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Old 09-20-2011, 12:44 PM   #1
CiderScot
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Default Bourbon barrel aging...

New participant here, have enjoyed what I have read so far!

I've been brewing cider for a little over a year now; mostly using organic apple juice, sugar or honey and either champagne yeast or liquid cider yeast, and have been getting great results.

After the fermentation is complete I usually rack and bottle it after adding a wee bit more yeast and some pure cane sugar for carbonation. I'm thinking of buying a 5 gallon bourbon barrel to age the cider in before I do that though.

My question is; has anyone done this before and, if so, do you have any advice?

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Old 09-20-2011, 04:51 PM   #2
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Yup.

1) if you do buy a barrell, make sure it's full - top off if neccessary. it'll prevent anything spoiling.

2) you could buy oak chips and soak them in bourbon for a few weeks, then add them to your carboy to flavour. it'll have the same effect and that way you're not limited to one type of bourbon, or spending a lot on something you won't potentially enjoy. you can also remove the chips when they're flavoured enough - plenty of people on here do it, it's good! just ideas, of course.

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Old 09-21-2011, 10:01 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by RobWalker
Yup.

1) if you do buy a barrell, make sure it's full - top off if neccessary. it'll prevent anything spoiling.

2) you could buy oak chips and soak them in bourbon for a few weeks, then add them to your carboy to flavour. it'll have the same effect and that way you're not limited to one type of bourbon, or spending a lot on something you won't potentially enjoy. you can also remove the chips when they're flavoured enough - plenty of people on here do it, it's good! just ideas, of course.
You mean make sure I fill it up with cider when I do use it, correct?

Actually, I have a connection for a 52 gallon one that I'm getting free. I don't know when I'll ever brew that much, but since it's free, I'm taking it. It'll probably end up being a table!

The one I'm thinking of using is a 5 gallon hobby barrel used exclusively for aging spirits, beers and ciders. I brew in 1 or 5 gallon batches so I should be able to fill it completely up with a 5 gallon batch. Thanks for the feedback, I may try the wood chip idea on a smaller batch.
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Old 09-21-2011, 11:01 AM   #4
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I used scotch soaked oak chips for my last cider. Turned out great. By far the best thing thats come out of any of my buckets

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Old 09-27-2011, 12:50 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by mikeysab
I used scotch soaked oak chips for my last cider. Turned out great. By far the best thing thats come out of any of my buckets
Interesting. Just ordered a 5 gallon bourbon barrel, but I may try this on a smaller 1 gallon batch.
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Old 09-27-2011, 06:40 PM   #6
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I used scotch soaked oak chips for my last cider.
Not since "yes I will marry you" have I heard a sentence so likely to make me cry...
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Old 09-27-2011, 07:21 PM   #7
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Yup, fill it up when you use it. Air space - air exposure - bad.

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Old 09-27-2011, 08:53 PM   #8
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Quote:
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Not since "yes I will marry you" have I heard a sentence so likely to make me cry...
I cried the day I finished my last one. Making it again real soon.
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Old 09-28-2011, 12:07 AM   #9
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I cried the day I finished my last one. Making it again real soon.
A good batch is like that, you never know if you'll get the exact same taste ever again!

I'm curious, what scotch did you use to soak the chips in?
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Old 09-28-2011, 12:32 AM   #10
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Yeah, I always get upset when I kick a batch of beer or cider, especially if its a real winner, which this was.

I used dewars. It was the only scotch my parents had on hand. The scotch soaked oak was for a batch of strong scotch ale, so I wanted to keep the scottish theme. I only did 2 gallons of cider on the scotch oak,but wish I did the full 5g. Cant wait to do this one again.

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