Welcome to the Straightbourbon.com Forums.
Results 1 to 9 of 9

Hybrid View

  1. #1

    Bourbon distillery "tester" tube

    I have a mystery to solve... we have something that looks like a bronze "tester" tube that came from the Old Crow Distillery. It's about 5' long and has slots on the side. I believe it probably went into barrels to extract samples for testing and/or tasting. The exterior of the tube rotates to close the tube and hold the product. Does anyone know what this thing is called and more about what it was used for? Thanks!

  2. #2
    Bourbonian of the Year 2010 and Guru
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Kentucky!
    Posts
    4,750

    Re: Bourbon distillery "tester" tube

    Sounds like on the the things they use to pull a sample of the grain when the truck arrives.
    2010 Bourbonian of the Year

    As long as you have good whiskey you're not "unemployed", you're "Funemployed!!!"

    I'm no Pappyophile

  3. #3

    Re: Bourbon distillery "tester" tube

    Thanks Barturtle... never thought about that. Does anyone know if it could also maybe be some kind of early hydrometer/alcoholmeter?

  4. #4
    Enthusiast
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Eastern MA
    Posts
    409

    Re: Bourbon distillery "tester" tube

    Definitely sounds like a grain thief. (like barturtle said)
    Does it look like the picture below?
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by MikeK; 02-26-2008 at 11:02.
    Mike

    "You're the best bourbon drinkers ever!" - Margo (waitress at Bourbon's Bistro in Louisville)

  5. #5

    Re: Bourbon distillery "tester" tube

    Hey Mike K: That's it!!! Thanks to you and Barturtle. We would like to include this instrument in a showroom that we've created that includes display boards about the history of bourbon making in Kentucky. Tell me anything and everything you may know about it... how was it used? Why is it called a grain "thief", etc. I will be forever grateful to you!

  6. #6
    Enthusiast
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Eastern MA
    Posts
    409

    Re: Bourbon distillery "tester" tube

    It is used in the area where grain shipments come in. When a truck of grain comes in, the distillery staff takes a sample to test. They look for moisture content, broken grain %, mold, odd smells, etc. If it doesn't meet their standards the whole truckload is rejected.

    The worker takes the grain thief and jams it down into the load of grain to take a 'core sample'. The head is swiveled to close the side openings and it is pulled back out.

    That sample of grain is taken into the testing lab and examined before the truck is unloaded.

    The much smaller tube that is used to take a sample of whiskey out of a barrel is also called a thief (spirit thief?), hence the similar purpose and naming.

    Cheers,
    Mike

    "You're the best bourbon drinkers ever!" - Margo (waitress at Bourbon's Bistro in Louisville)

  7. #7

    Re: Bourbon distillery "tester" tube

    I see... so what we have is not necessarily "historic", is it?
    Thanks again Mike.

  8. #8
    Enthusiast
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Eastern MA
    Posts
    409

    Re: Bourbon distillery "tester" tube

    No, I wouldn't call it historic. It is an important tool used in the production of whiskey and a wonderful piece of memorabilia. It would be a great item for a display about bourbon. I'd love to have one for my own collection. Very cool!!
    Mike

    "You're the best bourbon drinkers ever!" - Margo (waitress at Bourbon's Bistro in Louisville)

  9. #9

    Re: Bourbon distillery "tester" tube

    Great info. Thanks MikeK!

 

 

Similar Threads

  1. A Bourbon Drink for the "New Martini" Crowd
    By Bailey in forum Cocktails
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 01-06-2008, 05:34
  2. Replies: 117
    Last Post: 11-27-2007, 21:02
  3. Will bourbon "go bad" in my car in the heat?
    By MikeDS in forum General Bourbon Discussion
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: 07-13-2007, 19:13

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Back to top