How to Make a Copper Proofing Parrot

How to Make a Copper Proofing Parrot

Hey, how’s it going? This is Kyle Brown with
Clawhammer Supply — makers of premium copper moonshine stills and distillation equipment.
Today I’m going to show you how to put together our new parrot kit. So, step 1, clean all the parts with a wire
brush and some sandpaper. Uhh, sandpaper will actually do. Just clean the end of the pipes
and the inside of the fittings and you’re good to go. While you’re watching me do this I’m going
to explain for those of you who do not know what a parrot is, what it does. Parrots allow
you to measure the proof of alcohol as it is coming out of your still real-time. Alcohol
will drip out of your copper moonshine still into the collection vessel on the parrot and
then down up around the hydrometer (which you’ll drop down into the parrot) and then
out and into your collection vessel (for example a mason jar). In the process you will be able
to measure the proof. So, tip number one here, always make sure
you’re using water soluble flux. Step number one, actually, step number 2 here solder the
large reducer “t” fitting onto the end of the 1 inch pipe. Uh, the fitting should be
flush with or slightly inset from the end of the pipe. It doesn’t…it’s not too critical
exactly where you get that thing. Just get it, get the end of that fitting nearly flush
with the end of the pipe. So, I’m using some lead free solder here.
Make sure you’re using lead free solder. You’ll notice that as I’m soldering these joints,
what I do is I will add heat to the joints, I tap the um joint with my solder, and as
soon as that solder starts to melt, I pull the heat away. At that point, once the solder
is melting you generally don’t need to add any more heat. What, what adding more heat
at that point will actually do is um start to cause some soot to build up on that joint
and at that point you’re going to have a difficult time getting the solder to flow into that
joint and stick. So, as soon as the solder starts to melt (you’ll see me do it again
here) pull the heat away. I also like to heat the bottom of these joints
and tap the solder, uh, let the solder flow down from the top. That’s generally how most
people sweat uh pipe joints and um, it works pretty well.
So what I’ve done is I’ve here is I’ve um added a 1 inch to ½ inch reducer coupling
on the bottom of that 1 inch pipe a little ½ inch connector, a ½ by ½ by ½ inch “T”,
another little ½ inch male connector, and then the end cap on the end there. Notice the ½ by ½ by ½ “T”, the small “T”,
the middle port on that is facing the opposite from the middle port, port on the large reducer
“T” on the other end of the parrot there. Make sure you install the parts that way. Alright, next step here after you get those
joints soldered together is to add your 90 degree street and then add the large, the
longest actually, the longest ½” pipe to that 90 degree elbow and then you’ll take
the smaller ½ inch pipe that comes with the kit and use that to prop that uh, ½ inch
piece of pipe (the longer piece of ½ inch pipe) up so it is parallel with the 1 inch
piece of pipe. And you’ll see I’m kind of just making some last minute adjustments there
to make sure that is all lined up properly. So I’m soldering the 90 degree street here
into the ½ by ½ by ½ “T”. I’m also soldering that longer piece of ½ inch pipe into the
other end of the 90 uh degree street elbow. What I like to do is sort of uh wipe these
joints off after I’m done, after they’ve had a chance to cool a little bit. As I’m going,
it just makes the final cleanup a bit easier. Speaking of the final cleanup, you’ll see
the final product at the end of this video. But, um, what I will do is I’ll take some
um, I don’t know, 100 grit sandpaper, 100 grit, yeah, 100 grit works pretty well, I’d
say, and I’ll just kind of rough the whole thing up. I like to put a nice little matte
finish on there. I mean you can take the time to polish it all up and make it all bright
and shiny so you can see your reflection in it, um, but uh, I’ll tell you what, unless
you keep up with that routine it’s going to get, it’d going to get sort of dirty and faded
in the end anyway. So, I don’t take a whole lot of time to do it, but I definitely will,
ill kind of sand it up and sand all the grit off there once I’m done, at the very least. So, the last couple of steps here, um, I’m
soldering, let’s see, well I didn’t talk about soldering that big uh, the cup, the um half
to inch and a half cup on there, and then I’m soldering the last couple of fittings
on there. What you end up with when you’re all done
with this thing is a nice, bright, shiny, copper parrot. It looks great, it works really
well, um we’re really proud of this new product we have for you here. So, make sure to visit
our website for our parrot kits, and our moonshine stills, and much, much more at
Thanks for watching, see ya.


  1. Good stuff guys. Shows what you can do with a few common supplies from the hardware store. Keep the video's coming. We all can always learn something from one another, or maybe just a new twist on something old.

  2. And here I was about to send Kyle an email asking if this parrot was an overflow and catch design so the proof and trale meter could be easily read.  Nice work Kyle.  You're making some great gear.

  3. Do yourself a favor!, assemble in the order Kyle has done it.  I'm a handyman carpenter and have done random small sweating projects, another involving reducers and such.  I thought I was smart and assembled the whole thing thinking I was a wisenheimer.  Nope.  I got the first couple joints soldered all around the "T" and came to the large pipe… ended up desoldering all the other joints.  I felt like a newb… And all the heat destroys the flux on future joints and leaves nasty unsolder-able joints.  I had to take apart some of the joints, clean them up and start over.  Yeah…  Wish I had watched this video first. lol

  4. Is that built correctly? I built my parrot to where the large pipe where the alcoholometer floats is above the lip of the top catch cup and runoff stem. Makes reading the proof 10X easier and more accurate than it being recessed down in the cup. In that build you will be reading the proof at the drain stem port and viewing at a 45º angle.

  5. Is the pipe cap at the bottom of the T fitting just for mounting to the board or does it serve some other purpose? I'm just wondering why you wouldn't use a 90° fitting.

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