The bead please

Distillation methods and improvements.

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arkansas
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The bead please

Post by arkansas »

I just read a post with reference to the beading jar, so I did a search, some more references there also. I think I know what it is, but how the heck could anyone read it, please, the old ways intrig me, they have gotten me along ways, must be something to them. :D
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Tater
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Post by Tater »

Its easy to show hard to explain. Get some clear likker you know proof of from 80 proof to 100 And higher. put some in small jar slap agenst your hand and look at bubbles that form.Try it with water only Differnt proofs have differnt size bubbles that last differnt leanths of time.proofs lower the 80 or so wont bead.
I use a pot still.Sometimes with a thumper
arkansas
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Post by arkansas »

Thanks tater, will have to try that.
goose eye
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Post by goose eye »

get you a quart jar full turn it on it side an gentle shake it once.
will it hold a bead you want to ck if goose eye / rabbit eye is above or below the line - teaspoon of sugar per quart will make it hold it longer. some take a little in a pint jar an swirl it round then look.
so they say
rezaxis
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Post by rezaxis »

Goose eye,

I would appreciate it if you would describe what you see in this process at different proofs, and what reading the bead is telling you to do.

I mean reading the bead provides you with information, and with that information you make a decision, and that decision is a choice between different actions.

Can you explain the information and how to obtain it, the decisions that need to be made, and the appropriate actions in regards to reading the bead?

I think a lot of people here would like to understand this. Thanks

Rez
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goose eye
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Post by goose eye »

i aint never run no likker nor do i plan to .
i been tole its all diferent but the higher the bead the lower the proof.
the lower the proof the shorted it will hold a good bead
age will efect a bead
type of brandy will efect the bead
you got to add hearin taste an sent to bead.
sorry if this aint clear but like tater said it aint easy explainin with words
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Post by AllanD »

Actually what the old timers were talking about is a phenomena that is a result of the change in surface tension...

above 100proof or so it begins to be possible when shaken in a properly shaped and properly filled jar to create little "beads" of alcohol/water that literally sit on the surface, the size of these "beads" increases with
increasing proof.

at lower proofs these beads are scarcely bigger than sugar granules, but at higher proofs they can actually be quite large, some claim the size of a green pea, though the old hillbilly moonshiners in their exaggeration called big beads from "high shots" "goose eye" beads....
The biggest I've ever seen (usually dancing on the surface of the collection jar below the condenser) are the size of a BB's.

There is information that can be read from the bubble size but it's very subjective and the results can be altered by technique while shaking.

AllanD
Last edited by AllanD on Tue Dec 12, 2006 12:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
goose eye
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Post by goose eye »

allen d i been tole they called em goose eye cause of the size an shape.
if it worth a dern all it takes is one gentle shake. you shake it like
a paint can it aint gonna tell you nothin. it dont take but about a ounce in a pint jar to read a bead. hold it upright shake it gentle side to side maybe twice you got the surface - line - is the bead just above that line or just below that line. just as important is it holdin the bead. that why some used beadin oil.
unless it is crystle clear can hold a bead got a scent a good taste
you aint never gonna be able to barter it. so im tole
AllanD
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Post by AllanD »

alcohol that will "hold a bead" is certainly above 100proof, which is the usual benchmark of "shine" in trade.

Traditionally moonshine was traded at just above 100proof, the point where it would just hold a bead. it's a "close enough" unit of measure due to a general lack of specifically designed hydrometers

it is a simple definable point.... which simply works.
that all being said there were methods of "faking" a bead, the commonest
being to trickle some spirit through wood ashes and thus extracting a small ammount of potassium hydroxide and that has a similar effect
on surface tension as higher proof spirit that it is intended to simulate...

as a side note,
"high shots" is NOT the moonshine of traditional trade because lacking proof hydrometers neither the maker nor the buyer had any simple way of knowing if they were selling 160proof or 180proof product, unless both parties took the time to dilute down a measured quantity just to the point where it will hold a bead...

