Building up product for a 5 gallon barrel

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Building up product for a 5 gallon barrel

Post by Deplorable » Mon Sep 21, 2020 4:13 pm

I wasn't really sure to put this question, so as a novice, I figured this is the best spot.
I'm picking up three bags of malted barley to begin work on a 5 gallon barrel of single malt AG following Jimbo's T&T instructions.
I've got plenty of options for storage of the white dog until I get 5 gallons to fill the barrel I have on the shelf. I'll be fermenting 23 gallons at a time in a 32 gallon Brute, to produce two stripping runs, and a 1.5 Spirit run in my 13 gallon milk can.
My original thought was to blend each run and put that in a 5 gallon carboy, cork it, and move to the next batch. However, a thought occurred to me today, and I thought I'd run it by the collective knowledge of the hive here.
Should I proceed with blending each run, then move to the next? Or make my cuts for heads, hearts and tails, storing each in corney kegs, and blend once at the end after Ive completed four mash runs?
Would blending at the end, allow for all of the cuts to rest throughout the time it's going to take to run four ferments, result in a different selection of portions added to the hearts?
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Re: Building up product for a 5 gallon barrel

Post by still_stirrin » Mon Sep 21, 2020 7:49 pm

Cuts from the spirit run. And blend after making cuts. The blend can then be put into the cask to age.

Feints from the spirit run cuts can be saved for an all feints run, or you could use them to boost the next stripping runs. Remember, there is no need to make cuts on the low wines, just collect until the average is 30%ABV for flavored spirits, 35%ABV or higher for neutral spirits.
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Re: Building up product for a 5 gallon barrel

Post by Deplorable » Mon Sep 21, 2020 7:55 pm

So, dont wait until I have 5 gallons made to start filling the barrel then?
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Re: Building up product for a 5 gallon barrel

Post by jonnys_spirit » Mon Sep 21, 2020 8:15 pm

I’d start filling it. You can probably get 2-2.5g from one spirit run or go with a bit less and recycle feints. Maybe chuck the early early heads and late late tails. A little wider cut for the barrel is good too but you’ll probably dip into it before you fill it so why not cut the first run a bit cleaner and you can widen it out as you fill it.

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Re: Building up product for a 5 gallon barrel

Post by Deplorable » Mon Sep 21, 2020 8:29 pm

I was figuring the keep on the spirit run to be more in line with what I'm getting off of a fermenter full of SF. My first large batch of SF yeild was 1.5 gallons at 70% after blending cuts. But after finally getting through the entire Single Malt thread tonight, I see that there is a lot more keep in a single malt ferment. Given the fact I intend for this to rest for 14 to 18 months, in a once used barrel, I can see why you are saying I can cut wider.
Considering I have set aside cash for 150# of barley, I may need to consider purchasing another barrel from the local distillery for a bourbon after this one. It sounds like I'll have plenty of barley left over...
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Re: Building up product for a 5 gallon barrel

Post by Beerswimmer » Mon Sep 21, 2020 8:36 pm

I have several 5 gallon barrel that I filled. I did 2 strips and a spirit run, made cuts, poured hearts into carboy. Then 2 more strips and a spirit, made cuts and into carboy. My hearts cuts had late heads and just a little bit of early tails. Then I proofed down to whatever and filled the barrel. Whatever was left I drank white, there usually wasn't much left.
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Re: Building up product for a 5 gallon barrel

Post by Deplorable » Mon Sep 21, 2020 9:01 pm

Beerswimmer wrote:
Mon Sep 21, 2020 8:36 pm
I have several 5 gallon barrel that I filled. I did 2 strips and a spirit run, made cuts, poured hearts into carboy. Then 2 more strips and a spirit, made cuts and into carboy. My hearts cuts had late heads and just a little bit of early tails. Then I proofed down to whatever and filled the barrel. Whatever was left I drank white, there usually wasn't much left.
This was more in line with what I was thinking of doing, because it wets the entire barrel at once ensuring no air space in the barrel for oxidation. I bought the barrel about a month ago, and knowing I wasn't going to be starting this project right away I gave it a drink of distilled water, drained it, burned a sulfur strip, bunged and wrapped it for storage per the care instructions I found in a thread here. It sounds like there is no wrong way to go about this. Only that adding to the barrel from the first spirit run starts getting oak into the spirit a couple of weeks sooner than filling a carboy first.
jonnys_spirit wrote:
Mon Sep 21, 2020 8:15 pm
I’d start filling it. You can probably get 2-2.5g from one spirit run or go with a bit less and recycle feints. Maybe chuck the early early heads and late late tails. A little wider cut for the barrel is good too but you’ll probably dip into it before you fill it so why not cut the first run a bit cleaner and you can widen it out as you fill it.

