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Old 02-08-2013, 01:49 PM   #1
Brewrifle
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Default Whiskey Barrel Aging

So I picked up a 5 gallon Balcones Blue Corn Whiskey barrel. I added some Rye whiskey to it and shook it around and then added my fully fermented Rye stout to it. I actually had the rye stout on 10psi of Co2 for about 5 days before transferring it to the barrel.

So my question is - how long do I let it sit in there to impart the vanilla, whiskey, and oaky flavors? I did a dry Irish stout about 6 months ago and used 2.5 ounces of wood chips soaked in Jack for a week and it came out way too tannic for my taste. I'm looking for that smooth flavor that I have seen with other breweries barrel aged stouts, but all I seem to get is the harsh oaky flavor.

I was going to open the barrel up and taste it after 3 days just to see, but wanted to know if anyone had any direct experience with these types of barrels and know ideal time-lines.

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Old 02-08-2013, 03:33 PM   #2
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that barrel will age faster than larger barrels due to the amount of surface area in contact with the beer, I used the same exact ones and one month was too much for the first beer in it. Taste at 2 weeks then decide from there.

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Old 02-08-2013, 10:05 PM   #3
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I have aged two beers, an 8% Porter and a 7.5% Red in a 10 gal whiskey barrel from a local small batch distiller. I kept it wet between the two with a bottle of Jim Beam Devil's Cut. Both sat for 30 days and they are both nice and smooth, Vanilla notes along with a nice mild bourbon flavor on the back end. The only issue I am having is getting them to carb properly. Bottles take forever and force carbing has left little head and more of a Casked level of carbonation. Not bad, just unusual to not ge the carb levels up. BTW I have done both recipes before without the barrel and they carbed perfectly.

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Old 02-10-2013, 01:59 AM   #4
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Start tasting after a few of days. If the barrel is relatively new, it can take a very short time to impart its flavors.

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Old 02-12-2013, 12:59 PM   #5
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I tried it after 4 days of it being at 38 degrees and there is little whiskey/barrel flavors being imparted so far so I'm going to let it go another 4-5 and then taste it again. I like the idea of aging it at a cooler temperature in order to control how much flavor is extracted a bit better.

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Old 02-12-2013, 09:44 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brewrifle View Post
I tried it after 4 days of it being at 38 degrees and there is little whiskey/barrel flavors being imparted so far so I'm going to let it go another 4-5 and then taste it again. I like the idea of aging it at a cooler temperature in order to control how much flavor is extracted a bit better.
Nice! Keep us posted. I just bought the same barrel and had the same question.

-Mike
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Old 02-12-2013, 09:46 PM   #7
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Same here. Imperial stout in it now for 5 weeks.

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....just add water.....

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Old 02-12-2013, 10:44 PM   #8
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Moving on to my second barrel. Following similar advice I keep a large bottle of cheap bourbon (Benchmark 8 and the angels seem to enjoy it) in it, and splash it around every few days. Before and after aging a beer I rinse it out with a little distilled water.

First beer was hit pretty quick with the Bourbon notes, and a bit of oak.
Second was Bourbon on the nose (very nice) and a full background of oak flavor.
Third was just a hint of Bourbon, with a nice low level oak in the background. After 4-5 weeks no more oak character seemed to be coming.

My best advice for aging is: taste, taste, taste. Once a week at least. The small volume really speeds up the effects.

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Old 02-13-2013, 11:32 AM   #9
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I'd love to see this thread continue. After 2 days of searching this forum I've noticed a lot of info on barrel aging, but very scattered around.

I will be receiving my barrel next week, but I will not be ready to use it for a month or so. Has anyone ever flushed their barrel with 180 degree water when they first got it? I'm kind of a freak when it comes to sanitation, so I figured this would be a good idea. Am I wrong?

-Mike

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Old 02-13-2013, 12:10 PM   #10
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I've got 5 gal barrel - was new


On my third batch in there

First batch went in about 2 weeks. Big hoppy ipa. Can't say I could really get the oak.

Next put in handle of Jim Beam. 3 weeks, drained an added spiced holiday ale. 2 months. Little oak, lot of bourbon. Love it or hate it beer. Sort of depends on your opinion of bourbon.

Did the 180 water sanitize overnight, drained and put handle of Jim Beam back in. 6 weeks later drained - seems like the angels like JB - also found the drained bourbon was diluted, and put in 5 gal of barley wine. Planning to let that go 8 months. Bottled 3 bombers of same for topping up angels share at 2, 4, and 6 months.

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