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Old 11-19-2012, 02:12 AM   #1
mrbeachroach
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Default Help! Should i use this used oak barrel?

About a year ago a customer of mine gave me a 5 gallon oak barrel that his dad used to make home brew. It smells like whiskey inside, in the summer a few small gnat like bugs were coming out the ends of it and the outside had some kinda mold on it. I got rid of the bugs filled it with water and it swelled, no leaks. I would like to use it but I'm afraid to ruin a batch. Is there a safe way to use this? It could be from the 80s or 90s. Is it worth it?



Any advise is appreciated

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Old 11-19-2012, 03:41 AM   #2
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I saw a very respectable brewery rinse their barrels with idophor, but I personally have zero experience. Please regard this post as a shot in the dark, and something I would do because I'm stupid. But if it were me, I would soak it in RO water for a while to saturate the wood, then Idophor for a while after that to sanitize. It might have termites or something, but after it soaks up the idophor (and then eventually the alcohol) I would suspect most bugs, whether microbiological or literal, would die off. I also wouldn't fill it with anything expensive for the first time using it, just in case.

Or wait for better advice, I'm essentially just bumping and subscribing to the thread, lol. Good luck, man.

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Old 11-19-2012, 03:58 AM   #3
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If it swells and holds water then it should be ok. Rinse with really hot water a few times then look for a product called barrolkleen(may be spelled differently). It is basically lye. You soak the barrel for a couple days then do a few more rinses. You probably won't have much oak flavor left after all that but you can hang a spiral in it for flavor and use the barrel for the micro oxygenation. Or just make sours

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Old 11-21-2012, 06:34 AM   #4
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no, after 5 uses the oak is toast

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Old 11-21-2012, 11:28 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Honda88
no, after 5 uses the oak is toast
It's true that the oak becomes neutral, but you'll still benefit from mico oxidation and evaporation.
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Old 11-21-2012, 01:29 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by novalou

It's true that the oak becomes neutral, but you'll still benefit from mico oxidation and evaporation.
A lot of wineries still use neutral barrels, that's why there are spirals and stave fans that you can but to put in the barrel. Use the barrel for the oxygen and drop some fresh oak in for flavors. Lets you get more life out of a very expensive barrel
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Old 11-21-2012, 01:50 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrbeachroach View Post
About a year ago a customer of mine gave me a 5 gallon oak barrel that his dad used to make home brew. It smells like whiskey inside, in the summer a few small gnat like bugs were coming out the ends of it and the outside had some kinda mold on it. I got rid of the bugs filled it with water and it swelled, no leaks. I would like to use it but I'm afraid to ruin a batch. Is there a safe way to use this? It could be from the 80s or 90s. Is it worth it?



Any advise is appreciated
Depends on where you are in TN. If it's anywhere close to me, I'd say it's no good for wine and you should find a homebrewer to pass it on to!
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Old 11-26-2012, 02:20 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TNGabe

Depends on where you are in TN. If it's anywhere close to me, I'd say it's no good for wine and you should find a homebrewer to pass it on to!
Cookeville, TN and I brew beer to
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Old 11-26-2012, 07:57 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrbeachroach

Cookeville, TN and I brew beer to
Guess I'm outta luck then!
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