What is a parrot in distilling?

Answered by Kyle Floyd

A parrot in distilling refers to a piece of equipment that is commonly used by distillers to measure the gravity or proof of their distillate during the distillation process. It is essentially a device that allows for continuous monitoring of the alcohol content as the distillate is collected.

The parrot is typically positioned inline with the distillation outlet, such that the drops of distillate fall directly into a collection cone attached to the parrot. This cone is usually the tallest part of the parrot, allowing for easy observation and measurement of the distillate.

One of the main purposes of using a parrot is to obtain real-time information about the alcohol content of the distillate. This is important for distillers to monitor the progress of their distillation run and make necessary adjustments if needed. By knowing the alcohol gravity, they can determine when to make cuts or separate the heads, hearts, and tails of the distillate.

The parrot is usually equipped with an Alcometer, which is a specialized hydrometer designed specifically for measuring alcohol content. The Alcometer floats in the distillate within the collection cone and gives a reading that indicates the alcohol percentage or proof. Distillers can easily read and record these measurements as the distillation progresses.

Using a parrot can be particularly helpful for distillers who are running a pot still or reflux still, as it allows for continuous monitoring without interrupting the distillation process. This saves time and provides accurate and up-to-date information about the alcohol content of the distillate.

I remember when I first started distilling my own , I didn't have a parrot, and I relied solely on manual sampling and measurement using a hydrometer. This process was time-consuming and often required stopping the distillation run to take samples. It was also challenging to get accurate readings due to the varying temperatures of the samples.

However, once I invested in a parrot, it completely changed my distilling experience. I was able to see the alcohol gravity readings in real-time, which allowed me to make precise cuts and produce higher quality spirits. It made the entire distillation process more efficient and enjoyable.

A parrot in distilling is a valuable piece of equipment that enables continuous monitoring of alcohol gravity during a distillation run. It provides real-time information about the alcohol content of the distillate, allowing distillers to make informed decisions and produce high-quality spirits.