Used Barrels?

Any hardware used for mashing, fermenting or aging.

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CypSteel
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Used Barrels?

Post by CypSteel » Wed Sep 09, 2020 9:48 am

Its my understanding you can only use a barrel 7-8 times before it no longer imparts the same flavors / influence on the product. For that reason, I have been avoiding used whiskey barrels as I assume they have been used enough times to limit their benefit to my product. Several individuals on this forum find used wine barrels good to use. Wouldn't they have the same problem? I assume the wine absorbs the same flavoring that our product needs?

I was planning to perhaps take the wine barrel apart and use just portions of the staves in glass jars.

The other option on the table is a listing on ebay for 10lbs of seasoned oak. Perhaps this is the better path forward? Can any of you gurus help me make the right choice here or consider something else?

Thanks in advance!

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nerdybrewer
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Re: Used Barrels?

Post by nerdybrewer » Wed Sep 09, 2020 10:31 am

If you can find used Bourbon barrels they are supposed to have been used only once.
This is a very good thing for aging rum and scotch, and I think other spirits can benefit as well.
A once used Bourbon barrel will not be cheap, but as you point out it can be used several more times.

The wood is cut in a special way for use in making a barrel, so basic cuts of oak wood may not be as useful as you might hope.

Yes many people do disassemble and use staves in glass containers, it's not the same as using a barrel but it works.
Cranky's spoonfeeding:
http://homedistiller.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=52975

Time and Oak will sort it out.

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Re: Used Barrels?

Post by Beerswimmer » Wed Sep 09, 2020 7:12 pm

You can buy used barrels as small as 5 gallons if you're interested in that. I have several used barrels and they still impart a lot of character. Most will be fairly newly dumped and will seal tight right away. Or you can go to a hardware store and buy a half barrel in the gardening section and probably have enough staves to last for a decade or 2.
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CypSteel
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Re: Used Barrels?

Post by CypSteel » Wed Sep 09, 2020 8:27 pm

Beerswimmer wrote:
Wed Sep 09, 2020 7:12 pm
You can buy used barrels as small as 5 gallons if you're interested in that. I have several used barrels and they still impart a lot of character. Most will be fairly newly dumped and will seal tight right away. Or you can go to a hardware store and buy a half barrel in the gardening section and probably have enough staves to last for a decade or 2.
Are you talking like a home depot / lowes? I don't think I have ever seen anyone selling half barrels.

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Re: Used Barrels?

Post by 43South » Wed Sep 09, 2020 9:04 pm

As long as they hold liquid they're good as a conditioning vessel, can always add some oak chunks of your choice to up the oak influence

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Re: Used Barrels?

Post by Beerswimmer » Thu Sep 10, 2020 12:01 pm

CypSteel wrote:
Wed Sep 09, 2020 8:27 pm

Are you talking like a home depot / lowes? I don't think I have ever seen anyone selling half barrels.
Yeah. The Lowe's and Home Depot here has used bourbon and wine half barrels. Find a smashed one and ask for a discount :thumbup:
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Re: Used Barrels?

Post by kiwi Bruce » Thu Sep 10, 2020 12:22 pm

nerdybrewer wrote:
Wed Sep 09, 2020 10:31 am
If you can find used Bourbon barrels they are supposed to have been used only once.
By law they MUST be used only once...(actually the law states that in order to be called whiskey or bourbon the "white dog" must be put into new white oak casks)...that's not to say that the whiskey hasn't been in a used cask for many years, the reason these barrels are generally sent to Scotland for use with Scotch is that there is still LOADS of life still in them...however if a couple of staves go "bad" then they're shipped off to the secondary market, (garden centers to make planters) and this is where we grab them !
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nerdybrewer
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Re: Used Barrels?

Post by nerdybrewer » Thu Sep 10, 2020 1:37 pm

The barrels I bought from Balcone's and Woodinville Whisky and Oola were all very good, I'd guess the oola was truly once used while the others seemed to be more like about 1/3 spent. They aged my rum just fine, but the Oola is the best of those three for used whisky barrels. IMHO of course...
Cranky's spoonfeeding:
http://homedistiller.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=52975

Time and Oak will sort it out.

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Deplorable
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Re: Used Barrels?

Post by Deplorable » Thu Sep 10, 2020 3:37 pm

I've now purchased two once used 5 gallon barrels from my local distillery, and a friend bought a 15 gallon from them for an oatmeal stout. All three have been good quality barrels, and I will be buying again from them.
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Corsaire
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Re: Used Barrels?

Post by Corsaire » Wed Sep 23, 2020 10:39 pm

I actually prefer spent barrels in some cases.
I like the aging effect without the oaking.
Of course your taste might be different.

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nerdybrewer
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Re: Used Barrels?

Post by nerdybrewer » Fri Sep 25, 2020 6:39 pm

Corsaire wrote:
Wed Sep 23, 2020 10:39 pm
I actually prefer spent barrels in some cases.
I like the aging effect without the oaking.
Of course your taste might be different.
I haven't used any of mine enough times for them to be "spent".
One I put scorched bourbon into I'd call ruined, but not spent.
Cranky's spoonfeeding:
http://homedistiller.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=52975

Time and Oak will sort it out.

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Corsaire
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Re: Used Barrels?

Post by Corsaire » Fri Sep 25, 2020 9:03 pm

Barrel aged cocktails were a big thing around here a couple of years ago. I got a 5l barrel off a bartending friend that was used a lot. My first fill cornflakes turned out interesting ;-)

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