The Badmotivator Bain-Marie and Oak Barrel

Treatment and handling after you are done distilling.

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Re: The Badmotivator Bain-Marie and Oak Barrel

Postby OtisT » Tue Jan 02, 2018 5:27 pm

Hey Badmo. Happy New Year.

I have done some experimenting with my Badmo barrel, related to our past environmental controls discussions. Since my barrel stays in my climate controlled home, I have been wondering how I could simulate some seasonal changes to stress the barrel and cause it to breath. I only have one, so this is not a comparison. Just an excessive compulsive person killing time....

I was able to change internal pressure by changing the temp. No surprise. A day over the heater vent increased pressure, evident by a slight bulge in the bottom of the Bain-Marie. Similarly, outside for a spell this last week caused an indent in the bottom. In both cases, I made sure not to over heat or cool. This must be moving molecules into and out of the wood, though how fast and how far I don’t know yet.

Humidity has been relatively low here, around 20% +/- for weeks. I found the Badmo wood easy to wet by putting on end and filling the 1/4” basin on the wood end with distilled water. I soaked it for a few days then turned back on end. It dried (visually) in hours. I did the same again with more water but the second time I put it outside to cool, and that seemed to soak in deeper, keeping the wood visually moist a bit longer. I figured the lower internal pressure helped pull some water deeper into the wood.

I did learn one important difference between Heartwood and Sapwood by doing this. The sapwood section of my barrel end soaked up and swelled visible more than the heartwood did, and it stayed wet looking and swollen days longer than the heart wood. I have done a lot of reading on sap vs heart wood and have never heard folks talk of the difference in asorbtion and/or difference in swelling between the two wood types.

I’m guessing sapwood is simply more porous, which caused the increased swelling. I don’t think it was a difference in grain angle, as one stave is part heart and part sap, and the swelling was distinctly different by wood type on the same stick.

Just wanted to share. I have a wood moisture meter and will take some readings with it the next time I season stress my barrel.

Otis
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Re: The Badmotivator Bain-Marie and Oak Barrel

Postby Badmotivator » Tue Jan 02, 2018 5:55 pm

Right on, Otis! That's cool. And Happy New Year to you, of course! I have a couple of things to add:

1) It sounds like you might be worrying about the low humidity. If so, don't. While it's true that you will see a faster "loss" by weight in a low-humidity regime, this is mostly water. The ethanol molecules don't move any faster through the wood when it's dry out. In a moderate- or low-temperature, low-humidity environment, the spirit will actually increase in proof. Heat, on the other hand, does increase the ethanol loss rate.

2) That's neat about the heartwood/sapwood difference. I never noticed that before. In sapwood the oak tree has not yet sealed up the capillaries with tyloses, or less completely than in the heartwood. It may be less dense in some other way as well. It wouldn't surprise me if that physiological difference explains your observation.

3) I think too much is made of the in-and-out movement of spirit. It's a fun game to "maximize" it, and it makes a good story for tourists, but I am highly skeptical that it is important, much less necessary. My hunch is that if you had a well-controlled trial (one barrel experiences temp swings, another maintains the average, both allowed to sit a good long time) you would have a hard time telling them apart. I think simple slow diffusion (flavors though wet wood into the spirit, oxygen in through the wood, water and ethanol out through the wood) can account for everything we need. I've never tried one of my older barrels and wished I'd had more push and pull. :) I'm happy to be proven wrong on this point, but only by evidence, not by lore.

Just a few thoughts. Cheers to you for your experimentation. Maybe this year I can get some more barrels into your laboratory for testing. :)
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Re: The Badmotivator Bain-Marie and Oak Barrel

Postby Badmotivator » Fri Jan 05, 2018 11:40 pm

.
LOSS RATE

Wow, things are looking much better lately. The last time I looked at the loss rate from these barrels I was building them with much less-refined techniques, and it really showed. The older barrels, for the most part, were relatively leaky bastards. Back on Mar 3, 2016, in this thread, I described how one barrel was showing an annualized loss rate of 15%, with low confidence about the measurements. For better or for worse that got us all worrying about the long-term prospects of these barrels. From that point on I was pretty cavalier about measuring the loss rate, and with all of the sampling going on it would have been nearly impossible anyway.

