Author Topic: Care for New Bourbon Barrel  (Read 351 times)

Offline nicosan1

  • Assistant Brewer
  • ***
  • Posts: 133
    • View Profile
Care for New Bourbon Barrel
« on: January 23, 2017, 03:48:15 PM »
A friend of mine just purchased a five gallon barrel which stored bourbon-whiskey.  Does he need to do anything to store the barrel properly, like add more bourbon, fill with hot water to test for leaks etc?  Are there any basic tips any of you folks might be able to share?  The plan is to brew an RIS in the next 2 weeks and eventually fill that barrel.


Offline reverseapachemaster

  • I spend way too much time on the AHA forum
  • ********
  • Posts: 2804
    • View Profile
    • Brain Sparging on Brewing
Re: Care for New Bourbon Barrel
« Reply #1 on: January 24, 2017, 12:28:36 PM »
Depends in part upon how recent the barrel was dumped. The longer it goes the more likely it needs to be rehydrated to seal water-tight.
Heck yeah I blog about homebrewing: Brain Sparging on Brewing

Offline nicosan1

  • Assistant Brewer
  • ***
  • Posts: 133
    • View Profile
Re: Care for New Bourbon Barrel
« Reply #2 on: January 24, 2017, 12:47:46 PM »
Depends in part upon how recent the barrel was dumped. The longer it goes the more likely it needs to be rehydrated to seal water-tight.
  About 1 week ago, likely can't brew a stout for another week, then probably 3 weeks of aging minimum before a fill.  Thoughts? 

Offline nicosan1

  • Assistant Brewer
  • ***
  • Posts: 133
    • View Profile
Re: Care for New Bourbon Barrel
« Reply #3 on: January 24, 2017, 05:27:07 PM »
Simply put, I've seen the following advice as to how to keep a barrel in good shape.

1. Wet the outside of barrel with hot water and let soak to ensure no leaks. 
2. Fill the barrel with some extra whiskey for storage until you fill, empty before filling with beer.
3. Sanitize the barrel hole steaming hot water or whiskey.
4. Use cleaned and sanitized bung to close hole.


Any other advice?  This barrel will get filled in a month or so.

Offline smkranz

  • Assistant Brewer
  • ***
  • Posts: 244
  • Maryland
    • View Profile
    • Midnight Homebrewers' League
Re: Care for New Bourbon Barrel
« Reply #4 on: January 24, 2017, 06:24:39 PM »
If you know that the barrel was just emptied a week ago, thats a very fresh barrel.  I've used 3 different small barrels, and suggest your friend just keep it sealed up and cool until his beer is ready to go in.  I wouldn't put anything in it...water, sanitizer, whiskey, nothing.  Also why they would wait 3 weeks after brewing to fill the barrel?  I'd just wait until the most active fermentation is over one week or so, and fill that puppy up.
Steve K.
AHA • BJCP
Midnight Homebrewers' League
http://www.midnighthomebrewers.org

Offline nicosan1

  • Assistant Brewer
  • ***
  • Posts: 133
    • View Profile
Re: Care for New Bourbon Barrel
« Reply #5 on: February 01, 2017, 01:27:04 PM »
If you know that the barrel was just emptied a week ago, thats a very fresh barrel.  I've used 3 different small barrels, and suggest your friend just keep it sealed up and cool until his beer is ready to go in.  I wouldn't put anything in it...water, sanitizer, whiskey, nothing.  Also why they would wait 3 weeks after brewing to fill the barrel?  I'd just wait until the most active fermentation is over one week or so, and fill that puppy up.

Thanks will do.