Cheers!
-jonny
After I run this last batch of SF that's in the fermenter now, I'll have plenty to sip while I wait for this to get right. Ive got plenty of feints to run, and also plan to try a Rice ferment this winter unless I decide to jump into corn meal and Malts for some bouron.
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Re: Building up product for a 5 gallon barrel

Post by MartinCash » Mon Sep 21, 2020 9:15 pm

Deplorable wrote:
Mon Sep 21, 2020 9:01 pm
This was more in line with what I was thinking of doing, because it wets the entire barrel at once ensuring no air space in the barrel for oxidation.
Keep in mind that oxidation is not a bad thing in aging whisky, and is actually something you're trying to accomplish as part of aging (though in a controlled manner).

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Re: Building up product for a 5 gallon barrel

Post by Saltbush Bill » Mon Sep 21, 2020 10:06 pm

Id start filling the barrel once I had enough to half fill it or little less....not before.
Any less than half and the angels will be quite thirsty.

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Re: Building up product for a 5 gallon barrel

Post by NZChris » Mon Sep 21, 2020 11:03 pm

As long as you are getting on with it, it should be ok to put each new make straight into the barrel. You might even be able to draw some off for early drinking before the final fill.

I calculated that you would have more than enough to fill it on the third run.

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Re: Building up product for a 5 gallon barrel

Post by Expat » Tue Sep 22, 2020 5:10 am

As others have said, I suggest holding your hearts cut blend in a carboy until you can fill the entire barrel; this way you'll be able to maintain the seal on the stave joints. Else i'd imagine you'd need to be rolling the barrel regularly to ensure one half doesn't dry out.
Deplorable wrote:
Mon Sep 21, 2020 9:01 pm
I gave it a drink of distilled water, drained it, burned a sulfur strip, bunged and wrapped it for storage per the care instructions I found in a thread here. It sounds like there is no wrong way to go about this.
This has me worried, to the best of my knowledge burning sulfur is used with wine barrels only where sulfides already exist. I'd be concerned that the smell would carry over into your final product.
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Re: Building up product for a 5 gallon barrel

Post by still_stirrin » Tue Sep 22, 2020 5:43 am

Deplorable,

There’s wisdom of experience here:
Saltbush Bill wrote:
Mon Sep 21, 2020 10:06 pm
I’d start filling the barrel once I had enough to half fill it....not before.
Any less than half and the angels will be quite thirsty.
But with your plan to strip two ferments and then run a 1-1/2 with the third ferment should give you enough new make to start filling your cask. A lot of ideas presented here, but this sounds the best suited for your objective. In the end, I suspect your patience will be the hardest to prevail.
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Re: Building up product for a 5 gallon barrel

Post by Deplorable » Tue Sep 22, 2020 9:33 am

still_stirrin wrote:
Tue Sep 22, 2020 5:43 am
Deplorable,

There’s wisdom of experience here:
Saltbush Bill wrote:
Mon Sep 21, 2020 10:06 pm
I’d start filling the barrel once I had enough to half fill it....not before.
Any less than half and the angels will be quite thirsty.
But with your plan to strip two ferments and then run a 1-1/2 with the third ferment should give you enough new make to start filling your cask. A lot of ideas presented here, but this sounds the best suited for your objective. In the end, I suspect your patience will be the hardest to prevail.
ss
I will not argue with you on this. I'll just make more than enough to fill the barrel and oak the rest in glass to keep me out of it. :think:
There is also other spirits to make and play with while it ages out, but yes keeping my mits off of it for the first 10 months will be a challenge. I really want this to age out for the equivilant of 3 to 4 years in a 53 gallon barrel.

