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35114Re: Reading the Bead

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  • jamesonbeam1
    May 5, 2009

      Hi Ray- Hi All,

      Yes, the infamous Waldo the Missing is back.....

      Again, for the many that dont know, spring time is renovation time around here. We just finish restoring the whole back end of the house including a 24' kitchen complete with new flooring and all.  Whew, glad its done and glad to be back.  Bet theres some "Where's Waldo Now" postings I have to catch up on (ROTFLMAO).

      Anyways Rick,

      The way the bubbles or "beads" were read by the ol' timers, was shaking the shine up, holding the jar or bottle sideways and watching the distribution of the smaller bubbles vs the larger bubbles and how long the smaller ones lasted.

      The lenght of time the smaller bubbles remained in relation to the bigger bubbles gave a rough (and i do mean rough) indication of the ABV.  Not pretending to be one of dem Ol'  Timers, ive played with this trick and can now get to within 20% +/- of the actual ABV.  Play with it sometimes - its fun.  Below is a link to an interesting account of how an ol' Appalachian moonshiner made his stuff as recounted by his son, Sidney Farr.  


      120k - Adobe PDF - View as html
      in 1964, I read articles and books about Appalachia, talked with ... If the bubbles. rose and sat half above and half below the top of the liquid he had the ...

      community.berea.edu/... /issues/ winter2007/moonshine.pdf

      Here is the excerpt about "reading bubbles":

      "Dad tested for the right proof by putting some moonshine in a quart jar.  Covering it tightly and shaking a few times.  If the bubbles rose and sat half way above and half way below the top of the liquid, he knew he had the right proof. (about 100 - 110 proof)."

      Vino es Veritas,

      Jim aka Waldo.

      P.s.  I couldn't get the video to run either = needs teh Real MPEG-2 player download...  Going to try that.


      --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, Moonshine Man <hillbilly153@...> wrote:
      > I’m no tech or anything, but I watched a documentary on moonshiners just the other day and an old timer showed you how he read the bead. He said that the stronger the proof the bigger the bubbles around the top, and they disappeared faster; The weaker the proof the smaller the bubbles and they disappeared slower.
      > I don’t know if it’s true or not, but this was an old moonshiner and that’s the way he did it.
      > Ray

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