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Thread: Time aging in Bourbon barrel

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    Gnesta, Sweden
    Posts
    19

    Time aging in Bourbon barrel

    Hi, I have gotten my hands on two Jim Bean Bourbon barrels. They were in great condition, I just rinsed them with hot water and filled them up with a brown ale.
    ideally I want to use them a second time, so I was wondering how long I should leave the beer in the barrel. I'm looking for the shortest time it takes to extract a reasonable amount of whiskey flavor. (I don't want to unplug the barrel for tasting if I don't have to).

    Does anyone has experience with bourbon barrels who could tell me what their shortest time has been with good results?

    Cheers,
    Wilbert

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Idyllwild, CA, USA
    Posts
    135
    Put in a Vinnie nail and draw samples until you taste what you're looking for. There are no hard-and-fast rules. There are a lot of variables so regular sampling will give you the best info so you can make an informed decision.

    https://discussions.probrewer.com/sh...nnie-Nail-quot

    Cheers,
    --
    Don

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    Gnesta, Sweden
    Posts
    19
    Quote Originally Posted by idylldon View Post
    Put in a Vinnie nail and draw samples until you taste what you're looking for.
    --
    Don
    Yeah, I have seen pictures of barrels with those nails before. It might be time to hammer some in.
    Thanks for the link Don.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    BEMIDJI, MN
    Posts
    132
    Drill a hole first - then insert the nail!

    Also, check the fit of your bit diameter + the nail you are going to use in a scrap piece of wood first, just to make sure it is snug.

    And lastly - skip the nail altogether and go to your local welding supply and buy a 3' section of .125" 316SS filler rod, cut a 4" section of it and bend a loop in the end and use this in place of the nail. No tools required to pull the pin and much less chance of dropping it on the ground while taking the sample. Also, this avoids having to buy a box of 100+ SS nails, unless you have plans to build a giant barrel stable!

    Cheers!

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