Alcohol in the context of beer generally refers to ethanol (C2H5OH). Ethanol is a two-carbon alcohol molecule and is responsible for beer’s pleasant and inebriating effects. Fusel alcohols are alcohols with more than two carbon atoms and are responsible for warming effects, solventy off-flavors and increasing the possibility and severity of a hangover. Fusel alcohols are often the result of high fermentation temperatures.

Related terms: fusels, hangover, ethanol