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Reading the Bead

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  • rye_junkie1
    For those that have never heard of reading the bead , It is a lost art. Old timers use to judge the proof of their spirits by somehow reading the way the
    Message 1 of 9 , May 4, 2009
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      For those that have never heard of "reading the bead", It is a lost art. Old timers use to judge the proof of their spirits by somehow reading the way the beads moved in the jar when you shook it or something like that. I never really understood how it could be even remotely accurate until I started paying attention to how they move over a run.
      I know this is not an accurate way of determining ABV/proof of a distilled spirit and as for diluting spirit and spirit runs their is no replacement for the Hydrometer. But I started paying closer attention to my last few runs and the way the beads change their movement over a run and it made me start thinking and experimenting. This may actually be a useful tool for stripping runs.
      We all love to hear that "tink, tink" sound when spirit starts to come from the condenser to the collection jar and the way those little beads shoot out to the sides of the jar. But if you pay attention to this over the course of a strip run you will notice that those beads slowly start to loose momentum. After a while they only make it about 3/4 of the way, then half, and near the end they disappear. I dont know why these beads even form, Maybe one of the "techy" folks here can explain that. But I do know that if you are using a Parrots beak or simply measuring the ABV of you're strip run to determine when to stop it, if you watch those beads you will notice they get weaker as your spirit does. Maybe there is a use for the old art after all.

      Mason
    • Harry
      ... The bead as used by the oldtimers is a bit different to what you are observing. The bead is actually tiny droplets of essential oils in the spirit. The
      Message 2 of 9 , May 4, 2009
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        --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "rye_junkie1" <rye_junkie@...> wrote:
        >
        > For those that have never heard of "reading the bead", It is a lost art. Old timers use to judge the proof of their spirits by somehow reading the way the beads moved in the jar when you shook it or something like that. I never really understood how it could be even remotely accurate until I started paying attention to how they move over a run.
        > I know this is not an accurate way of determining ABV/proof of a distilled spirit and as for diluting spirit and spirit runs their is no replacement for the Hydrometer. But I started paying closer attention to my last few runs and the way the beads change their movement over a run and it made me start thinking and experimenting. This may actually be a useful tool for stripping runs.
        > We all love to hear that "tink, tink" sound when spirit starts to come from the condenser to the collection jar and the way those little beads shoot out to the sides of the jar. But if you pay attention to this over the course of a strip run you will notice that those beads slowly start to loose momentum. After a while they only make it about 3/4 of the way, then half, and near the end they disappear. I dont know why these beads even form, Maybe one of the "techy" folks here can explain that. But I do know that if you are using a Parrots beak or simply measuring the ABV of you're strip run to determine when to stop it, if you watch those beads you will notice they get weaker as your spirit does. Maybe there is a use for the old art after all.
        >
        > Mason
        >

        The bead as used by the oldtimers is a bit different to what you are observing. The bead is actually tiny droplets of essential oils in the spirit. The oil droplets float in high-proof spirit, about middle in 100 proof (50%) and all-but disappear in low strength spirit. Hence the conman's practice of putting 'beading oil' (glycerine) in low proof moonshine to make it appear it's stronger than it really is.

        Notice in the video below how the bead looks similar in shape and appearance to a 'goose's eye'. Hence the term 'gooseye'.
        The bead (7 sec video) is here...
        http://groups.yahoo.com/group/new_distillers/files/Harry/bead.avi


        Slainte!
        regards Harry
      • KM Services
        Hey Harry, Can t seem to open this in either window media player or real player Ken Mc Notice in the video below how the bead looks similar in shape and
        Message 3 of 9 , May 4, 2009
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          Hey Harry,

          Can’t seem to open this in either window media player or real player

           

          Ken Mc


          Notice in the video below how the bead looks similar in shape and appearance to a 'goose's eye'. Hence the term 'gooseye'.
          The bead (7 sec video) is here...
          http://groups. yahoo.com/ group/new_ distillers/ files/Harry/ bead.avi

          Slainte!
          regards Harry

        • Sherman
          Here is the mpg version http://www.amsyrup.com/sloj/video/bead.mpg
          Message 4 of 9 , May 4, 2009
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            Here is the mpg version
            http://www.amsyrup.com/sloj/video/bead.mpg

            --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "KM Services" <km_services@...> wrote:
            >
            > Hey Harry,
            >
            > Can't seem to open this in either window media player or real player
            >
            >
            >
            > Ken Mc
            >
            >
            > Notice in the video below how the bead looks similar in shape and appearance
            > to a 'goose's eye'. Hence the term 'gooseye'.
            > The bead (7 sec video) is here...
            > http://groups.
            > <http://groups.yahoo.com/group/new_distillers/files/Harry/bead.avi>
            > yahoo.com/group/new_distillers/files/Harry/bead.avi
            >
            > Slainte!
            > regards Harry
            >
          • Sherman
            In this video the bubbles float half way. Also notice all the tiny suspended bubbles. These bubbles sit there for a considerable time. When the proof goes up,
            Message 5 of 9 , May 4, 2009
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              In this video the bubbles float half way. Also notice all the tiny suspended bubbles. These bubbles sit there for a considerable time.
              When the proof goes up, the bubbles are larger and sit up on top of the liquor but flash off faster.
              When the strength falls a bit below 40% it is hard to get the bubbles at all.

              --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "Sherman" <pintoshine@...> wrote:
              >
              > Here is the mpg version
              > http://www.amsyrup.com/sloj/video/bead.mpg
              >
              > --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "KM Services" <km_services@> wrote:
              > >
              > > Hey Harry,
              > >
              > > Can't seem to open this in either window media player or real player
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > > Ken Mc
              > >
              > >
              > > Notice in the video below how the bead looks similar in shape and appearance
              > > to a 'goose's eye'. Hence the term 'gooseye'.
              > > The bead (7 sec video) is here...
              > > http://groups.
              > > <http://groups.yahoo.com/group/new_distillers/files/Harry/bead.avi>
              > > yahoo.com/group/new_distillers/files/Harry/bead.avi
              > >
              > > Slainte!
              > > regards Harry
              > >
              >
            • Moonshine Man
              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
              Message 6 of 9 , May 5, 2009
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                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


              • jamesonbeam1
                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
                Message 7 of 9 , May 5, 2009
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                  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.  

                   [PDF]

                  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

                • Moonshine Man
                  Cool read. Thanks Waldo   Cheers,   Ray Hi Ray- Hi All, Yes, the infamous Waldo the Missing is back..... Again, for the many that dont know, spring time is
                  Message 8 of 9 , May 5, 2009
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                    Cool read. Thanks Waldo
                     
                    Cheers,
                     
                    Ray


                    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.  
                     [PDF]
                    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


                  • Zapata Vive
                    This is the way I was taught by oldtimers. More of a way to judge shine quality than a way to monitor a run. Big bubbles are called hog s heads. Well, maybe
                    Message 9 of 9 , May 5, 2009
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                      This is the way I was taught by oldtimers.  More of a way to judge shine quality than a way to monitor a run.  Big bubbles are called hog's heads.  Well, maybe more like "hawgsheds" ;)
                       
                       
                      ----- Original Message -----
                      Sent: Tuesday, May 05, 2009 10:29 AM
                      Subject: [new_distillers] Re: Reading the Bead

                      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.  

                       [PDF]

                      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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