Homebrewers Association | AHA Forum

General Category => General Homebrew Discussion => Topic started by: ynotbrusum on May 08, 2013, 02:06:02 pm

Title: Storing an oak barrel
Post by: ynotbrusum on May 08, 2013, 02:06:02 pm
So a buddy bought one too many 5 gallon oak barrels and has talked me into buying one from him - I will have to brew something to put into it, but how does one store the thing in the interim?  Do I need to buy a handle of bourbon for storage purposes?  It is a once used bourbon barrel from some commercial distillery I am being told....any thoughts?
Title: Re: Storing an oak barrel
Post by: snowtiger87 on May 08, 2013, 03:24:17 pm
Get a beer in it as quickly as you can. A strong beer. Until then keep the hogsheads (ends) wet. I got a newly used one from a distillery and kept it a month this way before putting a beer in it. I actually kept mine in a spare shower and would water it for 5 minutes once a week. Then I would turn it over on the other end the next week and repeat. A kiddie pool and a water hose could accomplish the same thing.

After the first beer was done aging in the barrel I did wash it out with hot water before putting the 2nd beer in. The whiskey character was greatly diminished after the second beer so for subsequent batches I have continued to wash the barrel out with hot water, but then I pour a 5th of whatever spirit I want to get flavor from (I have used bourbon, rye whiskey, and dark rum - considering port next) and let that soak in for a few days before adding a beer. So far it has help up pretty well. No drying out and no sour flavors.
Title: Re: Storing an oak barrel
Post by: SecondRow_Sean on May 08, 2013, 04:09:05 pm
Take a look through here:

http://www.1000oaksbarrel.com/index.php/en/faqs

They're a barrel making company (cooper?) that pretty local to me that I just found out about. Some decent info on how to clean/store barrels. Hope it helps.
Title: Re: Storing an oak barrel
Post by: tomsawyer on May 08, 2013, 05:00:23 pm
It should be fine for a month or more.  Nothing will grow inside since it is saturated with whiskey at this point.  Just keep it sealed and in a cool dry place.  You could add a cup of water if you are worried about it drying out, but I doubt it would in a month.
Title: Re: Storing an oak barrel
Post by: Joe Sr. on May 09, 2013, 08:09:15 am
I have continued to wash the barrel out with hot water, but then I pour a 5th of whatever spirit I want to get flavor from (I have used bourbon, rye whiskey, and dark rum - considering port next) and let that soak in for a few days before adding a beer.

Do you pour out the spirits or just add the beer on top?

If you pour it out, how much absorbs into the barrel?