I had made many refinements to my construction techniques over the years and noticed that the newer barrels almost never leaked at all. I got interested in the loss rate again. I put down some wet-tare and first-fill weights for four different barrels of bourbon. It has been 36 days since then, so I weighed them again today and plugged the numbers into my Barrel Loss Tracker spreadsheet. What, you don't have one? :)

Annualized Loss Rate (expected percent change per year):
Barrel 45: -3.78%
Barrel 49: -2%
Barrel 50: 0% (The weight did not appear to change, don't know why, suspect bad first reading)
Barrel 52: -3.31% (I am heating this barrel. It has slowly been heated to 90degF)

You know, with numbers like these I think I'll stop worrying about my 1 1/16" - 1 ⅛" staves being too thin. :)

Here's what they look like after about 5 weeks:

IMG_4018.JPG


IMG_4019.JPG
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Re: The Badmotivator Bain-Marie and Oak Barrel

Postby cede » Sat Jan 06, 2018 9:43 pm

I read a few pages of this thread.
Great looking barrels :)
Want one ! Want one ! :lolno:
Well may be later.

Might be dumb asking but have you tried using the lip of the bain-marie to press the wood cover on it instead of putting it into the opening ? A bit like the sight glasses.
I would not be 100% confident letting just the wood on the stainless hoping not to pop one day ! After all the ends of barrels are mounted tongue and groove, but are way bigger.
I guess the charing would have to be done only in the center if you want it watertight.
Well writing that, I feel it might be a bad idea but I might try it one day :)
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Re: The Badmotivator Bain-Marie and Oak Barrel

Postby Badmotivator » Sun Jan 07, 2018 12:10 am

cede wrote:I read a few pages of this thread.
Great looking barrels :)
Want one ! Want one ! :lolno:
Well may be later.

Might be dumb asking but have you tried using the lip of the bain-marie to press the wood cover on it instead of putting it into the opening ? A bit like the sight glasses.
I would not be 100% confident letting just the wood on the stainless hoping not to pop one day ! After all the ends of barrels are mounted tongue and groove, but are way bigger.
I guess the charing would have to be done only in the center if you want it watertight.
Well writing that, I feel it might be a bad idea but I might try it one day :)


It might be a bad idea. But I have to be sure, so I made 55 of them. :)

Your question isn’t dumb at all! In fact, someone might want to try that? I’m all for it.

If you are interested in how I char the back of the barrel head, or any other part of my process, look up the Badmotivator Barrel YouTube channel. I am close to my goal of demonstrating every step of the process. Hopefully people will get inspired and start making their own barrels.

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=P ... hgOznPQfR3
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Re: The Badmotivator Bain-Marie and Oak Barrel

Postby cede » Sun Jan 07, 2018 10:26 am

I watched your videos !

I was saying my idea of clamping somehow the cover to the bain marie lip might be bad.
With 55 yours is proven to be good :)
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Re: The Badmotivator Bain-Marie and Oak Barrel

Postby Badmotivator » Sun Jan 07, 2018 11:56 am

cede wrote:I watched your videos !

I was saying my idea of clamping somehow the cover to the bain marie lip might be bad.
With 55 yours is proven to be good :)


My bad. I was being careless and I totally misread what you were saying. I’m sorry.
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Re: The Badmotivator Bain-Marie and Oak Barrel

Postby OtisT » Mon Jan 08, 2018 12:35 pm

After talking with Badmo the other day I decided to crack open my first badmo barrel (BOB) and see how my Honey Bear Bourbon was progressing. Wow!

Before receiving my first BOB, I had only used sticks in jars and some small bourbon barrels (2 Liter and 5 Liter) for oaking and aging. I filled this Badmo barrel with some Honey Bear Bourbon that had just spent 7 weeks in one of those mini 5L bourbon barrels. The jar on the left is a sample of what went into the BOB, proofed down for drinking. It was a fairly conservative (for me) cut of Hone Bear Bourbon, and coming out of the first barrel I could smell and taste my rough HBB along with a whole bunch of young oak smell and taste, and a little char smell/taste. Not something I would be proud to share with folks who know their bourbon.
IMG_3191.JPG
HBB in my BOB

The jar on the right is what I pulled from the BOB after 9 weeks, also proofed down for drinking. The color is much better now, though still a little lighter than I am shooting for. The smell is entirely different, and Incredibly delicious. Only trace amounts of young oak smell, the rough edges or bite of my white bourbon is gone, and it now has a descent amount of char smell. The best parts are the new smells and some existing HBB smells that were hiding behind all the harshness of a young product. It is so rich, warm, and sweet smelling, with a descent amount of char. I am not skilled at identifying specific smells by name, but vanilla is definitely new in there, along with some others I can't name.

