Not enough quantity for barrelling?

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NDakota
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Not enough quantity for barrelling?

Post by NDakota » Sat May 30, 2020 8:02 am

Hi Everyone!

Here I am with finally my Spirit Run! It's going on as I speak and I'm collecting in 150ml bottles for the cuts. Still is a 10L still loaded with 4 litres low wines at 30% ABV. I'm running really slow, I started at 11.30 this morning and now it's 5pm (UK time)

NOW: I'm collecting now the bottle number 8 (not counting the Foreshots), and ABV of the bottle number 7 was 67.5%. Tastes and smell feel good (first time I do it, so I have no comparison meters), I see that the ABV has been lowering down more rapidly in the last 3 bottles than at the start. As a rule of thumb I'm considering that hearts should be cut at around 62% ABV (I know that it is not a rule, but other than taste and smell I need some other parameters to decide having no experience).

At this rate, It seems to me that I may not have enough spirit to fill my barrel even after the dilution. I've got a small 3 Litres barrel and I thought that my recipe would have yielded around 2 lt of spirit to be diluted, but it seems I was wrong hahaha. Anyway, what's your thought on the final product? What do you think would be an acceptable level of spirit diluted to 60% to be worth filling the barrel?

I'm not even sure what may be the effect if the barrel is not full.

Thanks!

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Tummydoc
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Re: Not enough quantity for barrelling?

Post by Tummydoc » Sat May 30, 2020 8:14 am

What is your still and what is your goal? Sound like your running slow even for a reflux column, and you wouldn't typically barrel a neutral. If you're pot distilling, you're running WAY too slow. Bleed off the fores slowly (2-4 drips/second) and the first 3-400 ml of heads (by smell/taste rather than volume). Once it starts tasting ok, crank your rate to a small unbroken stream.





Last edited by Tummydoc on Sat May 30, 2020 8:14 am, edited 1 time in total.

NDakota
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Re: Not enough quantity for barrelling?

Post by NDakota » Sat May 30, 2020 8:23 am

Wow, though slow was better. It is around 3 dps, I've been running like this since this morning and I was so proud! :lol: :lol: :oops: :oops: Anyway it is pot still of a low wine started from Malted Barley.

I'm running few checks in other threads for the cuts, I'm smelling and tasting everything apart from fores and 1st bottle (by the way, bottle 5 was the charm lol).

What do you think would be a good quantity for barrelling in a 3 litres barrel?

Thanks!

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DetroitDIY
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Re: Not enough quantity for barrelling?

Post by DetroitDIY » Sat May 30, 2020 11:18 am

You don't have to fill a barrel, but you may get more evaporation per volume of liquid with a partially full barrel. I put 5 gallons rum in a 15 gallon barrel. It was great after 12 months, even better at 18 months. I rotated the barrel on occasion (once a month or so). That was more to interact with the oak a little more uniformly among the staves than any concern about the un-wetted staves drying out. The internal barrel environment will be very humid, and the water/ethanol vapor above your liquid will humidify and keep the un-wetted staves swollen tight. But your barrel surface area is constant, while you're under filling the fluid, so expect more evaporation. If your barrel experiences big temp swings, you'll age the spirit faster. If you age at high temps, you'll age faster. If you age in a dry environment (dehumidified in the UK) you'll preferentially evaporate water. If you age in a humid environment you'll preferentially evaporate ethanol. With such a small barrel, you'll age fast regardless. Taste it often. Be careful not to over age (over oak).

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Re: Not enough quantity for barrelling?

Post by NDakota » Sat May 30, 2020 12:10 pm

That's great news!

I still have to work on blending the cuts, but according to calculations (most probably wrong, but you never know) should be 1.5 litres after dilution...

I've seen various articles and threads here on the forum, and I have not clear enough the ratio behind the dilution before barrelling. I found out that the legal requirement is that it has to be not over 125 proof, but it seems to me that it may be more convenient to barrel way below that limit in order to dilute less after the ageing. What would be the downside of diluting more before the ageing?

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Re: Not enough quantity for barrelling?

Post by 8Ball » Sat May 30, 2020 1:00 pm

NDakota wrote:
Sat May 30, 2020 12:10 pm
...I found out that the legal requirement is that it has to be not over 125 proof ...
Pretty sure what most of us are doing isn’t legal 😊. It is all about what kind of flavor profile you hope to achieve. Different ABVs during aging draw out different flavors from the wood. Lots of info on that in the Aging & Flavoring section here.

