How do you char a barrel at home?

All styles of whiskey. This is for all-grain mashes.

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Leslie Simpson
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How do you char a barrel at home?

Post by Leslie Simpson » Wed Jun 03, 2020 12:11 am

Hi, need your tips
How do you char a barrel at home?
tnx

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NZChris
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Re: How do you char a barrel at home?

Post by NZChris » Wed Jun 03, 2020 12:25 am

I char mine in pieces and age in glass :D

What size barrel are you asking about?

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still_stirrin
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Re: How do you char a barrel at home?

Post by still_stirrin » Wed Jun 03, 2020 3:33 am

Leslie Simpson wrote:
Wed Jun 03, 2020 12:11 am
...How do you char a barrel at home?
Carefully remove two of the bands from one end of the barrel and remove one of the heads. Then, you can use your propane torch to flame the inside (carefully) to increase the char. But, don’t overdo it, especially near the edges of the staves, or it might leak when reassembled.

When you’ve added the proper amount of charring, replace the head and slide the hoops back on the barrel. You may need a ratchet strap or two the help pull the staves back in place as you tap the hoops back into position.

Be sure to fill the barrel with water to swell the wood back so it stops leaking. I use hot water for this as it penetrates the wood better.
ss
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Re: How do you char a barrel at home?

Post by Leslie Simpson » Thu Jun 04, 2020 6:25 am

tnx a lot, I hope could write to ask more when will start :D

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Re: How do you char a barrel at home?

Post by Bushman » Thu Jun 04, 2020 6:47 am

still_stirrin wrote:
Wed Jun 03, 2020 3:33 am
Leslie Simpson wrote:
Wed Jun 03, 2020 12:11 am
...How do you char a barrel at home?
Carefully remove two of the bands from one end of the barrel and remove one of the heads. Then, you can use your propane torch to flame the inside (carefully) to increase the char. But, don’t overdo it, especially near the edges of the staves, or it might leak when reassembled.

When you’ve added the proper amount of charring, replace the head and slide the hoops back on the barrel. You may need a ratchet strap or two the help pull the staves back in place as you tap the hoops back into position.

Be sure to fill the barrel with water to swell the wood back so it stops leaking. I use hot water for this as it penetrates the wood better.
ss
+1, this is exactly how a distillery here in Washington State does it. He likes the flavor profile he gets by using used red wine barrels for his whiskey. It is really important to be careful as you remove one end as to not damage the hoops. Getting back so it does not leak is important. Haven’t tried it but this might be difficult with small barrels.

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Re: How do you char a barrel at home?

Post by StillerBoy » Thu Jun 04, 2020 7:20 am

still_stirrin wrote:
Wed Jun 03, 2020 3:33 am
Carefully remove two of the bands from one end of the barrel and remove one of the heads. Then, you can use your propane torch to flame the inside (carefully) to increase the char. But, don’t overdo it, especially near the edges of the staves, or it might leak when reassembled.
To minimized damage to staves edges while charring, temporally re-install the bands without the head, thereby causing the inside edges of the staves to be tight together..

Mars
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Re: How do you char a barrel at home?

Post by DetroitDIY » Thu Jun 04, 2020 8:35 pm

Good idea Mars!

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Re: How do you char a barrel at home?

Post by Leslie Simpson » Fri Jun 05, 2020 12:51 am

guys do you have a video link how to char?
try to find, have not yet

but found this interesting one - how people make barrel in general, magic process
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j-0iOWjwXJU

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Re: How do you char a barrel at home?

Post by Saltbush Bill » Fri Jun 05, 2020 1:03 am

You've got a big learning curve ahead of you, pulling a barrel apart and getting it back together again without leaks can be a frustrating job on its own.
As for charring I think you will find that if the barrel has been previously charred you will need to scrap the staves to remove most of the old char before you rechar.
In this country ( AU) there are several cooperages that I am aware of that have a re-charring service.

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Re: How do you char a barrel at home?

Post by Yummyrum » Fri Jun 05, 2020 2:49 am

Saltbush Bill wrote:
Fri Jun 05, 2020 1:03 am
In this country ( AU) there are several cooperages that I am aware of that have a re-charring service.
It’s in the vicinity of around $80 aud . IIRC .
Personally it sounds like good value for money IMO

Guessing those fellas know exactly how long to suspend a pot of flaming stuff inside so their customers get what they want . ... repeat business is always a good thing .

Still ,I can see the desire to DIY where ever possible :thumbup: :.. after-all , thats what this forum is about .

Pretty sure Thecroweater had a topic around here about pulling a barrel apart and cleaning it up .

Sorry can’t add much useful .

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Re: How do you char a barrel at home?

Post by Leslie Simpson » Tue Jun 09, 2020 1:41 am

Saltbush Bill wrote:
Fri Jun 05, 2020 1:03 am
You've got a big learning curve ahead of you, pulling a barrel apart and getting it back together again without leaks can be a frustrating job on its own.
As for charring I think you will find that if the barrel has been previously charred you will need to scrap the staves to remove most of the old char before you rechar.
In this country ( AU) there are several cooperages that I am aware of that have a re-charring service.
Thank you Bill

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Re: How do you char a barrel at home?

Post by Bubbles2 » Thu Jun 18, 2020 6:38 pm

FWIW, I read a lot. I have read about Coopers and charring. I have read that using fuel is not desired. Rather use no fuel starter for your fire. I would remove the top only, place a ventilated make shift unit or something to create a fire and inside the Barrel and let it Char. If you were going to remove Staves, I'd draw a circle around the outside to later match up the line to know your Staves are where they are accustomed to be 'married' to. Do not advise to disassemble. Hence the suggest prior, of remove Top and place makeshift grill inside. I am using sticks, so a small burn area with a grill is the approach. Luck

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Re: How do you char a barrel at home?

Post by seabass » Thu Jun 18, 2020 7:20 pm

A large propane torch?

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Re: How do you char a barrel at home?

Post by OtisT » Fri Jun 19, 2020 7:12 am

seabass wrote:
Thu Jun 18, 2020 7:20 pm
A large propane torch?
You can get a propane flame thrower for about $20 at harbor freight. Sold as weed killers. I don’t char full barrels, but I do char barrel heads for my badmos. That flamethrower burns pretty clean and damn hot. Only 25 seconds for a full alligator char.

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