The taste is good now, though I don't feel it has caught up with the great smell yet. The mouth feel matches the rich smell. I can pick up some young oak or possibly just dominant oak taste, but by no means is the oak anywhere near as harsh as it was when it went in.

While I know it needs more time and I expect it will continue to improve, this is my best aged bourbon to date and I would be proud to share it with my stilling friends as is (and I will when I see you ;-) ) I know now what I believe folks mean by a product having "turned" for the better after a period of aging. The difference is clear as night and day. I will say it again; I love this Fing hobby. :-)

Thanks again for the BOB Badmo. Otis
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Re: The Badmotivator Bain-Marie and Oak Barrel

Postby hpby98 » Mon Jan 08, 2018 8:39 pm

So I’m getting everything in place to make a few of these. I have a couple bourbon barrels that I’ll be using for the wood

For joining the staves, I have an option of beech or birch dowels & I’m not sure which or if it matters

Advice?
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Re: The Badmotivator Bain-Marie and Oak Barrel

Postby Badmotivator » Tue Jan 09, 2018 12:01 am

OtisT wrote:Thanks again for the BOB Badmo. Otis


These things are fun to play with, huh? I look forward to showing you my collection so you can see what they’re capable of. :) Thanks for your report.

And to all of you out there using these barrels, let us know how it goes. I’ll sure enjoy hearing how you fared.
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Re: The Badmotivator Bain-Marie and Oak Barrel

Postby Badmotivator » Tue Jan 09, 2018 12:07 am

hpby98 wrote:So I’m getting everything in place to make a few of these. I have a couple bourbon barrels that I’ll be using for the wood

For joining the staves, I have an option of beech or birch dowels & I’m not sure which or if it matters

Advice?


I wouldn’t worry about it, as long as the location of the dowels is far enough toward the outside of the wood. Also, consider using beeswax instead of glue. If you haven’t already, check out the videos in my signature for some ideas about this and do some practice joints before the real deal. Remember that the joinery only has to get you through the circle cutting and some minor sanding or planing. Once the head is installed those joints don’t do anything, so they don’t need to be especially strong.

Cheers, and good luck. Let us know how it goes.
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Re: The Badmotivator Bain-Marie and Oak Barrel

Postby hpby98 » Tue Jan 09, 2018 8:11 am

Badmotivator wrote:
hpby98 wrote:So I’m getting everything in place to make a few of these. I have a couple bourbon barrels that I’ll be using for the wood

For joining the staves, I have an option of beech or birch dowels & I’m not sure which or if it matters

Advice?


Also, consider using beeswax instead of glue.



Oh I’d never use glue in a barrel head! I saw your beeswax trick as well -nicely done videos. I was just thinking dowels to help hold everything together. I’ll beeswax them as well then too.
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Re: The Badmotivator Bain-Marie and Oak Barrel

Postby bluc » Tue Jan 09, 2018 6:10 pm

So besides the one that split no failures? Popping heads etc?

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Re: The Badmotivator Bain-Marie and Oak Barrel

Postby Badmotivator » Tue Jan 09, 2018 7:58 pm

bluc wrote:So besides the one that split no failures? Popping heads etc?


It did actually happen a few times before I learned my damned lesson. :) One barrel split after I had filled it with spirit and laid it on its side, but the split was on the top of the can and I discovered it fairly soon, so I (miraculously!) didn't lose much.

Here's the mistake I was making: Since I have a shop press now (rather than a mallet or a grip of clamps) to press the head in, I figured I could go a little bigger on the radius and get a wonderfully snug head. I was putting like 10 tons of force on that head to get it into the can. Whoops. What the shop press really enabled me to do was to cram an inappropriately large head into the can, which was unable to withstand the phenomenal expansion force of the wet wood. Understanding this problem led me to new guidance: The head should almost go into the top part of the can before pressing it in. By the time you do press it in, the taper of the can, the beeswax, and later the swelling of the oak provides plenty of compression on the edge of the head to ensure its "tightness". It's much easier now. I haven't seen a failure recently, so I have reason to think that I've fixed that problem.
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Re: The Badmotivator Bain-Marie and Oak Barrel

