Author Topic: 5 gallon Balcones Distillery Barrel  (Read 6141 times)

Offline snowtiger87

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5 gallon Balcones Distillery Barrel
« on: February 29, 2012, 12:00:01 PM »
I got one. ;D At least it should be on the way. Whiskey freshly pulled out. My only dilema is that I am still in Afghanistan and the barrel will be at my house in a week or so.

I have a beer at home that can go in it (Wheat Wine, OG 1.103 or so) and I think I can get a friend to come over and rack it in.

How long do I dare wait to fill up the newly drained barrel? How long to you think would be good to let the Wheat Wine age in it? I won't be able to taste test until I get home in June. Do you think 3 months will be too long?

I don't really want it filled up with water to begin with for fear of loosing all that whiskey flavor goodness. What have people's experiences been with the first round of these barrels?

Your responses are appreciated. Thanks.
« Last Edit: February 29, 2012, 12:30:01 PM by snowtiger87 »
Brewing since 1989 - BJCP National Rank

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Conditioning: Belgian Tripel, Barrel Aged Baltic Porter - in sherry barrel, Belgain Easter Ale
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Offline tschmidlin

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Re: 5 gallon Balcones Distillery Barrel
« Reply #1 on: February 29, 2012, 12:17:25 PM »
I would not leave the beer in there for 3 months, I think it will be way over done.  I would have someone put it in a spare shower and occasionally spray it with water (on end, you can fill the head with water and it will soak better/longer).  Let it sit like that until you get back, then fill it yourself and start tasting it after 3 days or so.

Make sure they don't leave it sitting in water and make sure the outside doesn't get moldy.  If there is no spare shower, just spray it down weekly for 10 minutes or so and let it sit for a couple of hours it should stay fresh enough.  As long as they leave it sealed and don't put any water in it you have no worries about anything growing inside.
Tom Schmidlin

Offline Mark G

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Re: 5 gallon Balcones Distillery Barrel
« Reply #2 on: February 29, 2012, 01:25:16 PM »
You could also dump a half gallon of whiskey in there and roll it around once in a while to keep all sides from drying out. I did that for a few months with a barrel with no ill effects. And to echo what Tom said, having your beer in there for 3 months would be way too long with such a small barrel. I did a barleywine recently where I kept it in there for 3 weeks and that was almost too much wood character. Subsequent fills will take longer to impart the barrel character.
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Online morticaixavier

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Re: 5 gallon Balcones Distillery Barrel
« Reply #3 on: February 29, 2012, 01:41:53 PM »
These balcones barrels have been used more than once so the wood character does not impart quite so quickly. the first beer I put in mine was in there for 6 weeks and it was perfect. I have had a wheatwine in there now for about a month and will be pulling it out in a couple weeks so I will be able to give a note on second filling results then. for storage I did what tom described and it seems to work fine. after I pulled the first batch out I poured a fifth of rum in mine and let it sit for a couple months before refilling it and that seemed fine as well.
"Creativity is the residue of wasted time" - A. Einstein

Jonathan I Fuller

Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: 5 gallon Balcones Distillery Barrel
« Reply #4 on: February 29, 2012, 03:48:19 PM »
I can't give you any advice, but I will tell you I'm jealous.

For whatever reason, I've never gotten a response from these guys.

I only tried twice.  Maybe the third time is the charm...

I even tried to get a LHBS to put together a larger order so I could get their attention.  The LHBS did not follow up like I had hoped, but I suppose they have a business to run.
It's all in the reflexes. - Jack Burton

Online morticaixavier

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Re: 5 gallon Balcones Distillery Barrel
« Reply #5 on: February 29, 2012, 10:33:27 PM »
I can't give you any advice, but I will tell you I'm jealous.

For whatever reason, I've never gotten a response from these guys.

I only tried twice.  Maybe the third time is the charm...

