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# How To Proof Moonshine

## Moonshine Alcohol Content

Old school moonshiners can tell the proof of their shine by shaking the mason jar and looking at the bubbles. If the moonshine has large bubbles that disappear quickly it indicates that the moonshine has a high alcohol content, while smaller bubbles that disappear slower indicate lower alcohol content. Today we can proof moonshine easily and also with more precision by using a few simple tools. In this article we are going to explain how to proof moonshine using a proofing hydrometer and a copper proofing parrot.

### Proof vs. ABV

Alcohol by volume (ABV) is a standard measure of how much alcohol is contained in an alcoholic beverage. Alcohol proof in the United States is defined as twice the percentage of alcohol by volume. If moonshine has a proof of 120, it contains 60% alcohol by volume.

### What is a Hydrometer and How does it Work?

A hydrometer is an instrument that measures the density of a liquid compared to the density of water. Doing so provides lots of information regarding potential alcohol content, actual alcohol content, etc. One very important fact to note is that there are 2 different kinds of hydrometers: proofing and brewing. When making a whiskey mash, a **brewing hydrometer** is used to measure either alcohol content or the potential alcohol content by taking a specific gravity reading. When distilling, a **proofing hydrometer** (also called a spirit hydrometer) is used to measure final alcohol content.

The biggest difference between proofing and brewing hydrometers is the scale. The brewing hydrometer is used during the mash process and can measure up to a mash with a potential alcohol of 20% ABV. Proofing hydrometers are used for proofing moonshine and can measure up to 200 proof or 100% ABV.

This article focuses on proofing hydrometers, which is the type of hydrometer one would use with a parrot to measure the proof of alcohol that has been distilled. If you're looking for information on brewing hydrometers, check out our article titled, "How to Use a Hydrometer."

To use a proofing hydrometer, fill the test jar or parrot with the liquid to be measured and place the hydrometer into the jar/parrot. Give the hydrometer a quick spin to remove any air bubbles and take a measurement reading from the scale on the side of the hydrometer.

### How To Proof Moonshine With A Parrot

The best way to measure proof of moonshine is by using a proofing hydrometer and a copper moonshine parrot. A proofing hydrometer is a very easy tool to use. Place the proofing hydrometer into the parrot making sure that the drip arm from the moonshine still drips into the parrot. (see illustration) The moonshine will fill up the parrot causing the hydrometer to float. The floating hydrometer will show the proof of the product coming out of the still. The moonshine will then exit the parrot, dripping into the collection vessel. This is the easiest, most convenient, and most reliable way to monitor and measure alcohol proof when making moonshine.

### Why Should Proof be Measured?

When making moonshine it is good to know the proof of the product being made. Great moonshiners know everything about the moonshine they make, including the proof of the individual cuts as well as the proof the final product. Using a parrot and proofing hydrometer is an easy way to monitor and proof moonshine. Knowing the proof of the moonshine not only important when diluting or proofing the final product, but it can also be used to help aide in making cuts during a run. When doing a run it is important to take notes on temperature and proof of the product when the cuts were made. This is helpful as once a recipe has been dialed in the cuts will be be similar from run to run. the notes from a previous run can help aide in the cuts of future runs. Making cuts based on proof is only an aide; the skill of the distiller determines the quality of the final product. To become a great moonshiner it helps to have tools to guide you in the right direction.

If I am using a 30 gal.can for making my mash 20 gal.water how much cracked corn and sugar and yeast do I add?

Many of the questions asked are ones I would ask…I’m a struggling amateur!!!I

But, I don’t know where or how to find the answers or replied comments…

Could you help me please….

Thank you…

How much turbo yest do you use on 5 gal of corn and barley mash (8lb maize and 1.5 lb barley) with 4 lb of sugar.

Thanks.

How much turbo yest do you use on 5 gal of corn and barley mash (8lb maize and 1.5 lb barley) with 4 lb of sugar.

Thanks.

how do i test abv of my flavored shine

Hi,

I would like to ask you about the different measurement in Europe and USA in alcohol. In US 90 proof is 45% alcohol, in Europe 45% alcohol if ~ 18 grade.

Do you know the calculated formula of this?

Thanks,

Hello! You can send video of the copper distillers and maximum layers of the same. Thank you.

To dilute: c1*v1=c2*v2, where c is the concentration (%), and v is the volume, so for example to dilute 1L of 110 proof down to 80 (55%, 40%), (0.55*1.0)/0.4=1.375. Just add 375mL of water.

you guys are really helpful its nice that you can help .

what is the best way to calculate to lower the proof from 160 to 90 that is a 70 percent difference

Do you sell hydrometers up to 200%????

Need help.. When running my 5 gallon banana mash the 1st pint came out 120 proof the second pint jar was only @60 ..what am i doing wrong?… 12lb banana 5lb white cornmeal. 6lb sugar with 2 packet of premeir cuvee distilling yeast ..it sat for 6 daya b4 runnin

Does it make a difference when you proof your product . Say like does it matter if it is cold or room temp?

Can I measure with out alcohol profer ? I just drop mine. Plz help

I am using the same mash recipes for mash as always lately I can’t seem to get any alcohol out of mash nothing has changed except weather I kept it in small room heated in winter all was good product now I keep it in garage which gets 80 in day and now it’s not getting me alcohol in mash can you help?

How do you cut the proof of your whiskey from 110 proof to 80 proof?

To get a strong mash with good yield,you need to add sugar 1 1/4 lb. of sugar per gal. Increase yeast by 2/3 yeast nutrient and co2

7 gal. 10 lb. sugar

6 scoops cracked corn

1scoop oats

2 scoops cracked 2 row malted barley

1/2 box white raisins

3 packs yeast

1 capful nutrient

First timer..corn,2 types of apples and plenty of sugar and turbo yeast. Plan on Keeping product at 82-85 for a week. Does this sound right?

Need information on how to make corn and wheat moonshine any help would be a greatly appreciated .

Initially the shine was ran 110-120 it sat in the fridge for a week and it seems to have dropped. Is this normal? Does the temp make the hydrometer work different?