Postby AlChemE » Fri Jan 12, 2018 7:41 am

Well, I just ordered my own 6 qt bain-marie pot and stainless spigot. I got my hands on a 3" x 24" tongue and groove oak board from the Independent Stave Company. It was a demonstration piece that they had laying out at a booth... they also had some other neat staves with various levels of char, toast, and profiles cut into the wood. I'm pretty stoked because it is hands down the best quality oak out there for coopering. The only downside is that it is untoasted/uncharred. However, I have a harbor freight weed burner that I plan on charring it with. I'm pretty confident that I can make a similar barrel head, but I don't have any tools to make the tapered hole or plug. Are there any alternatives?
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Re: The Badmotivator Bain-Marie and Oak Barrel

Postby Badmotivator » Fri Jan 12, 2018 9:53 am

AlChemE wrote: I’m pretty confident that I can make a similar barrel head, but I don't have any tools to make the tapered hole or plug. Are there any alternatives?


Excellent! Yeah, the tapered tendon cutter and the matching tapered reamer are really nice if you’re going to continue to make these, but they are not needed.

On my first barrels I did not use them. I simply made a straight-sided bung hole and then cut and sanded a custom bung out of the same white oak. I made the bungs so that they would just barely go in when dry, and then the swelling took care of sealing it up.

I have some advice for you when you do this: 1) make sure there is a significant amount of wood sticking out so that you have something to grasp and twist when removing a swollen bung. 2) impregnate the bung with beeswax everywhere except the interior circular face. This allows the bung to get wet and swell, but not to continuously deliver that moisture to the outside where it will wick away.

Good luck, and let us know how it goes!
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Re: The Badmotivator Bain-Marie and Oak Barrel

Postby rgreen2002 » Fri Jan 12, 2018 4:33 pm

Badmotivator wrote:And to all of you out there using these barrels, let us know how it goes. I’ll sure enjoy hearing how you fared.


I've had mine for a while now. I used it for my first all grain bourbon and now I use it for my all molly rums. Just finished another all Molly rum and I plan to put her to good use. Barrel 17QAM3 still going strong! Thanks, BadMo.

I gotta check out this Youtube channel!
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Re: The Badmotivator Bain-Marie and Oak Barrel

Postby pretender » Sat Jan 13, 2018 5:23 am

badmo tries to decode your barrel markings, but I can not find the right post.
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Re: The Badmotivator Bain-Marie and Oak Barrel

Postby Badmotivator » Sat Jan 13, 2018 11:56 am

pretender wrote:badmo tries to decode your barrel markings, but I can not find the right post.


Serial number, wood species or source, toast level and char level.

17QAM3 is number 17, Quercus Alba (new American White Oak), Medium toast, char 3

I have stopped marking the species/source on the new American White Oak barrels, since they are kind of the default barrel. I will only indicate a source now if it is anything other than QA. Saves me some time on the branding step. :)

I have made some of my barrels out of bourbon barrel staves, marked XB, and some out of wine barrel staves, marked XW. I am going to experiment with some shellbark hickory wood I got, which I will mark CL, or carya laciniosa.
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Re: The Badmotivator Bain-Marie and Oak Barrel

Postby rubber duck » Sat Jan 13, 2018 5:07 pm

So i put down a riccilia in my badmotivator barrel. It was used for a rum first. Well I am sold. The bung and tap leaked a little but i fixed that with candle wax.

This concept is the future of wood ageing, and this the perfect economical way to age/ flavor a product in the new age of distilling.

You cant beat 30 years in a used wine cask but with this concept you can beat 6 or 8 years.
Ideas are like rabbits. You get a couple and learn how to handle them, and pretty soon you have a dozen. John Steinbeck
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Re: The Badmotivator Bain-Marie and Oak Barrel

Postby Badmotivator » Sat Jan 13, 2018 10:44 pm

rubber duck wrote: This concept is the future of wood ageing, and this the perfect economical way to age/ flavor a product in the new age of distilling.


I believe that. But then I would, wouldn’t I? It is profoundly gratifying to hear you say that you enjoy them and believe in them, my friend.

As I’ve said before, you can make these for around $25 in materials, $20 of which is reusable hardware. I still strongly recommend building your own fleet of barrels if you can. I feel a little bad asking $60 for them, since it seems like such a huge “markup”, and then with shipping too? Jeez. I just feel like I’m robbing you all. :) But member MarvinSutton helped me to understand that for those of us without the time or tools or inclination to make these barrels, having the option to buy them instead is nice.
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Re: The Badmotivator Bain-Marie and Oak Barrel

Postby rgreen2002 » Sun Jan 14, 2018 8:39 pm

OK... I just went and watched the BadMo barrel YouTube series... The man is a damn genius. You guys should check it out!