AD
Uncle Jesse
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yes

Post by Uncle Jesse »

at some point a few years ago someone posted a great description of the different beads from a sort of moonshiner perspective. finding that post would be a good thing as it was very helpful.
If only the best birds sang, the woods would be silent.
Uncle Jesse
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here it is

Post by Uncle Jesse »

I thought this info might be usefull to you, It is one of the most important pieces of info that I have gotten from this site, It might sound weird at first, but I can tell you, I no longer use a hydrometer at all. Anyway, this was given to me when i first started this hobby...
"just go by what's coming out.
you smell it.
you put it in a spoon and burn it.
you drip it on a plate and burn it.
you taste it.
you rub it on your hands and smell it.
you rub it on your hands and feel it.
you put it in a little vial or bottle and shake it and look at the bubbles."

"as long as it lights easily in a spoon it's over 100 proof.
When it won't light in a spoon but will light on a plate it's under 100 proof but over 75 or so.
If it burns clear and blue and steady with a flame you can't see in sunlight it's very pure.
If it burns with a yellow "beard" it's got some fusils and impurities... the bigger the beard the more off it is."
"See how much liquid is left in the spoon after the burning stops."

"Taste your output, compare it to the taste of the liquid left in the spoon after burning.
Tasting isn't very accurate for strength (and it gets less and less accurate the more you do it) but it is the most accurate test of how your stuff actually tastes (imagine that)."

"Catch some of the output and rub it between and all over your hands.
Move your hands from arms length toward your face, see how close you have to get to smell it.
Feel how fast it evaporates.
Feel when you rub it between your hands whether it feels oily or slippery (like soap) or scrunchy. "

"Learn to recognise how those feelings correspond to smell and taste and to how it burns."

"Put an half an ounce to an ounce of your output in a small glass bottle or vial with a tight fitting cap and give it a vigorous shake.
Look at the bubbles that form briefly along the edge of the liquid in a string like beads. (READING THE BEAD)
bigger more uniform bubbles happen at higher proof and it will stop "beading" alltogether as you start to drop below 100 proof. "

"Do all these things at regular intervals every time you run.
Pay attention to how these sensory tests corrispond to one another at different points in the run."

"Don't expect to understand exactly what you are seeing and smelling and tasting and feeling the first several times you do it.
Remember that you are training your senses as much as you are learning an intellectual set of tests... the senses learn through consistancy and repitition."

"Just keep doing it, consider it an integral part of your process even if at first you can't tell what good it's doing."

"It will all come together. There are people who can nail proof within two or three points by rubbing the liquor between their hands. The only thing they've got that you don't is experience... and if you don't do the tests whether you "get" them or not you'll never gain the experience. "

Once you senses are trained to tell proof, purity, etc... then this dilution calculator might help.
http://homedistiller.org/calcs/dilute" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" rel="nofollow

I hope this helps you out a bit.

If only the best birds sang, the woods would be silent.
golden pond
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Post by golden pond »

Here's some 160 proof hitting the bucket!!Image[/url]
Never follow good whiskey with water, unless you're out of good whiskey!!!
hornedrhodent
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Post by hornedrhodent »

Is plastic OK with 160 proof?
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hmmm

Post by Uncle Jesse »

I use 1 gallon glass jugs.
If only the best birds sang, the woods would be silent.
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Post by jmc91199 »

By the look of it that is a BFS (Big F'ing Still) :shock:
Dave's not here!
golden pond
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Post by golden pond »

hornedrhodent wrote:Is plastic OK with 160 proof?
That's PTE material, it don't stay in it but a few min. Had to dump it about every 9-10 min.
Never follow good whiskey with water, unless you're out of good whiskey!!!
Stillhead

Post by Stillhead »

At what proof does the bead stop?
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Post by goose eye »

if it was these boys them huntin dogs runnin round the top would show the middlin 120s dependin on what could be low 130s but they aint got it droppin so far an could be they got lazy dogs
round here it the size of a old fashion kitchen match for stream
much biger an itll get hot on you. think id put a catch pan under that bucket cause it hell squezein cardboard - ha ha
so im tole
golden pond
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Post by golden pond »

Stillhead wrote:At what proof does the bead stop?
When the bead stops, thats singles, used on the next run. :) You make no short cuts running good liquor.
Never follow good whiskey with water, unless you're out of good whiskey!!!
golden pond
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Post by golden pond »

goose eye wrote: round here it the size of a old fashion kitchen match for stream
much biger an itll get hot on you. think id put a catch pan under that bucket cause it hell squezein cardboard - ha ha
so im tole
I've seen great liquor ran at a 1/4-3/8 inch stream out out a worm as long as the water in the condenser was kept cool enough and the heat under the still was low. A match size steam means your mash wasn't up to par, so I'm( tole,) LOL
Never follow good whiskey with water, unless you're out of good whiskey!!!
Stillhead

Post by Stillhead »

So singles are feints?

