Difference between revisions of "Barrel"

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m (Moved everything to Cask, as that is technically what it is.)
(Undo revision 4352 by Single Malt Yinzer (talk) - It's barrel on Wikipedia, so we probably should keep it the same here.)
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[[Image:7gallon.jpg|thumb|200px|right|A 7 gallon oak barrel]]
 
[[Image:7gallon.jpg|thumb|200px|right|A 7 gallon oak barrel]]
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[[File:Cask_parts.jpg|thumb|200px|right|Parts of a Cask]]
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[[File:Influence-of-oak-chemical-compunds-on-flavour.png|thumb|200px|right|Oak Flavor Influences]]
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Wooden container used to store [[spirits]], normally made of [[Oak barrels|oak]] though other woods are also used.
  
A barrel is a type of [[cask]] that holds 36 gallons.  
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Technically, a barrel is a type of [[cask]] that holds 36 gallons.  
  
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==Aging affects==
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During the barrel aging process, some of the following chemical changes occur in the [[spirit]]:
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*Leaching of oak flavors into the [[spirits|spirit]], including vanillins, lactones, smokiness from the char, spice characters, and tannins
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*Oxidation of spirit
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*Evaporation of [[spirits|spirit]] through dry section of barrel, known as the [[Angel's Share]]
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*[[Maturation_aldehydes|The aldehyde level changes]]
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*[[Maturation_color|The color changes]]
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*[[Maturation_esters|The concentration of esters changes]]
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*[[Maturation_fixed_acidity|The acidity changes]]
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*[[Maturation_furfural|The concentration of furfural changes]]
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*[[Maturation_fusel_oil|The concentration of fusel oils change]]
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*[[Maturation_ph|The pH changes]]
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*[[Maturation_solids|The amount of solids change]]
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*[[Maturation_proof|The proof changes]]
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*[[Maturation_tannins|The concentration of tannins change]]
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*[[Maturation_total_acidity|The total acidity changes]]
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==Barrel Customization==
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Although some barrels are new oak, many have been customized somehow:
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*[[Charring]]
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*Storing of similar [[spirits|spirits]] (reuse)
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*Storing of dis-similar [[spirits|spirits]] or [[wine]] (reuse)
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==Barrel Surface Area==
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The size of the barrel affects the surface area the spirit touches. The higher the surface area that the spirit touches the faster oak flavors are transferred to the spirit. The smaller the barrel the larger the surface area is compared to the spirit.
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*[http://www.deepsouthbarrels.com/page/barrel-dimensions/barrel-dimensions Barrel Surface Area link]
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==Usage Terminology==
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*First Fill: The first time a barrel is used. This is required in most forms of American Whiskey production. It will impart the strongest flavors of the wood.
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*Second/Third/Etc Fill: Normally "Second (or further) fill" is used to describe the reuse of a barrel with a similar product. The Second and further fill reduce the wood flavors absorbed by the distillate allowing longer ageing before it gets over oaked. It is common to see third and forth fill barrels.
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*Ex-(spirit/wine): Ex-barrels is used to describe re-use (Second+ fill) of a barrel when used with a dissimilar spirit. Scotch is commonly aged in Ex-Bourbon and Ex-Sherry barrels. Ex-Wine barrels are now starting to become common.
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*Finishing: Finishing is taking a spirit from one barrel and being put in another before being bottled. Spending too much time in one type of cask may impart too strong of a specific flavor. Finishing allows to mix casks to create a unique flavor profile. Common with Ex-Sherry casks in Scotch. New make Scotch will spend most of its time (several years) in ex-bourbon barrels and the last couple months to a couple years in a Ex-Sherry cask. It is also becoming common to see 3 or more types of casks used to age a spirit.
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==Barrel Alternatives==
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If you can not store your [[spirits|spirit]] for years in a 55 gallon oak barrel, there are some alternatives which provide a reasonable approximation of barrel [[maturation|aging]]:
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*Put oak chips in your [[spirits|spirit]] bottle
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*Put charred [[oak chips]] in your bottles to simulate [[Bourbon Whiskey|bourbon]]
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*Stopper your bottles with a dry [[cork]] to promote evaporation
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*Add a small amount of [[sherry]] to your spirit
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*[http://homedistiller.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=60032 The Badmotivator Bain-Marie and Oak Barrel]
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==External links==
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*[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barrel Barrel on Wikipedia]
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*[https://www.beveragemedia.com/2015/10/02/scotchs-deep-secret/ Scotch’s Deep Secret:Wood]
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*[https://www.diageobaracademy.com/en_zz/news/tips/barrel_and_bottle_ageing_chart/ Diageo Barrel flavor chart]
 
[[Category:Equipment]]
 
[[Category:Equipment]]
 
[[Category:Maturation]]
 
[[Category:Maturation]]
 
[[Category:Glossary]]
 
[[Category:Glossary]]

Revision as of 09:37, 4 October 2017

A 7 gallon oak barrel
Parts of a Cask
Oak Flavor Influences

Wooden container used to store spirits, normally made of oak though other woods are also used.

Technically, a barrel is a type of cask that holds 36 gallons.


Aging affects

During the barrel aging process, some of the following chemical changes occur in the spirit:

Barrel Customization

Although some barrels are new oak, many have been customized somehow:

Barrel Surface Area

The size of the barrel affects the surface area the spirit touches. The higher the surface area that the spirit touches the faster oak flavors are transferred to the spirit. The smaller the barrel the larger the surface area is compared to the spirit.

Usage Terminology

  • First Fill: The first time a barrel is used. This is required in most forms of American Whiskey production. It will impart the strongest flavors of the wood.
  • Second/Third/Etc Fill: Normally "Second (or further) fill" is used to describe the reuse of a barrel with a similar product. The Second and further fill reduce the wood flavors absorbed by the distillate allowing longer ageing before it gets over oaked. It is common to see third and forth fill barrels.
  • Ex-(spirit/wine): Ex-barrels is used to describe re-use (Second+ fill) of a barrel when used with a dissimilar spirit. Scotch is commonly aged in Ex-Bourbon and Ex-Sherry barrels. Ex-Wine barrels are now starting to become common.
  • Finishing: Finishing is taking a spirit from one barrel and being put in another before being bottled. Spending too much time in one type of cask may impart too strong of a specific flavor. Finishing allows to mix casks to create a unique flavor profile. Common with Ex-Sherry casks in Scotch. New make Scotch will spend most of its time (several years) in ex-bourbon barrels and the last couple months to a couple years in a Ex-Sherry cask. It is also becoming common to see 3 or more types of casks used to age a spirit.

Barrel Alternatives

If you can not store your spirit for years in a 55 gallon oak barrel, there are some alternatives which provide a reasonable approximation of barrel aging:

External links