Secondary in a real whiskey barrel? - Home Brew Forums
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Old 04-03-2012, 11:38 AM   #1
mavrick1903
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Ny one done this? I was thinking it would be 30gal, I've also heard 44gal. I've got a friend who can put me in touch with one. Thinking I'd need a bung (don't know that it would come with one). What else do I need to consider? My "brew team" and I would spend a day brewing to fill it. Pressure test (and how to do so)? Other concerns? It would be still "wet" upon arrival to me.

Help?



 
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Old 04-03-2012, 04:50 PM   #2
Nateo
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Barrels are a giant pain-in-the-youknowwhat. Pressure won't be an issue, because primary fermentation will be over. Winemakers usually sulfite their barrels before use. Whiskey is strong enough to inhibit bugs, but barrels are usually stored in a damp room, so you might have bugs in the wood that could come out once there is a low-alcohol beverage in there.

I can't really think of any advantages a barrel has over any other vessel.


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Old 04-04-2012, 03:30 AM   #3
mavrick1903
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I had presumed it was the best way to infuse that "bourbon barreled goodness". Is this incorrect?

 
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Old 04-04-2012, 11:57 AM   #4
bja
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mavrick1903 View Post
I had presumed it was the best way to infuse that "bourbon barreled goodness". Is this incorrect?
There's a reason distillers get rid of these barrels. Usually they've outlived their usefulness.
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Old 04-04-2012, 12:06 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bja

There's a reason distillers get rid of these barrels. Usually they've outlived their usefulness.
Bourbon makers must use new charred barrels to be called bourbon. They have no use for then after the first use because they can't get anymore bourbon out of them.
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Old 04-04-2012, 03:06 PM   #6
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Bourbon makers are required by law to use new American oak barrels. Winemakers (that other big industry that uses barrels) aren't required to use any particular barrels. Many winemakers use plastic or stainless tanks, and use oak cubes, chips, and spirals to provide the proper amount of oak character.

If you calculate the surface area to volume ratio, barrels have very little oak in contact with your beer. If you soak oak cubes in bourbon, then add the cubes, you'll get greater and faster extraction of "bourbon barrel" flavors, and the flavors can be more finely tuned.

Barrels require proper temp and humidity to keep them watertight. They're hard to sanitize, they're really heavy, and just generally harder to deal with than a carboy.
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Old 04-04-2012, 03:12 PM   #7
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I did a whiskey barrel IPA a couple of monthe ago, it turned out awesome. I got a 5 gallon barrel, it had a bung in it (I replaced with a rubber stopper and airlock after filling).

It was empty, I filled it with warm water to seal, took a few hours. I then added a small amount of oxy clean and filled again for just a few hours, drained, rinsed and filled with beer that afternoon.

 
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Old 04-19-2012, 01:58 PM   #8
mavrick1903
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wildwest450 View Post
I did a whiskey barrel IPA a couple of monthe ago, it turned out awesome. I got a 5 gallon barrel, it had a bung in it (I replaced with a rubber stopper and airlock after filling).

It was empty, I filled it with warm water to seal, took a few hours. I then added a small amount of oxy clean and filled again for just a few hours, drained, rinsed and filled with beer that afternoon.
Was the 5 gallon worth the effort? I'm thinking that the full size barrel will be too much a PITA to screw with.



 
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