Small Barrel Information
SMALL OAK BARREL INFORMATION
Frequently Asked Questions Aging Spirits
Curing Your Barrel Cleaning Your Barrel Storing Your Barrel
1. FAQ- Common Barrel Questions
What are the barrels made from?
Our barrels are made from premium quality American White Oak. The staves are air dried for two years and all barrels have a medium char. CLICK HERE to purchase a mini oak barrel.
How do I get different types of liquor from a bottle of Vodka or Moonshine?
When alcohol is distilled, either from potatoes, corn, fruit, grain or sugar cane, it produces Ethanol. A clear and tasteless alcohol. Distilleries then flavor and filter the alcohol to get their unique flavor. Vodka is the only alcohol you can buy in an unflavored form. When mixed with a bottle of Liquor Essence, you can recreate the taste of many of the famous brands. Liquor essences can be purchased at the time of purchasing a barrel.
How do I cure the barrel?
Barrels should be cured prior to use. Start by filling the barrel with boiling or hot water and leave it to soak for 3 to 5 days. This allows the barrel to swell tightly against the hoops and ensure that the barrel doesn't leak.
Are glues or nails used to make the barrel?
No, our barrels are all hand crafted with no use of glues or nails.
How should the barrel be stored?
Barrels are best stored in a cool damp environment such as a basement or wine cellar. This will keep the exterior from drying out and minimize evaporation (Angels Share).
How many times can I use my barrel?
With proper care, you can use your barrel for 8 to 10 years. Following the cleaning and re-charing instructions will insure a long life for your product and be sure to not let your barrel dry out.
I left my barrel dry for an extented time. Now it leaks... what do I do?
In many cases just re-cure the barrel. If you find the leak, just apply barrel wax to the hole.
How long do I age my spirits?
There's no formula for the perfect time to age your spirits. Age to taste! We suggest you taste your spirits every week and once aged to YOUR taste, start drinking or move it to a glass bottle to stop the aging process. For wine and beer aging we suggest an airlock and rubber bung combination.
Do smaller barrels age the spirit faster than large barrels?
Yes, due to the greater surface or contact area ratio, small size barrels will age 5 to 10 times faster then your standard 55 gallon barrel. This means that one month in a small barrel will produce the equivalent aging to 1 to 1 1/2 years in a full size barrel.
How do I cure the barrel?
No glue or nails are used in the making of our barrels. As such, barrel preperation called "curing" is required prior to use. This process serves two functions:
1) Allows the barrel to swell to prevent leaking
2) Limits the amount of alcohol absorbed by the barrel.
Start by placing the appropriate number of storing tablets in the barrel and filling the barrel with boiling or hot water. Allow it to soak for 3 to 5 days. Water may leak from between the staves or at the barrel head seam. This is normal and will stop within 24 hours as the wood swells.
Barrels that do not leak should still be cured for 3 to 5 days. This will minimize the amount of alcohol absorbed by the barrel staves.
After curing the barrel, empty the solution and rinse with hot water 3 times.
Now fill the barrel with your spirits and place the bung in tightly. ...Enjoy!
How often do I clean my barrel?
When aging hard spirits such as whiskey, rum or tequila, clean the barrel after two or three batches (or every 1 to 2 years). For wine, cider, liquor or other low alcohol content spirits, clean after each batch.
How do I clean my barrel?
1) Dissolve the Oxy-San into warm water. Fill the barrel with this cleaning solution and soak for 24 hours. Empty and rinse 3 times with hot water.
2) Dissolve the Citric Acid into warm water. Fill the barrel with this citric acid solution and soak for 15 minutes. Empty and rinse the barrel 3 times with hot water.
3) To re-char the barrel interior, drain the barrel for 3 hours. Place a butane torch in the bung and spigot hole and re-char the inside.
4) When storing the barrel or prior to re-use, dissolve 2 campden sterilizing tablets in 1 gallon of cool water. Fill the barrel with the solution and shake around for a few minutes and rinse 3 times with hot water.
To prevent the barrel from drying out and minimize the possibility of contamination, barrels should always be stored full with spirits or campden sterilizing solution. Barrels should be cleaned after every 2 or 3 aging batches or when changing from spirit types. See cleaning package directions for exact mixture quantities.
How do I store my barrel?
When storing the barrel fill the barrel with a mixture of campden sterilizing tablets and cool water. Fill the barrel with the solution and leave in a cool damp place until you are ready to use again.
When storing your barrel between uses, always keep the barrel filled with a campden sterilized water solution. This will keep the barrel from drying out and keep bacteria from growing in the barrel. We suggest using Campden Storing/Sterilizing Tablets.
Storing Tablets are pre-measured doses of sulfites formulated to kill bacteria and inhibit the growth of wild yeast and microbes in the barrel.
When storing or cleaning your barrel between uses, dissolve the appropriate quantity of tablets in water. Pour mixture in the barrel and fill completely with additional water. Store in cool damp conditions if possible. Rinse 3x prior to use.
Sanitize your barrel with a Barrel Cleaning Kit after 2 or 3 uses.