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Old 03-17-2012, 05:09 AM   #1
strongarm
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Default Bourbon barrel storage questions

So I just purchased a 5g bourbon barrel and my imperial stout won't be ready for 5 weeks. I was told to add 5g o water and 5 Camden tabs for storage. Won't I lose the bourbon flavor if I do that? Any recommendations for storing this barrel?

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Old 03-17-2012, 12:21 PM   #2
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I don't have any experience with bourbon barrels, but if it were me I wouldn't fill it with ANYTHING except my beer. I agree the water and cambden tablets MIGHT leech out the flavor so why take the chance? Try posting on the wine forum since those guys probably have more barrel experience.

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Old 03-17-2012, 12:35 PM   #3
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You need to keep your barrel full of something or it'll lose its water-tightness. Is it a new barrel or used? New barrels have a harsh flavor you want to get rid of anyway. Generally a low-quality spirit is the first one into a fresh barrel.

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Old 03-17-2012, 02:14 PM   #4
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The barrel is used. Freshly dumped bourbon barrel. Sounds like I really need to just get some beer in there. Is there any sanitizing I need to perform first...it should be fairly clean since its fresh.

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Old 03-17-2012, 04:16 PM   #5
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1 tbsp citric acid, 1-2 tbsp kmeta, 1 gallon water is a good solution to keep in the barrel if it's not full of alcohol. That's also a common sanitizer in wine making, and can be used to sanitize the barrel before use too.

Bourbon isn't really strong enough to "kill" bacteria. You could probably get away with just putting beer in there, but I would sanitize first.

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Old 03-19-2012, 12:42 AM   #6
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My concern is loosing the bourbon flavor if I sanitize. Is that a valid concern or not really

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Old 03-23-2012, 07:46 PM   #7
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So I wanted to bump this because I still don't have an answer and barrel arrived today. My Imperial Stout won't be ready for 4 weeks. If I fill it with water and let it sit its going to pull alot of the oak and bourbon flavor out of the barrel, I think. What can I do?

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Old 03-23-2012, 08:01 PM   #8
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Pour a handle of bourbon in it. Rotate the barrel a couple of times per week.

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Old 03-23-2012, 09:43 PM   #9
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So I queried my local brewery who does barrel aged beers often. He recommended standing the barrel on end 1 week prior to wanting to fill it and soak the outside. This swells the wood but dosn't get the water in the barrel to wash out the flavors. I can't believe I never thought of that, such a simple concept.

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Old 11-10-2012, 02:43 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by strongarm View Post
So I queried my local brewery who does barrel aged beers often. He recommended standing the barrel on end 1 week prior to wanting to fill it and soak the outside. This swells the wood but dosn't get the water in the barrel to wash out the flavors. I can't believe I never thought of that, such a simple concept.
I am looking into purchasing a bourbon barrel and was curious how this process worked? Did standing it up and soaking the outside keep it moist enough? Also, how did first batch in the barrel turn out?
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