Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Preparing Bourbon Barrels

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • esbq
    replied
    We just use a wallpaper removing steamer. Easy peasy. Most of our barrels were dry for 5+ years and we revived all of them this way. We did need to tighten the hoops as previously mentioned.

    Leave a comment:


  • BrewinLou
    replied
    You are not going to get any better barrel than one with liquor sloshing around inside. No need to steam or anything else. Pull the bung take a sample of the liquor inside and see how high in proof it is. Sometimes distilleries rinse with water. If it is high proof the barrel is as sanitized as you can get wood, and you know it is sealed because there is still liquor in it. As for temp I always went in with crashed beer. Cheers.

    Leave a comment:


  • foxtown
    replied
    This is a very handy thread. We are new to the barrel game but have had some success so far, usually with fresh dumped barrels from a local distillery. However, I just received a bunch of Jamaican rum barrels 2 weeks ago from a broker. They are wet as we can hear the booze sloshing around in there as we flip them head to head every morning. I have heard of using a wallpaper steamer to slightly swell the barrels but to also aid in sanitizing the inside. Not sure if this will work but we are going to give it a try. We do want to get a lot of the rum character so we don't want to rinse the inside if possible.

    I am wondering in particular what temp your beer is at when you go to fill the barrels. We have been in the practice of filling with cold crashed beers because we have been able to remove much of the yeast before filling barrels that will age for 12 mths +. Any thoughts on this?

    Leave a comment:


  • BrewinLou
    replied
    Depending on how many barrels you are doing... Buy a Streamline Strainer from Kent and two 2" - 1.5" reducers and place it inline. We have had barrels come in with so much loose charr that it clogged three feet up a hose with a little triclover gasket skreen. The Steamline set up has served us very well. Prost.

    Leave a comment:


  • andrew_FSBC
    replied
    Charcoal Sediment

    I got in some very fresh barrels yesterday. I was actually able to collect a 750 of Bourbon out of 4 barrels. Can't decide if that's the cheapest or most expensive bottle I'll ever buy...

    At any rate, what does everyone do with the barrel char that has flaked off the inside of the barrels? I recall having issues when filling kegs of this beer last year, several chunks made it over to brite and then got stuck in the sanke valve on the keg. I definitely don't want to filter this beer and need to package every drop so a stand pipe is out of the question. Is there any kind of screen for the tip of my bulldog? I thought about fashioning one with some stainless wire and a nylon hop bag. I went ahead and cold water rinsed the barrels out before filling. This got 95% of the char out but it's that last 5% that will eff it all up.

    Leave a comment:


  • wailingguitar
    replied
    Originally posted by ziggy13 View Post
    Why is everyone suggesting not filling them with water first? Is it just a time and labor thing, or something else?
    I dunno, I think people are suggesting you lose bourbon character. I flood mine with 185F water, let them sit for at least an hour or two (though usually overnight), drain and fill. I have gotten lots of bourbon character in the beers.

    Leave a comment:


  • ziggy13
    replied
    Why is everyone suggesting not filling them with water first? Is it just a time and labor thing, or something else?

    Leave a comment:


  • Junkyard
    replied
    We usually pour 5 gallons of 180 degree water inside and then bung it up. Swish that around inside and check for leaks. The steam should cause a small amount of pressure. If there's no leaks then fill 'er up! We get plenty of bourbon and barrel character with this method. There's a lot of bourbon soaked deep in the wood.

    Leave a comment:


  • CharlosCarlies
    replied
    If it were me I'd spray them down with hot water on the outside, then stand them on their heads. Pour scaldy hot water on the head and fill till the head area (whatever the space there is called) overflows. Wait a little while, then flip the barrel onto the other head and do the same. Maybe repeat one or two more times if you're really worried. Don't put water inside if you can at all help it. If nothing else beer will swell it, just have a mop handy!
    This is overall good advice.

    A few things I can add:

    1) When dealing w/ very dry barrels (usually not the case w/ bourbon but your situation is obviously different), we like to drive the hoops back towards the bung starting from the outside in before attempting to swell the barrel. You can purchase a hoop driver specifically for this, but they're stupidly overpriced for what they are and a mallet + a large flat head screwdriver worked fine until we found a masonry chisel that does the job just a bit better.

    2) When we first started our barrel program, the brewer's OCD in me showed its face and we filled all of our barrels w/ 180F water and let sit for about an hour before pushing out w/ CO2 through our bulldog. The added bonus of this is it pretty much completely and efficiently purges the barrel of O2. We always left one or two barrels from each batch un-rinsed and honestly, there wasn't a huge difference in flavor, so just something to consider if the barrels are really dry and/or in questionable condition.
    Last edited by CharlosCarlies; 02-11-2016, 06:52 PM.

    Leave a comment:


  • Gbbc
    replied
    Thank you all for the advise, I will follow this.

    Cheers

    Leave a comment:


  • WaywardOwlBeer
    replied
    Preparing Bourbon Barrels

    Typically when I receive an empty but dry/sealed barrel we treat them like the Bainbridge fellas. I have rarely run in to infection issues with first use barrels since there is typically a little angel's share inside even pretty dry first use barrels. My biggest advice post swelling the barrels with water on the outside is to purge them very well with co2 via a bulldog tool right before filling. Swelling the wood with beer works too but is way messy.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Last edited by WaywardOwlBeer; 02-09-2016, 07:58 PM.

    Leave a comment:


  • Gbbc
    replied
    Thank you for the replies. I definitely want as much Bourbon flavour out of them as possible. I'm a little worried about some sort of infection in the barrel since they wont be wet, I assume?

    Leave a comment:


  • Bainbridge
    replied
    If it were me I'd spray them down with hot water on the outside, then stand them on their heads. Pour scaldy hot water on the head and fill till the head area (whatever the space there is called) overflows. Wait a little while, then flip the barrel onto the other head and do the same. Maybe repeat one or two more times if you're really worried. Don't put water inside if you can at all help it. If nothing else beer will swell it, just have a mop handy!

    Leave a comment:


  • BrewinLou
    replied
    If you can avoid adding water I recommend it. In a long shipment like that you have to watch for the barrels drying out. If they are tight fill them now. If they are loose rehydrate them with water. That is if you are looking to get Bourbon flavor out of them, which I assume you do as you are getting the barrels shipped from the states.

    Leave a comment:


  • Gbbc
    started a topic Preparing Bourbon Barrels

    Preparing Bourbon Barrels

    Hi everyone,

    We are expecting our first shipment of Bourbon barrels, and since being shipped from the States to Australia, they would not have had anything in them for several weeks. How would I go about preparing these for their first fill? Should I try to hot water rinse them first? If so, I can only assume that it would be at the cost of losing some Bourbon flavour?

    Any input would be much appreciated.

    Cheers
Working...
X