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Old 04-06-2011, 01:19 AM   #1
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Default Preserving bourbon barrel

We took a trip down to Tennessee last week and toured the Jack Daniels plant. It was very interesting and totally free. If your in the area I highly recommend it.

We then went into town and visited the old Hardware that markets the used barrels. I bought a freshly emptied / not enhanced barrel for $85. I was wondering if any of you has used wooden barrels from year to year and if you did anything special to preserve them. I know they need to remain moist on inside, not sure of the best way to maintain the moisture til next fall.

Interesting fact: New barrel weighs 85#, freshly drained barrel weighs on avg 144#. There is nearly 60# of Jack waiting to infuse into my cider!

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Old 04-06-2011, 01:31 AM   #2
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Jealous.

Can't help you buddy, but still jealous.

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Old 04-06-2011, 02:02 AM   #3
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Jack Daniels is NOT bourbon!

Other than that, I think you're on the right track by keeping the barrel wet. Either keep a batch in it all the time (if you can) or if not, be sure to keep the inside of the barrel moist/wet. Maybe even keep the barrel full of water if it's not full of something else.

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Old 04-06-2011, 02:12 AM   #4
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My Bad.......JD is defenitely WHISKEY.

I hesitate to fill with water for fear of diluting the taste.

I can't get fresh pressed cider until next fall.

My theory is to pour a fifth in and rotate on occasion. I even considered covering with a large trash bag to prevent evaporation. It has a tight bung so really I should just to contain what might evaporate through the wood.

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Old 04-06-2011, 02:22 AM   #5
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True--JD is certainly whiskey.

Also true that filling with water might dilute the flavor. I guess I hadn't thought of that. If a fifth or two keeps the interior wood moist and keeping the bung in prevents evaporation then I guess you'd be okay.

But I've never used a barrel...so don't put a whole lot of stock in my opinion.

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Old 04-06-2011, 02:25 AM   #6
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I have never used one, but THIS podcast from Basic Brewing Radio has great info on that subject.

Quote:
05-10-07 Basic Brewing Radio - Aging with Oak
Thursday, May 10, 2007 4:30 PM
Dan Carey, Brewmaster of New Glarus Brewing Company in New Glarus, Wisconsin, shares his tips on aging beer in oak chips and in oak barrels.

Click to Listen-mp3
IIRC he goes into great detail about how to reconsititute, sanitize and maintain them.
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Old 04-06-2011, 02:27 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Benthic View Post
Jack Daniels is NOT bourbon!
Brian
Its not?

"Jack Daniel's is a brand of sour mash Tennessee whiskey that is among the world's best-selling liquors and is known for its square bottles and black label. Although the product generally meets the regulatory criteria for classification as a straight bourbon, the company disavows this classification and markets it simply as Tennessee whiskey rather than as Tennessee bourbon"

"Bourbon is a type of American whiskey – a barrel-aged distilled spirit made primarily from corn. The name of the spirit derives from its historical association with an area known as Old Bourbon, around what is now Bourbon County, Kentucky (which, in turn, was named after the French House of Bourbon royal family). It has been produced since the 18th century. While it may be made anywhere in the United States, it is strongly associated with Kentucky.

Whiskey sold as Tennessee whiskey is also defined as Bourbon under NAFTA and is required to meet the legal definition of Bourbon under Canadian law, but some makers of Tennessee whiskey do not label their product as Bourbon and insist that it is a different type of whiskey when marketing their product."
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Old 04-06-2011, 02:48 AM   #8
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The way barrels are usually stored is with a sanitising solution of metabisulfite and citric acid, I don't know how much they add. I don't think you have to fill the barrels completely.

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Old 04-06-2011, 03:26 AM   #9
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Thanks Revvy.........great link, very informative.

the metabisulfite and citric acid seems the way to go.

Dang 53 gallons is a lot of cider. I'm thinking of shooting for around 8-10% ABV and leave it in the barrel for a whole year. Put it in Wine bags (can't imagine bottling 53 gallons) then refill and start the following years batch.

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I have 8 carboys, 8 cornies, 5-1 gal jugs, 200 wine bottles, 10 cases of beer bottles and a nice assortment of flip tops....My goal is to keep them at least 50% occupied
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Old 04-06-2011, 09:23 AM   #10
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Damn I'm so jealous, 85$ for a 53 gallon barrel is the deal of a lifetime, and it's also infused with the best bourbon in the world.
I too also thought that Jack is bourbon since the only two types of whisky I know about are bourbon and scotch.

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