I love everything about this BadMo... and that ain't just the BadMo aged Rum talking either!
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Re: The Badmotivator Bain-Marie and Oak Barrel

Postby pretender » Fri Jan 19, 2018 12:43 am

Badmo, thanks for the videos. One picture replaces one thousand words ...
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Re: The Badmotivator Bain-Marie and Oak Barrel

Postby Oldvine Zin » Fri Jan 19, 2018 9:21 pm

pretender wrote:Badmo, thanks for the videos. One picture replaces one thousand words ...

And one drink from anything aged in one of them is worth many thousand words.

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Re: The Badmotivator Bain-Marie and Oak Barrel

Postby cede » Sat Jan 20, 2018 8:40 am

I got to find white oak... I've found decent prices on bain marie pots :)
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Re: The Badmotivator Bain-Marie and Oak Barrel

Postby hpby98 » Sat Jan 20, 2018 2:06 pm

cede wrote:I got to find white oak... I've found decent prices on bain marie pots :)



As a reference for these:

https://www.webstaurantstore.com/6-qt-b ... 78760.html

6 quart Bain Marie's for $6.50

about a 7.25" inside diameter

Pretty happy as mine just came in and they're much sturdier than I had expected for that price!
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Re: The Badmotivator Bain-Marie and Oak Barrel

Postby cede » Sat Jan 20, 2018 5:48 pm

Yep but over 120$ shipping to Canada. US/Canada shipping and duties are a rip off
Found some locally, used a bit, but in good shape for 5$ each
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Re: The Badmotivator Bain-Marie and Oak Barrel

Postby OtisT » Sun Jan 21, 2018 9:48 am

Badmo. I have a question for you on wood Humidity.

I have 5 sets toasted and am making three more. Using a hotplate with a 3 lb aluminum plate on top, toasting like you to with your panini iron. Works incredibly well; The most consistent temp method I have found yet. :-)
IMG_0419.JPG
5 sets toasted 400 F for 2-2.5 hours

IMG_0412.JPG
Toasting on hotplate with heatsync


After outdoor curing I brought the wood in wet, at 25-35%. Inside after three weeks it was mostly 5-6% with a few 7% spots. I toasted one side only on the plate. Most were toasted at 400 F for 2 to 2.5 hours. I am doing three more sets at 380 for 2.5 hours. The only moisture I noticed escaping while toasting was on a few pieces, and only in a few spots. Those wet spots appeared in the first 10 minutes and those dried up quickly. Must have been those 7% spots I detected previously.

12 hours after toasting, the raw side is 4-5% with the toasted side a solid 2%. There is a noticeable shrinkage on the toasted side. Am I correct to assume these should reach a "normal" humidity level, back to 5-6%, before cutting to size, to prevent busting my bain maries when they get filled?

Thanks, Otis
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Re: The Badmotivator Bain-Marie and Oak Barrel

Postby cede » Sun Jan 21, 2018 11:01 am

Well I always watch for even humidity in the wood before using it.
Even with that, sometimes when you cut you can liberate some tensions and pieces will wrap. That said on your small blocks, I think this won't happen.
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Re: The Badmotivator Bain-Marie and Oak Barrel

Postby Badmotivator » Sun Jan 21, 2018 11:37 am

OtisT wrote:Badmo. I have a question for you on wood Humidity.

...

Am I correct to assume these should reach a "normal" humidity level, back to 5-6%, before cutting to size, to prevent busting my bain maries when they get filled?

Thanks, Otis


No idea. I never I even thought of it.

Remember though that we are depending on the wood swelling, at least to some degree, to seal the barrel. So whether the wood is 4% or 10% probably doesn't matter much. In use, that wood will try to get up to 35% or whatever the waterlogged number is.

The barrels I broke were probably not caused mostly by the swelling of the wood, but the phenomenal strain I put on them by forcing a too-large head into them. If your head is a) mostly dry, b) smooth and circular, c) waxed around the edge, and d) almost goes down all the way into its final position without force, then I think you can trust that when pressed in and swelled, the can will be tight and not endanger the can. That's my current thinking, at least.
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