Author Topic: Shocked at Price! really?  (Read 1572 times)

Offline duboman

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Shocked at Price! really?
« on: February 01, 2014, 10:16:18 AM »
So we have a few new craft distillers that have popped up in the Chicago area of late and I started to inquire about used barrel availability to age some beers.........

I am specifically looking for the 20L or 5.28 US gal size since that's basically a batch size for me. The first location informed me that they only deal with the 55 gallon size and gave me the name of two other locations to try.

I heard back from one with my inquiry: $150.00 cash for a 20L barrel!!! Seriously? American Oak. When I verified the size at 20L I was kind of blown away and said no thanks I'll keep looking..........

Am I right or wrong that their price seems ridiculous?
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Offline Jeff M

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Re: Shocked at Price! really?
« Reply #1 on: February 01, 2014, 10:23:35 AM »
I think the problem is that it takes a cooper about the same amount of time to make a 5g or 55g barrel.  Ive seen prices for new 5g barrels range for about half as much as a 55g barrel.  Considering a 55g barrel takes about 5x as much material as a 5g barrel something is definitely out of sink. 

They may just gouge homebrewers, or they may reuse their barrels and add spirals or chips for new oak character.
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Offline duboman

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Re: Shocked at Price! really?
« Reply #2 on: February 01, 2014, 10:32:05 AM »
I think the problem is that it takes a cooper about the same amount of time to make a 5g or 55g barrel.  Ive seen prices for new 5g barrels range for about half as much as a 55g barrel.  Considering a 55g barrel takes about 5x as much material as a 5g barrel something is definitely out of sink. 

They may just gouge homebrewers, or they may reuse their barrels and add spirals or chips for new oak character.

Seemed to be a gouge to homebrewers to me, I've seen new small barrels for $125 American oak and they wanted more for a used barrel, I'm still waiting to hear back from the other place I contacted.

Just trying to get a feel for what a reasonable price would be so I know what is realistic if I find one.
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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Shocked at Price! really?
« Reply #3 on: February 01, 2014, 10:46:21 AM »
I paid - well the wife did as presents - around $100 and $120 for new cognac barrels made from French Oak back around 2001-2003 ish. The last time I saw what new ones go for, I though I should have invested in barrel futures.
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Offline Pinski

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Re: Shocked at Price! really?
« Reply #4 on: February 01, 2014, 11:10:57 AM »
I don't know fellas, If you look at a barrel and think about the material, time and skill that goes in to making one do you really think $100-150 is a gouge?  How much do you suppose you could make one for including consideration of valuable time? 
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Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: Shocked at Price! really?
« Reply #5 on: February 01, 2014, 11:17:59 AM »
My neighbor got me one for $90 from here (he bought 3, but only needed 2):

http://www.homebrewing.org/Used-5-gallon-whiskey-barrel_p_2187.html

But they are presently out of stock.  Must be a run on the market!
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Offline Pinski

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Re: Shocked at Price! really?
« Reply #6 on: February 01, 2014, 11:24:53 AM »
My neighbor got me one for $90 from here (he bought 3, but only needed 2):

http://www.homebrewing.org/Used-5-gallon-whiskey-barrel_p_2187.html

But they are presently out of stock.  Must be a run on the market!

Not to mention current "aftermarket" demand greater than it's been in recent memory. To my point above.
Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying the cost is cheap. Just another example of supply and demand. Similar to cornies lately.
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Offline duboman

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Re: Shocked at Price! really?
« Reply #7 on: February 01, 2014, 11:56:57 AM »
My neighbor got me one for $90 from here (he bought 3, but only needed 2):

http://www.homebrewing.org/Used-5-gallon-whiskey-barrel_p_2187.html

But they are presently out of stock.  Must be a run on the market!

Not to mention current "aftermarket" demand greater than it's been in recent memory. To my point above.
Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying the cost is cheap. Just another example of supply and demand. Similar to cornies lately.

I get the supply and demand thing for sure as well as what it takes to make a barrel but we are talking about used barrels, probably more than once and once the distillers are done with them they get rid of them one way or another. It just seems that they are trying to recoup their initial investment on the used market and then their continued use is also finite.

Like I said, if that's the going rate then so be it, I'll take it into consideration, I just wanted to see what others experience is buying them.
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Offline Pinski

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Re: Shocked at Price! really?
« Reply #8 on: February 01, 2014, 12:46:37 PM »
I'd be interested to know what the distillers pay for new barrels.  As I understand it, they tend to use barrels once as they are after the fresh char and oak characteristics. Us brewers on the other hand want the barrels used from distillers so that we also get the characteristics from the aged spirit.  Our use potential is generally less finite than the distillers from a volume production perspective, especially if we get them soon after they're dumped at the distillery. We've got a barrel at the pub on its 5th batch of barrel aged beer and its still yielding good character.
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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Shocked at Price! really?
« Reply #9 on: February 01, 2014, 12:50:22 PM »
I'd be interested to know what the distillers pay for new barrels.  As I understand it, they tend to use barrels once as they are after the fresh char and oak characteristics. Us brewers on the other hand want the barrels used from distillers so that we also get the characteristics from the aged spirit.  Our use potential is generally less finite than the distillers from a volume production perspective, especially if we get them soon after they're dumped at the distillery. We've got a barrel at the pub on its 5th batch of barrel aged beer and its still yielding good character.

Bourbon must use a new charred oak barrel by law, then it is sold. Many other spirit makers will use those several times more, and can blend from a second use barrel and later uses to get the flavor they want.
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Offline duboman

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Re: Shocked at Price! really?
« Reply #10 on: February 01, 2014, 12:51:03 PM »
That's my understanding as well and I know a couple local breweries that use the barrels from the distilleries 5-10 times and then get rid of them.

I was offered a 15 gal the other day for $50 but was told it is maybe good for another batch or two of beer aging. Unfortunately that's just too large for my batch size and didn't want to deal with a double batch to fill it.

I figured though if it was $50 a smaller one would be comparable, not 3x the price:)
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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Shocked at Price! really?
« Reply #11 on: February 01, 2014, 01:18:13 PM »
That's my understanding as well and I know a couple local breweries that use the barrels from the distilleries 5-10 times and then get rid of them.

I was offered a 15 gal the other day for $50 but was told it is maybe good for another batch or two of beer aging. Unfortunately that's just too large for my batch size and didn't want to deal with a double batch to fill it.

I figured though if it was $50 a smaller one would be comparable, not 3x the price:)

If you brew sours, a barrel can last almost forever.
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Offline Scot (one T)

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Re: Shocked at Price! really?
« Reply #12 on: February 01, 2014, 01:57:45 PM »
I work at a craft distillery and deal with barrel requests on a daily basis.  We use 30 gallon barrels and have a long waiting list for used barrels at $200 a piece.  I guarantee the price of used barrels will not go down with the current demand for them. We don't use smaller barrels so I cannot attest to their price, but the 30 gallon and the 55 gallon barrels are roughly the same price new.
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Offline thirsty

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Re: Shocked at Price! really?
« Reply #13 on: February 01, 2014, 02:31:07 PM »
100-150 bucks doesn't seem too crazy for something like that if it's made by hand. I sure as heck wouldn't know how to make my own barrel.

Offline AmandaK

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Re: Shocked at Price! really?
« Reply #14 on: February 01, 2014, 04:18:58 PM »
Oh that's nothing. A local craft distiller here is selling their 10 gallon barrels for $200 and 30s for $260. $150 is a steal.

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