New oak barrel

All styles of whiskey. This is for all-grain mashes.

Moderator: Site Moderator

Post Reply
ulster_beef1
Novice
Posts: 52
Joined: Sun Mar 27, 2016 9:04 am

New oak barrel

Post by ulster_beef1 » Thu Jun 25, 2020 6:25 am

So I can buy literally any size oak barrel and get it charred. The only issue is, they are new!

Should I buy a load of cheap sherry and let it soak in first or....? I'm wanting to age scotch

User avatar
Expat
Site Donor
Site Donor
Posts: 1929
Joined: Fri Feb 24, 2012 3:58 pm

Re: New oak barrel

Post by Expat » Thu Jun 25, 2020 6:41 am

ulster_beef1 wrote:
Thu Jun 25, 2020 6:25 am
So I can buy literally any size oak barrel and get it charred. The only issue is, they are new!

Should I buy a load of cheap sherry and let it soak in first or....? I'm wanting to age scotch
Personally I wouldn't bother, depending on the size of barrel you're thinking of you'll need a whole lot of Sherry. Better to complete your oaking and experiment with adding small amounts of Sherry. Scotch industry rules don't need to apply.

Consider how much production capacity you've got and make sure you'll be able to (at least mostly) fill th barrel in one shot.

And remember to sample the barrel at regular intervals during the aging process to ensure you don't overshoot the oaking. There is no set amount of time.
_____________________
EXPAT

Current boiler and pot head viewtopic.php?f=50&t=71855
Cross flow condenser viewtopic.php?f=87&t=47632
Modular 3" Boka - pics tbd
___________________

tombombadil
Swill Maker
Posts: 277
Joined: Wed Dec 18, 2019 2:55 pm

Re: New oak barrel

Post by tombombadil » Thu Jun 25, 2020 4:54 pm

Or make some mead first. Or make some bourbon first. Etc...

User avatar
Bushman
Global moderator
Posts: 15190
Joined: Tue Mar 30, 2010 5:29 am
Location: Pacific Northwest

Re: New oak barrel

Post by Bushman » Thu Jun 25, 2020 5:06 pm

Interested in where you can get any size barrel, is it commercial or do you know a cooper?

User avatar
Dutch41
Site Donor
Site Donor
Posts: 85
Joined: Sun Oct 09, 2011 3:12 pm
Location: CONUS

Re: New oak barrel

Post by Dutch41 » Sun Jul 19, 2020 9:33 am

Bushman wrote:
Thu Jun 25, 2020 5:06 pm
Interested in where you can get any size barrel, is it commercial or do you know a cooper?
Gibbs Brothers Cooperage...

User avatar
Corsaire
Site Donor
Site Donor
Posts: 1017
Joined: Tue Jun 20, 2017 1:20 pm
Location: Belgium

Re: New oak barrel

Post by Corsaire » Tue Jul 21, 2020 5:30 am

Since Scotch is usually aged in ex bourbon casks I'd try and make bourbon first.
Even the ones that claim sherry spent the majority of their lives in ex bourbon, and then a smaller amount of time in sherry.
I could be wrong though.
But I find bourbon pairs better with fresh wood than rum or malt whisky does. Just my opinion, based on aging in glass with wood added, no actual barrels here.

User avatar
jayka
Swill Maker
Posts: 351
Joined: Sat Jul 11, 2020 10:25 pm

Re: New oak barrel

Post by jayka » Tue Oct 20, 2020 8:40 pm

I decided to season a barrel of mine with port. Just because I wanted a port barrel. Wasn't too hard or expensive. And it created a nice finish. Definitely worth it.
Sooner or later the people who run the planet all end up choosing one drink....

zapata
Distiller
Posts: 1531
Joined: Fri Jul 07, 2017 1:06 pm

Re: New oak barrel

Post by zapata » Wed Oct 21, 2020 8:59 am

I'd just put whiskey in them. American straight malt whiskies are aged in virgin barrels fairly often. Yeah, that's different from scotch, but it's what you already have the ingredients for. First fill will be "american", 2nd and subsequent fills "scotch". Season the barrel with a bit of sherry/port/whatever you want before either or both.

If you really want scotch flavor because you really don't like american malt straight whiskies, well, then I'd purge the barrel with more than a seasoning of sherry. I'd probably at the very least soak and dump a couple fills of water, or maybe even some vodka. Seems like a waste of virgin wood to me, but no need to make a whiskey you don't like.

And feel free to double check, but I'm pretty sure the real sherry barels used it scotland aren't ever charred. They are toasted only for the sherry. Sometimes in scotland they may be scraped and recharred, but I think that's a somewhat isolated procedure.

User avatar
Durhommer
Distiller
Posts: 1652
Joined: Tue Mar 12, 2019 11:23 am

Re: New oak barrel

Post by Durhommer » Wed Oct 21, 2020 9:05 am

So I have a 2 gallon gibbs coming in with a level 4 char how often will I have to keep it topped off I'm filling it with 2 row single malt my goal was to leave in the barrel for a year
You have two ears and one mouth for a reason....

