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Oak barel / brewers's pitch - how to?

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mickeypower

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Does anyone have any experience applying "brewer's pitch" to an oak barrel?

I'm trying to fix a persistent leak, not cover the whole inner barrel (because I want to keep most of the flavour-imparting oak exposed). The leak is at the join between one of base plates and a couple of the vertical slats. It has been seakign for months, and still leaks.

Obviously I only have the bung holes through which to pour the molten pitch... I was thinking of then trying to swill it around the base. Will this work? Or does it solidify to quickly to achieve this?
 

wizardofza

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Doesn't the current issue of BYO talk about oak barrels? I thought they even had an article on how to fix leaks.

I might be wrong. I'm at work and don't have the magazine in front of me.
 
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mickeypower

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wizardofza said:
Doesn't the current issue of BYO talk about oak barrels? I thought they even had an article on how to fix leaks.
Interesting. I'm not a subscriber, and am in the UK - not sure how available BYO is here... :(
 

Brewtopia

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I have the issue and don't see anything about repairing leaks. The only reference that I can find in that respect is after intitially swelling the barrel they say...

From Jan/Feb 2008 BYO
If there is still leakage, refill barrel and repeat until leakage stops. If leakage does not stop after four or five days, the barrel is defective and should be returned to your supplier.
 
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mickeypower

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Hmm. Not an option - barrel was a hand-me-down from an aged aunt!
 

brewhead

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mickeypower said:
Does anyone have any experience applying "brewer's pitch" to an oak barrel?

I'm trying to fix a persistent leak, not cover the whole inner barrel (because I want to keep most of the flavour-imparting oak exposed). The leak is at the join between one of base plates and a couple of the vertical slats. It has been seakign for months, and still leaks.

Obviously I only have the bung holes through which to pour the molten pitch... I was thinking of then trying to swill it around the base. Will this work? Or does it solidify to quickly to achieve this?
not direct experience but similar - we waxed the outside of an oak barrel with canning wax and a blow torch worked out well. we chose this method becasue putting a sealant inside the barrel seemed to us would take away the wood contact we were looking for in the first place.
 

kallen

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not direct experience but similar - we waxed the outside of an oak barrel with canning wax and a blow torch worked out well. we chose this method becasue putting a sealant inside the barrel seemed to us would take away the wood contact we were looking for in the first place.

How did this hold up? I have a pin hole in the side of my new barrel, and since I am not a cooper, I probably won't be able to create a wedge and fix it "professionally".
 
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