I meant at what proof does does this phenomenon top out at?

I am getting 93.5ABV. There is no bead here of course, but I wonder at what point you stop seeing this.

And at what proof does a bead cross the line?
golden pond
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Post by golden pond »

Some of the terms on here is above my head, FEINTS for one, singles is low proof in my neck of the woods. I think Goose has lived in the North too long and read too many books, but still didn't learn to spell, so I been tole.
Never follow good whiskey with water, unless you're out of good whiskey!!!
goose eye
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Post by goose eye »

golden pond i cant read to good but i can look an lisen real good.
i aint never heard single or feints .
how you get your tester to float in that shaller bucket
yup that must be it lousy likker is you runin a kitchen match - gal every 15 minutes-
as far as the north - didnt your flag have yeller round it
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Post by Sinker »

i cant read to good but i can look an lisen real good.
Goose Eye, you may not read too good or write real pretty, but that don't mean shit coz you still talk good sense anyways. I always listen to what you got to say.
Never on a Sunday.
kingearwig
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Re: The bead please

Post by kingearwig »

Yeah user error sorry.

Now I wanna ask about someting. ok so reading the bead you are looking at those bubbles... they are under the surface of the liquid. Where the meniscus is.
I have noticed something else. I notice it when my distillate is dripping from the condenser.
Image
Sometimes when a drop of distillate splashes down in the collection vessel the smaller airborne drops will not break the surface tension of the the already collected distillate immediately.
Is this phenomena documented somewhere on the main site. I would like to know more about this. It seems to happen more at higher abv. I bet someone's seen this before and I am missing it.



If this is off topic or something I will move it to the novice section where I belong :wink:
pintoshine
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Re: The bead please

Post by pintoshine »

I have seen that a lot. I love to watch those little beads dance around looking like water on a really hot skillet. That picture was a really good visual.
I don't have an explanation. I have seen those beads of liquid sit up on top of the collection of spirits for several seconds.
I suspect that the surface tension on the mixture is stronger enough to support the weight of the bead and to keep the bead intact. Generally, water attracts water so well as to pull the droplets in immediately. Maybe the mixture of ethanol and water at higher alcohol percentages is not as attracted to itself. Have seen this phenomenon in mercury before. Mercury is more attracted to copper than it is to itself.
duds2u
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Re: The bead please

Post by duds2u »

I've seen it all the time when I am using my reflux still. I also see it in the heads component of a spirit run with my pot still. Seems that I get when the ABV is about 80% or higher. I'll take notes next time I do a spirit run and come back with the info.
Less oak longer
kingearwig
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Re: The bead please

Post by kingearwig »

I would say that I stop seeing it when distillate gets to around 70-75%. I haven't taken any notes on anything I have done. I will start soon. I have been waiting til I get something worth reproducing.

until today I thought this effect was somehow what reading the bead was about. I have made this happen in a bottle but it is difficult.

Was that video clip from modern marvels distilleries... if not what was it from I am going to get the whole episode.

Also I have been rereading this thread and AlanD said that reading the bead is about what I was talking about. But the old moonshiners told him he was wrong. But he is right. those bubble on top of the surface... those filled with liquid not air... do seem to get larger at higher proof. Everclear has some really big ones going on. I just checked it out with a 1/4 full 750 bottle. I am going to take some pictures.
kingearwig
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Re: The bead please

Post by kingearwig »

here's a link to a video I just made. in the video is ujsm at 100 proof aged at 136 proof for about 24 hours then diluted to 100 proof for about another 12. Shown is the filtration process. The end of the 30 sec video is the best.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GN7Fhj8Ujs4
Uncle Jesse
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Re: The bead please

Post by Uncle Jesse »

what's it dripping out of? looks like something made of the dreaded plastic to me man. be careful.
If only the best birds sang, the woods would be silent.
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