Barrel Aging

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Mattyc88

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Hey, I know head-space is typically a bad thing when talking about secondaries. Is this still the case with barrels?

Ex: If I was to buy a used 8 gallon bourbon barrel to age 5 gallon batches, would that be okay?

Also - anyone who has done this... how long do you find you need to leave the beer in the barrel to really pick up some in the taste?
 

helibrewer

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You want to fill the barrel completely so you might consider scaling your recipe to 4 gallons and making a double batch. You could do (2) 5 gallon batches which would leave you plenty for transfer loses but you would probably end up losing about a gallon of beer...which you could airlock in a 1 gallon jug and blend back in during bottling.
 
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