are not completely alcohol-free.
The exact amount of residual alcohol will depend on the method of dealcoholization and the starting alcohol content of the original beverage.

Dealcoholization And Spinal Injury

In an attempt to define dealcoholization, one may wonder, “Is there a connection between dealcoholization and spinal injury?”
There is no direct connection between the two.
However, it is possible that dealcoholized beverages may be consumed by individuals who have experienced spinal injuryas part of their rehabilitation process or as a personal choice due to health reasons.
In this sense, dealcoholized beverages may be a preferred choice for those who have to avoid alcohol due to medical reasons or personal preference, but still want to enjoy a beverage that tastes like an alcoholic drink.
It is important to note that alcohol consumption, particularly in excess, can increase the risk of accidents and injuries, including spinal injury.
In addition, the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation would like to remind the public that “alcohol can interfere with medications” prescribed for injuries/illnesses affecting the central nervous system (e.g., stroke and spinal cord injury).
Therefore, reducing or avoiding alcohol consumption may be a wise choice for individuals at risk of spinal injuryor who have already experienced such an injury.
Bottles of non-alcoholic wines, with some on a wooden box
Bottles of non-alcoholic wines, with some on a wooden box

Dealcoholization - The Methods To Accomplish It

To define dealcoholization will involve a discussion of the methods on how to do it.
The rate at which alcohol is removed depends on several factors, including the following:
  • alcohol concentration in the solution
  • membrane’s permeability
  • circulation rate of the solution
The following are just five of the several methods of dealcoholization:


In the context of dealcoholization, dialysis can be used to remove alcohol from a solution.
During dialysis, a solution containing alcohol is placed in a container that is separated from another container by a selectively permeable membrane.
The membrane allows small molecules such as water, sugars, and acids to pass through but prevents larger molecules such as alcohol and flavor compounds from crossing over.
As the alcohol-containing solution is circulated on one side of the membrane, alcohol molecules are gradually removed through the membrane, while the remaining components of the solution are retained.


The process of distillation involves heating the alcoholic beverage to a temperature above the boiling point of alcohol but below the boiling point of water.
As the liquid is heated, the alcohol vaporizes and rises to the top of the still, where it is captured and condensed back into a liquid form. The remaining liquid, which is now mostly water, is left behind in the still.
The process is repeated several times, with the alcohol being collected each time and the remaining liquid becoming progressively less alcoholic.
By the end of the distillation process, the alcohol content of the liquid can be reduced to as little as 0.5 percent or even lower.

Simple Distillation on Red Wine


Pervaporation is a membrane separation process that can be used as a kind of dealcoholization method for liquids.
It involves the use of a membrane that selectively allows certain components of a liquid to pass through, while retaining others.
In the case of dealcoholization, a pervaporation membrane is used to selectively remove alcohol from a liquid mixture, such as wine or beer.
The membrane is typically made of a polymer or ceramic material that has pores or channels that allow small molecules, such as alcohol, to pass through while retaining larger molecules, such as water.

Spinning Cone Column (SCC)

SCC is a method used to remove alcohol from beverages, such as wine, beer, and spirits, while preserving their flavor and aroma.
The process involves using a spinning cone-shaped column that operates at low pressure and temperature to separate the volatile compounds from the liquid.
One of the key benefits of this method is that it allows for precise control over the level of alcohol reduction, without significantly altering the flavor or aroma of the beverage.
Additionally, it is a relatively quick and efficient process, making it a popular method for alcohol reduction in commercial settings.

Vacuum Distillation

Vacuum distillation is a powerful technique for separating and purifying liquids, particularly for the removal of volatile compounds like ethanol in the dealcoholization of alcoholic beverages.
Vacuum distillation differs from regular distillation in that it operates under reduced pressure, which allows for the separation of compounds with lower boiling points.
In regular distillation, compounds are separated based on their boiling points, with the most volatile compounds vaporizing first and being collected as a separate distillate.
However, if the boiling points of the compounds in the mixture are very close, regular distillation may not be effective in separating them.
Four differently colored dealcoholized wines on wine glasses sitting on top of a wine barrel
Four differently colored dealcoholized wines on wine glasses sitting on top of a wine barrel

The Need For Dealcoholization

To define dealcoholization is also to identify why this process is important. There are several reasons why dealcoholization, may be necessary or desirable.
They include the following:
a. Religious or cultural reasons.
Some religions prohibit or discourage the consumption of alcohol, and some cultures may have social norms against drinking.
In these cases, dealcoholized beverages can provide a non-alcoholic alternative for those who still want to participate in social occasions where alcohol is traditionally consumed.
b. Health concerns
Some individuals may be advised by their doctor to avoid or limit alcohol consumption due to health reasons, such as liver disease, pregnancy, or certain medications.
Dealcoholized beverages provide an alternative for these individuals to enjoy the taste of beer, wine, or spirits without the negative health effects of alcohol.
c. Taste preferences
Some people may enjoy the taste of beer, wine, or spirits but prefer to consume them without alcohol.
Dealcoholized beverages can provide an option for individuals who want to enjoy the flavor of these beverages without the intoxicating effects.
Woman with curly hair and wearing a ring sips wine from a wine glass
Woman with curly hair and wearing a ring sips wine from a wine glass

People Ask

How Much Alcohol Is Removed From Beer During The Dealcoholization Process?

The amount of alcohol removed from beer during the dealcoholization process can vary depending on the method used.
Some methods can remove up to 99 percent of the alcohol, while others may only remove a portion of the alcohol.

Can Dealcoholized Wine Get You Drunk?

No, it cannot get you drunk.
Dealcoholized wine typically has less than 0.5 percent alcohol by volume, which is not enough to cause intoxication.

Does Dealcoholized Beer Taste The Same As Regular Beer?

The taste of dealcoholized beercan vary depending on the method used to remove the alcohol. Some people find that the taste is similar to regular beer, while others may notice a difference in taste.

Final Thoughts

As we define dealcoholization, we learn new things such as the term “dialysis” doesn’t only refer to a certain type of medical treatment. It likewise refers to one of the several dealcoholization methods.
Moreover, dealcoholization provides a solution for individuals who want to enjoy the taste of beer, wine, or spirits without the negative health effects or cultural or religious barriers associated with alcohol consumption.
It could be possible to define dealcoholization without sounding too technical and hopefully this article has accomplished that.
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