I even tried to get a LHBS to put together a larger order so I could get their attention.  The LHBS did not follow up like I had hoped, but I suppose they have a business to run.

you could keep trying. they are a small operation and seem like they are pretty busy pretty much of the time. But Chip, at any rate is really into getting these barrels in the hands of homebrewers.
"Creativity is the residue of wasted time" - A. Einstein

Jonathan I Fuller

Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: 5 gallon Balcones Distillery Barrel
« Reply #6 on: March 01, 2012, 08:26:51 AM »
I'll give it another shot.

Love me some bourbon barrel stout, porter, or whatever.
It's all in the reflexes. - Jack Burton

Offline snowtiger87

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Re: 5 gallon Balcones Distillery Barrel
« Reply #7 on: March 01, 2012, 10:35:04 AM »
Thanks for the advice. Good stuff.

I bought mine from Jason at Adventures in Homebrewing (Jason@homebrewing.org). After the last batch sold out I e-mailed him and he put me on the waiting list for this batch.
Brewing since 1989 - BJCP National Rank

Fermenting: McChouffe clone, Samiclaus clone
Conditioning: Belgian Tripel, Barrel Aged Baltic Porter - in sherry barrel, Belgain Easter Ale
On tap: CAP, Dortmunder Export, IIPA, Dubbel Chocolate Stout, Wee Heavy, Whiskey barrel aged Wee Heavy, Baltic Porter
Newly Bottled:

Offline hoser

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Re: 5 gallon Balcones Distillery Barrel
« Reply #8 on: March 01, 2012, 10:41:37 AM »
I can't give you any advice, but I will tell you I'm jealous.

For whatever reason, I've never gotten a response from these guys.

I only tried twice.  Maybe the third time is the charm...

I even tried to get a LHBS to put together a larger order so I could get their attention.  The LHBS did not follow up like I had hoped, but I suppose they have a business to run.

I am in contact with Chip right now.  Kind of odd you have not heard back from him. I always get fairly quick replies.  Seems to be a great guy.  At the momement I am organizing a group buy for the 3 homebrew clubs in Omaha and my local homebrew club in Lincoln.  Talk about organizational skills!  They sell by the pallet so you need 26 of your closest friends to order a barrel, 27 barrels/pallet.  I know they are pulling 4 pallets at the moment and I believe our Nebraska club buy is next up with 3 pallets according to Jared at Balcones.  They said it would be a couple of months to pull our 3 barrel pallets based on turnover time.


« Last Edit: March 01, 2012, 10:44:02 AM by hoser »

Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: 5 gallon Balcones Distillery Barrel
« Reply #9 on: March 01, 2012, 10:44:48 AM »
Thanks for the advice. Good stuff.

I bought mine from Jason at Adventures in Homebrewing (Jason@homebrewing.org). After the last batch sold out I e-mailed him and he put me on the waiting list for this batch.

First pallet sold out quickly.  I know they are looking to get more.  Beers aged in those barrels tasted good.  Members from several local clubs went in on the order with Adventures.
Jeff Rankert
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Home-brewing, not just a hobby, it is a lifestyle!

Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: 5 gallon Balcones Distillery Barrel
« Reply #10 on: March 01, 2012, 02:14:31 PM »
Ann Arbor is a bit of a haul for me.  If shipping from there to Chicago wouldn't be too bad, I might could do it.
It's all in the reflexes. - Jack Burton

Offline Mark G

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Re: 5 gallon Balcones Distillery Barrel
« Reply #11 on: March 01, 2012, 02:53:39 PM »
Joe... Check out Farmhouse Brewing Supply. They're in Janesville, WI and get barrels from Sugar Hill Distillery in Madison. I don't think they list the barrels on their website, but try contacting the owner John. He typically gets rum and whiskey barrels every few weeks. I can dig up his email address if you'd like. Shipping to the NW burbs was very reasonable IIRC.

Edit... He can be reached at farmhousebrewingsupply@gmail.com
« Last Edit: March 01, 2012, 03:14:52 PM by Mark G »
Mark Gres

Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: 5 gallon Balcones Distillery Barrel
« Reply #12 on: March 01, 2012, 03:05:28 PM »
Sounds good.  I'll do that.  Thank you.

Janesville isn't too bad, if I had to drive.
It's all in the reflexes. - Jack Burton