We have an old question Cooking away alcohol that gives general knowledge about the evaporation rates of alcohol. The answers there are quite extensive.

We also get, every now and then, new questions asking about the alcohol retention in a specific dish. A recent example is How much alcohol is left in this sauce?.

On the one hand, one could argue that answering for a particular situation, when the question is well described (a recipe is given), could be more accurate than answering with general information, so answers to that question would add value over reading the old generic question only. On the other hand, I don't know if anybody would give a correct answer that is more specific than just applying the information from the generic question to this case.

Should we see the old question as a canonical, and close all new ones whose answer would be an application of its answers, or should we keep the new ones open? What are the pro and cons of each?

1 Answer 1


I think the old question is very good, and very general. We can handle specific situations much better as answers to new questions than by saying "it's a duplicate of...". Sometimes it takes more than will fit in a comment to explain sufficiently why somethign could be considered a dupe, and at that point I don't think it should be.

Another reason: The accepted answer to the old question isn't (by a long way) the most helpful to people with a practical problem, though it's probably the best answer to the original science question, even if by current standards it should summarise the links a bit more.

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