To clarify though, I get two 10 gallon stripping runs plus a couple of gallons of wash from 1 ferment. So my method is ferment, strip and drain the still, strip again while I strain/sqeeze the grains, rest that overnight, and add the drippings to the still with the two stripping runs the next day for a spirit run.
With the SF I've been running, the spirit run ends up being between 8 and 9 gallons at about 25 to 30%, and after I make my cuts from that, I end up with about 1.5 gallons at 70% and a bit over a half gallon of feints after tossing about 900ml of fores over the course of the 3 total runs. (All of that is from a 10%ABV wash)
Is my method sound, or should I change something in my process?
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Re: Building up product for a 5 gallon barrel

Post by Saltbush Bill » Tue Sep 22, 2020 12:55 pm

Expat wrote:
Tue Sep 22, 2020 5:10 am
this way you'll be able to maintain the seal on the stave joints. Else i'd imagine you'd need to be rolling the barrel regularly to ensure one half doesn't dry out.
For what its worth , Ive never had to "roll" any of my eight barrels.
Why is it that people think that this needs to be done?
The entire inside of a barrel is kept wet at all times from evapouration or the lighter alcohols trying to escape the barrel.
You only need to remove the bung / stopper from any 1/2 full barrel and look at the amount of moisture on the inside of that bung/stopper/ plug to see that.
If that's not enough get a finger inside and wipe it around a bit and you will see what I mean.

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Re: Building up product for a 5 gallon barrel

Post by Deplorable » Tue Sep 22, 2020 1:07 pm

Expat wrote:
Tue Sep 22, 2020 5:10 am
As others have said, I suggest holding your hearts cut blend in a carboy until you can fill the entire barrel; this way you'll be able to maintain the seal on the stave joints. Else i'd imagine you'd need to be rolling the barrel regularly to ensure one half doesn't dry out.
Deplorable wrote:
Mon Sep 21, 2020 9:01 pm
I gave it a drink of distilled water, drained it, burned a sulfur strip, bunged and wrapped it for storage per the care instructions I found in a thread here. It sounds like there is no wrong way to go about this.
This has me worried, to the best of my knowledge burning sulfur is used with wine barrels only where sulfides already exist. I'd be concerned that the smell would carry over into your final product.
From what I've been told by the distillery here in town, it won't. But I'll be finding out in time. What the distillary said when asked after I showed them the barrel care sheet, was for a 5 gallon barrel, burn about a 2 inch peice of a sulfer strip, bung the barrel until the flame goes out, and then remove the strip and replace the bung. Wrap the staves only in cellophane to minimize dehydration. Before the next use, rinse well with dechlorinated water, and fill it. Burning the sulfur prohibits mildew growth in the barrel.
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Re: Building up product for a 5 gallon barrel

Post by Expat » Tue Sep 22, 2020 1:35 pm

Saltbush Bill wrote:
Tue Sep 22, 2020 12:55 pm
Expat wrote:
Tue Sep 22, 2020 5:10 am
this way you'll be able to maintain the seal on the stave joints. Else i'd imagine you'd need to be rolling the barrel regularly to ensure one half doesn't dry out.
For what its worth , Ive never had to "roll" any of my eight barrels.
Why is it that people think that this needs to be done?
Fair enough, I believe I read it somewhere here in the forum, but I can't find any reference to it now.
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Re: Building up product for a 5 gallon barrel

Post by Saltbush Bill » Tue Sep 22, 2020 5:16 pm

Expat wrote:
Tue Sep 22, 2020 1:35 pm
Fair enough, I believe I read it somewhere here in the forum, but I can't find any reference to it now
Ive also seen reference to it on this and other forums, but Ive never experienced or seen any real evidence that it is a fact.

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Re: Building up product for a 5 gallon barrel

Post by Deplorable » Tue Sep 22, 2020 5:29 pm

I only turn my wine bottles. Even though most never sit long enough to settle. 😄
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Re: Building up product for a 5 gallon barrel

Post by Twisted Brick » Tue Sep 22, 2020 8:08 pm

MartinCash wrote:
Mon Sep 21, 2020 9:15 pm
Deplorable wrote:
Mon Sep 21, 2020 9:01 pm
This was more in line with what I was thinking of doing, because it wets the entire barrel at once ensuring no air space in the barrel for oxidation.
Keep in mind that oxidation is not a bad thing in aging whisky, and is actually something you're trying to accomplish as part of aging (though in a controlled manner).
+1

Indeed, oxygen plays an import role in the maturation process, and coopers take great pains to control oxygenation rates, through oak species, barrel size/shape, wood density. One obstacle for us who distill at home is learning how to apply the (largely unknown) characteristics of the barrels available to us to what we want to achieve in our final spirit. That is, unless we can afford new Gibbs Bros (or similar) barrels which makes the job light years easier.

