How to Sanitize a Whiskey Barrel? - Home Brew Forums

Register Now!
Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Equipment/Sanitation > How to Sanitize a Whiskey Barrel?

Thread Tools
Old 03-25-2010, 09:14 PM   #1
Feb 2010
Clinton, IA
Posts: 203
Liked 2 Times on 2 Posts

Planning on using a freshly used whiskey barrel this summer as a secondary for a huge batch of beer. Just curious if anyone here has done this and what method they used for sanitation without compromising the Whiskey flavor.

Reply With Quote
Old 03-25-2010, 09:18 PM   #2
GilaMinumBeer's Avatar
Jan 2008
Posts: 58,819
Liked 7542 Times on 6173 Posts

Don't they use some kind of sulfur compound? IIRC, they burn sulfur inside the barrel.

Reply With Quote
Old 03-25-2010, 09:23 PM   #3
May 2008
Springfield, MA
Posts: 1,329
Liked 6 Times on 6 Posts

Barrels are usually sanitized by burning sulfur sticks.

Sulfur Stick
"Just remember Scooty Puff Jr. sucks!"....Philip J. Fry

Reason: added link

Reply With Quote
Old 03-25-2010, 09:40 PM   #4
Jan 2009
Posts: 4,998
Liked 70 Times on 63 Posts

Burning a sulfur stick in a freshly emptied whiskey barrel is very dangerous. The danger is that the alcohol remaining in the barrel can and probably will explode. This happened to someone I know. He got a fairly severe burn as a result. Don't do it.

There's no need to sanitize a fresh whiskey barrel IMO. That barrel contained some very high proof whiskey. The alcohol content of the whiskey should be more than enough to take care of any potential contamination issues. I've been involved in a number of bourbon barrel beer projects and we have never sanitized the barrels prior to filling with beer.

Reply With Quote
Old 03-25-2010, 10:31 PM   #5
malkore's Avatar
Jun 2007
Posts: 6,922
Liked 37 Times on 35 Posts

you should be able to follow the rules for oak barrel use. i believe a solution of k-meta is used.
Primary: English Mild
On tap: Pale Ale, Lancelot's Wheat, English Brown Ale, Steam Beer, HoovNuts IPA
Bottled: MOAM, Braggot, Raspberry Melomel, Merlot, Apfelwein, Pyment, Sweet mead, Cabernet
Gal in 2009: 27, Gal in 2010: 34, Gal in 2011: 13, Gal in 2012: 10

Reply With Quote
Old 03-26-2010, 04:22 PM   #6
bendavanza's Avatar
Aug 2008
Oak CLiff, TX
Posts: 2,218
Liked 19 Times on 17 Posts

I keep high proof whiskey in mine for sanitation. I swirl it around every coulpe days.
My brew tree
My RIMS toolbox

Reply With Quote
Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Whiskey Barrel Filled Brewmoor Home Brewing Photo Forum 19 06-09-2012 10:27 PM
Whiskey Barrel Funk: Now what? jkpq45 Equipment/Sanitation 7 11-24-2009 11:19 PM
Used Whiskey Barrel Question curbdawg Cider Forum 2 09-24-2009 02:29 PM
Whiskey Barrel Taste HarrisonHomeBrew General Techniques 2 06-12-2007 02:39 PM
Got me a Whiskey Barrel jaymack Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 9 03-21-2006 09:07 AM

Forum Jump