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Old 01-26-2012, 02:49 AM   #1
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Default Used 5 Gallon Whiskey Barrels

These are back in stock at Adventures in Homebrewing...
http://www.homebrewfinds.com/2011/12/used-5-gallon-whiskey-barrels-limited.html

These sold out very quickly last time. It's my understanding they have a very limited quantity in stock now.



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Old 01-26-2012, 03:01 AM   #2
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$50 shipping for me. Too buku.



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Old 02-15-2012, 03:36 PM   #3
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For those looking... We have 5 Gallon Used Blue Corn Whiskey Barrels here http://www.homebrewing.com/equipment/whiskey-barrel.php

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Old 03-20-2012, 02:49 PM   #4
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I purchased one of AHB barrels over the weekend $89+$22 shipping. Should arrive this week! I believe they are all sold out now for the new few months but you can get on their email list.

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Old 07-12-2012, 07:05 PM   #5
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I recently purchased one of these from that site. Since they are used, does anyone know how much care I need to put in before I drop my Stout in there? Should I fill it with water to check for leaks, use campden, throw a handle of bourbon in there? So confused...

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Old 07-13-2012, 02:36 PM   #6
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I was also confused. I can tell you what I did with mine. It came in really good condition and you can see where Balcones (the distillary) last had a batch of their blue corn bourbon in there so if it's only been a few months that's pretty fresh in my book. About 1 week before I my brew was ready to go in I started soaking the outside of the barrel with the bung sealed every day with water from my hose. Since these barrels are should be in good condition you are just want to swell the wood to make sure there are no leaks. You do this on the outside so you don't loose all of that great bourbon flavor in the barrel. When it's time to fill just transfer from your fermenter directly in. I have read posts about performing a cleaning on the inside (use boiling water, campden tablets, etc...) but since this barrel was fresh and I didn't want to loose those flavors I opted to skip that. I would smell the inside and do a quick inspection before though. Use a flashlight. After you fill the barrel preferrably to the top (mine came up about 1 1/2" short, I would then replace the bung with a airlock. If you use the bung instead just check it after a few days because mine built up alot of pressure in those first few and I had to release it. After a few days you could probably replace with the bung. I would take a small sample every week. My 15% imperial stout was in it for about 5 weeks and has very strong bourbon flavor and aroma, oak is probably hidding there and won't come out for another 6-12 months. If you have a lighter beer and less gravity your probably looking at 2-3 weeks in the barrel but again sample often. You can of course reuse the barrel. I will probably perform a cleaning before my next batch (barleywine) goes in it. I took photoes of the whole process and will post it soon but this should get you started. Enjoy and let me know how it turns out.

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Old 07-13-2012, 11:00 PM   #7
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Love to see the photos, strongarm.

I got one from Balcones from a local HBS. I am just over in New Orleans, so it was only a day or to ship, but mine was ready to go. These seem to be coming right off the line. Nice and tight from the outset. I did not do any exterior soaking and had no leaking at all. Sadly, well drained of whiskey, but a nice aroma. This really is a great opportunity to get in on a quality, manageable sized barrel.

I got a solid 4 gallons of "imperial mild" 1074 OG in mine with enough head space for an airlock. I've been sampling once a week and waiting for the flavor to hit a nice high. Bourbon came out quickly, but I am now getting some oak notes. Rolling onto four weeks, and this might be time. Every beer is different.

I am planning on hitting it with a bit of cheap bourbon between batches, and expecting a longer sit, but more oak on the 2nd batch.

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Old 07-14-2012, 05:18 AM   #8
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I have used oak chips many times with great results, and have been researching getting a 5 gallon barrel like this to try. I was wondering how many times it would be possible to use an actual barrel like this until it no longer imparts any flavors? I'm would assume after a couple of batches the bourbon flavor would subside, but how long until it stops giving off any noticeable oak flavors? Would it be possible to get 5 or 6 batches out of it?

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Old 07-14-2012, 10:39 PM   #9
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I have heard you can reuse 4 times roughly.

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Old 07-15-2012, 01:00 AM   #10
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I recently purchased a Balcones 5 gal. barrel that had been freshly dumped. I made a quick inspection of the inside then put the bung back in and like many of you wasn't really sure what to do with it next. I talked to a local pro brewer who said if it was dumped recently enough (a couple weeks +-) just put beer in it. Since mine will be sitting for at least 4 more weeks he said I could put either straight whiskey in it, a 50/50 mix with distilled water or straight distilled water. I opted for a 1.75L of Jim Beam from Costco so as not to dilute the "whikeyness" of the barrel. I had no leaking in any of the seams but found there was a tiny knot, dead center in the bottom, that leaked quite a bit - I was super bummed. I put a plate under it to catch the drippings and returned the leaking material back in after a few hours. Once it sat overnight the leaking was almost stopped and now, 2 days later its swelled up and leak free. I just pick it up and slosh it around when I think about it and sometimes turn it sideways to keep the inside nice and wet. Once I'm ready to fill with beer I'll put the whiskey back in the bottle and use it again for the same purpose later. No need for any other form of sanitizing. Hope this helps some of you out there wondering what to do with your barrels.



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