https://www.iscbarrels.com/2018/01/30/o ... on-part-1/

https://www.iscbarrels.com/2018/04/16/t ... s-part-ii/
Last edited by Twisted Brick on Thu Sep 24, 2020 3:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Building up product for a 5 gallon barrel

Post by Deplorable » Tue Sep 22, 2020 9:19 pm

Thanks TB for the articles. The main reason I wanted to use a 5 gallon barrel for this was to get the highest quality barrel I could as opposed to the smaller novelty barrels. The fact that I have access to once used quality barrels from the local micro distillery for a great price ($50) just made the decision that much easier. This particular barrel held a bourbon, barreled at 126P for 14 months before bottling. It was emptied the week before I bought it. I'm hoping for a rest of about 16 months for this single malt.
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Re: Building up product for a 5 gallon barrel

Post by seabass » Tue Sep 22, 2020 9:40 pm

IMO, a quality once used bourbon barrel is as good as it gets for single malt. You'll get less of the over extraction issues with a once used barrel and you won't overpower your single malt with new wood.

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Re: Building up product for a 5 gallon barrel

Post by Deplorable » Tue Sep 22, 2020 10:58 pm

This is the barrel head stamp.
20200922_235738.jpg
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Re: Building up product for a 5 gallon barrel

Post by Deplorable » Thu Sep 24, 2020 1:33 pm

And so it begins...50/50 pale 2 row, and Maris Otter. Safale US-05. Should be a fun fall project.
20200924_143102.jpg
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Re: Building up product for a 5 gallon barrel

Post by Twisted Brick » Thu Sep 24, 2020 3:07 pm

Nice pic, Deploreable... just add water!
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Re: Building up product for a 5 gallon barrel

Post by seabass » Thu Sep 24, 2020 3:49 pm

That sounds delicious.

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Re: Building up product for a 5 gallon barrel

Post by Deplorable » Thu Sep 24, 2020 3:49 pm

Thanks TB. Been a busy between the dentist, getting and shipping your barrel, getting grains, and emptying my Brute. I also got a couple quarts of Panty dropper bottled up for SWMBO this morning. Fermenter is all cleaned up now and the still is loaded with the first 10 gallons of wash from the fermenter, and the remainder is draining. About to set up the burner and start stripping while I begin measuring out grains for the mill.
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Re: Building up product for a 5 gallon barrel

Post by Deplorable » Thu Sep 24, 2020 4:08 pm

seabass wrote:
Thu Sep 24, 2020 3:49 pm
That sounds delicious.
I sure hope it will be! Perfect fall temps for this yeast in my garage. Heater shouldn't have to run much at all to maintain ideal temperature.
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Re: Building up product for a 5 gallon barrel

Post by Deplorable » Sat Sep 26, 2020 6:14 pm

Well, so far so good. This is the most beautiful foam cap I have ever seen.
20200926_191314.jpg
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Re: Building up product for a 5 gallon barrel

Post by Corsaire » Sun Sep 27, 2020 12:30 am

Looking good!

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Re: Building up product for a 5 gallon barrel

Post by Deplorable » Tue Oct 13, 2020 7:46 am

20201011_123951.jpg
I'm 5 days into my 2nd 23 gallon mash ferment at this point. The first mash after cuts got me .85 gallons of 62.5% after cuts, another 2.5 qts of heads, and a qt of really cloudy tails.
In this mash, I increased the grain bill from 40 to 46# to keep the ratio at 2# grain per gallon of water.
I fought the temp for the first couple of days and the mash temp under the cap went from 68°f at pitching to 78 even after setting outside in the 58° rain overnight. It came down over the course of the last couple of days to 65, and its staying pretty consistent. The cap is getting soggy and sinking nowand should be ready to strip this weekend.
I plan to add the feints to the stripping run and I'll make a slow fores cut before cranking the heat for the strip. Then follow my normal process for the spirit run of a very slow drip rate for foreshots before increasing the heat to a broken stream.
My question for the hive here is this; should I add the fwints in to this run? Or should I make the run without them, and see if my high fermenter temps had a significant impact on heads production? Then add all the feints from both runs into the stripping runs from the 3rd ferment?
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