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Re: Not enough quantity for barrelling?

Post by NZChris » Sat May 30, 2020 3:10 pm

I start calculating from where I want to end up.
3l at 62.5% contains about 2/3rds of the alcohol in the wash. At 8% in the wash, that would take a 35l wash.

A 3l barrel is likely to over-oak quite quickly, so I suggest you get fermenting so that you can keep the barrel topped up as you draw some off for drinking.

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Re: Not enough quantity for barrelling?

Post by DetroitDIY » Sat May 30, 2020 3:19 pm

As 8Ball said, lots of different ways to age, and different strengths ABV draw different components from the wood.

Another factor to consider, which maybe you're already doing, is that if you cut down your proof after aging, you dilute the color and oak flavor. The more your proof down, the more you dilute. If you store it relatively low proof in the barrel, less dilution, but different extractions and at different rates from the wood.

For those who really don't want to dilute the barrel flavor/color, they can get a second barrel and put clean water in it (or sweet water... the really low proof distillate off the still after your run should be over) and barrel that too. Then when the spirit is aged enough, you can proof it down with barrel water so as not to dilute the barrel essence as much as you might with just pure water.

Personally, I've never bothered with barrel water, and I put spirits into the oak barrel in the 55 - 62 ABV range. As I indicated previously, your proof will likely change in the barrel as the angle's share evaporates.

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Tummydoc
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Re: Not enough quantity for barrelling?

Post by Tummydoc » Sat May 30, 2020 3:39 pm

If you are going to store water in a barrel, you should add metabisulfite and citric acid to your solution or you risk mold infestation ruining your barrel.

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Re: Not enough quantity for barrelling?

Post by NDakota » Sun May 31, 2020 7:47 am

For my barrel: I've used hot water to seal it and now is not leaking anymore. Water comes out brown, should I rinse it until the water comes out clear? or is it ok of colouring the content so fast?

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Re: Not enough quantity for barrelling?

Post by DetroitDIY » Sun May 31, 2020 8:33 am

You don't need to rinse until water comes out clean. Once it's swollen tight with no leaks, you should be good to dump the water and fill it with the spirit at your desired strength.

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Re: Not enough quantity for barrelling?

Post by NDakota » Sun May 31, 2020 8:54 am

DetroitDIY wrote:
Sun May 31, 2020 8:33 am
You don't need to rinse until water comes out clean. Once it's swollen tight with no leaks, you should be good to dump the water and fill it with the spirit at your desired strength.
Thanks! I was just worried that the fact that the water comes out "yellowish - brown" was not ok. I know that the spirit will take colour from the wood, I just wanted confirmation that it was normal that the water was coming out yellow after 1 minute rinsing :lol: :lol: :lol:

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Re: Not enough quantity for barrelling?

Post by still_stirrin » Sun May 31, 2020 12:29 pm

NDakota wrote:
Sun May 31, 2020 8:54 am
DetroitDIY wrote:
Sun May 31, 2020 8:33 am
You don't need to rinse until water comes out clean. Once it's swollen tight with no leaks, you should be good to dump the water and fill it with the spirit at your desired strength.
Thanks! I was just worried that the fact that the water comes out "yellowish - brown" was not ok. I know that the spirit will take colour from the wood, I just wanted confirmation that it was normal that the water was coming out yellow after 1 minute rinsing :lol: :lol: :lol:
doh!!!

Water goes in clear and comes out colored. OK.....you want your spirit to “color”, don’t you? It’s the way it works! Whew...what a “newbie” thought. You’re learning....remember, that thing on your shoulders is good for more than just a “hat rack”. :crazy:
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Re: Not enough quantity for barrelling?

Post by Yummyrum » Mon Jun 01, 2020 1:30 am

NDakota

You might want to keep that brown water coming out to dilute the stuff you put in your barrel iffn thats required ... waste not want not . . I cut my 92% stuff from my Flute down to 78% AVB .( I know most say a round 65% is better or you’ll pull tanins ... well mist Rum is aged at close to 80%)

I got a 96liter Ex Bourbon barrel and Only managed to half fill it . It has held volume for nearly a year now no worries and has only lost a few points ABV .

Have to say we do have a fairly Humid conditions here though . But OMG ... barrel aged Rum is amazing ... won’t ever go back to staves , dominoes or chips .

Oh yeah , doesn’t taste like tannins or Rumski .

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