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Old 12-10-2012, 07:56 PM   #1
chip82
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Mar 2010
South Dakota
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I have the opportunity to buy a used whiskey barrel. I want to sour in it. How long can it sit dry before it is bad?

 
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Old 12-10-2012, 08:09 PM   #2
NateLTB
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Jan 2012
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I recently bought a eight gallon barrel and from what I've been able to find out the only time a barrel is bad is if it gets infected. If it leaks you can always fill it with warm water to swell the wood and get it to quit leaking. When I get a beer ready to transfer into mine I fill it halfway with warm water, roll it and swish it around and then dump the water. I continue with that process until I get clear water running out of it. I then fill it once with cold water and empty it before filling with beer. I currently have batch #3 in the barrel and have only tried the first beer I aged in there (a barleywine). So far so good.
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Old 12-10-2012, 11:14 PM   #3
Nightshade
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Apr 2012
Richland, WA
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Use em for smokers all the time and all you have to do is soak it with water for a couple days and it is good to go.

Like said as long as it isn't infected or moldy you should be fine, but not going to know absolutely until you use it so make the first test batch a small one so you don't cry as hard if it goes bad.
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Old 12-10-2012, 11:19 PM   #4
CadillacAndy
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Oct 2011
Pittsburgh, PA
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What size barrel, when was it emptied and how was it stored?
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Old 12-11-2012, 08:44 PM   #5
chip82
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Mar 2010
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It is a 55 gallon that has been empty for about 5 days.

 
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Old 12-11-2012, 08:49 PM   #6
krackin
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Nov 2012
, NH
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Fill it with cider while you think about it. No sense in wandering about completely unarmed.

 
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Old 12-11-2012, 10:09 PM   #7
CadillacAndy
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Oct 2011
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I'd try to get it filled as soon as possible. If you're going to let it sit DO NOT use a sulphur stick in it. It will explode. If anything, I'd fill it with water and citric acid. I used 3 cups citric acid for my 59 gallon barrel. The idea is to get the pH below 3 or so, so no bacteria or mold grow. Since it was freshly emptied and was a booze barrel, you have some time before that happens.

On a side note, you're probably going to want to get some of the booze and oak flavor out before you turn it in to a sour barrel. Have you thought about anything else to put in it first?
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Old 12-12-2012, 07:13 AM   #8
chip82
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Mar 2010
South Dakota
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Thinking about doing a Russian imperial stout or a barley wine

 
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Old 12-12-2012, 11:40 PM   #9
NateLTB
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Jan 2012
Seattle, Washington
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chip82 View Post
Thinking about doing a Russian imperial stout or a barley wine
Either one would be a great idea! I'm getting ready to brew a RIS to age in my barrel right now.
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