User avatar
Swedish Pride
Site Donor
Site Donor
Posts: 2475
Joined: Tue Aug 26, 2014 2:16 am
Location: Emerald Isle

Re: New oak barrel

Post by Swedish Pride » Wed Oct 21, 2020 9:28 am

Imo new Oak overpower the lovely maltiness. Do a straight corn at least once if you want to retain the flavour of the malt.
Don't be a dick

User avatar
Durhommer
Distiller
Posts: 1652
Joined: Tue Mar 12, 2019 11:23 am

Re: New oak barrel

Post by Durhommer » Wed Oct 21, 2020 9:34 am

Swedish Pride wrote:
Wed Oct 21, 2020 9:28 am
Imo new Oak overpower the lovely maltiness. Do a straight corn at least once if you want to retain the flavour of the malt.
So you're telling me that I should save this white single malt and make corn likker and age it first I get that now I gotta cook corn...i dislike corn how about corn and barley and wheat since that's on hand
You have two ears and one mouth for a reason....

User avatar
Deplorable
Site Donor
Site Donor
Posts: 618
Joined: Thu Jun 25, 2020 12:10 pm
Location: PNW

Re: New oak barrel

Post by Deplorable » Wed Oct 21, 2020 10:03 am

Make an American whiskey (bourbon) of your liking to deflower that virgin barrel. Then put your Scotch tyle whisky in it.
Use all your senses, and its not that hard. You just have to pay attention.

User avatar
Swedish Pride
Site Donor
Site Donor
Posts: 2475
Joined: Tue Aug 26, 2014 2:16 am
Location: Emerald Isle

Re: New oak barrel

Post by Swedish Pride » Wed Oct 21, 2020 10:05 am

Not necessarily corn just something you don't mind getting over powered by the new Oak. To me corn has little flavour so perfect for breaking a barrel in.
Corn wheat and barley would make a lovely bourbon, go with that if it's what you got. Add some oats as well for something a bit different.
Don't be a dick

User avatar
jonnys_spirit
Distiller
Posts: 1300
Joined: Wed Oct 21, 2015 7:58 am
Location: The Milky Way

Re: New oak barrel

Post by jonnys_spirit » Wed Oct 21, 2020 10:07 am

You could try it in the new oak and see how you like it. Single malt scotches are aged in once used bourbon barrels (and maybe finished in a sherry or port cask or something else) in order to prevent over oaking. There are no rules @ home but maybe some guidelines to follow if you're after a certain profile or protocol.

Cheers!
-jonny
————
i make stuff i break stuff
water into whiskey into water
just getting started in home distilling - been drinking for decades
16g copper pot still, 10l alembic, and a column or two
————

User avatar
Durhommer
Distiller
Posts: 1652
Joined: Tue Mar 12, 2019 11:23 am

Re: New oak barrel

Post by Durhommer » Wed Oct 21, 2020 10:08 am

Ok so I dont have liquid enzymes should I use 5-2ph stabilizer in corn mash for powder amylase
You have two ears and one mouth for a reason....

User avatar
Durhommer
Distiller
Posts: 1652
Joined: Tue Mar 12, 2019 11:23 am

Re: New oak barrel

Post by Durhommer » Wed Oct 21, 2020 10:12 am

Swedish Pride wrote:
Wed Oct 21, 2020 10:05 am
Not necessarily corn just something you don't mind getting over powered by the new Oak. To me corn has little flavour so perfect for breaking a barrel in.
Corn wheat and barley would make a lovely bourbon, go with that if it's what you got. Add some oats as well for something a bit different.
Ok so I'll go this route then I have 20 pound malt barley and some wheat dme and some feed corn I'm sure 20 pounds will convert 30 pounds corn right....
You have two ears and one mouth for a reason....

User avatar
Expat
Site Donor
Site Donor
Posts: 1929
Joined: Fri Feb 24, 2012 3:58 pm

Re: New oak barrel

Post by Expat » Wed Oct 21, 2020 11:08 am

Durhommer wrote:
Wed Oct 21, 2020 10:12 am
Swedish Pride wrote:
Wed Oct 21, 2020 10:05 am
Not necessarily corn just something you don't mind getting over powered by the new Oak. To me corn has little flavour so perfect for breaking a barrel in.
Corn wheat and barley would make a lovely bourbon, go with that if it's what you got. Add some oats as well for something a bit different.
Ok so I'll go this route then I have 20 pound malt barley and some wheat dme and some feed corn I'm sure 20 pounds will convert 30 pounds corn right....
Yes, unless something is really wrong with the malt or you overtemp it, you shouldn't have a problem converting.

SCD put together a great post on recipe design which I always go back to when on this topic. Link here.
https://homedistiller.org/forum/viewtop ... 11&t=69417
_____________________
EXPAT

Current boiler and pot head viewtopic.php?f=50&t=71855
Cross flow condenser viewtopic.php?f=87&t=47632
Modular 3" Boka - pics tbd
___________________

zapata
Distiller
Posts: 1531
Joined: Fri Jul 07, 2017 1:06 pm

Re: New oak barrel

Post by zapata » Thu Oct 22, 2020 1:46 am

5.2 ph buffer doesn't work, can't work, and wouldn't work even if it could. It's been pretty thoroughly shamed on the brewing forums if you want to read up on it. IME a majority malt grainbill will take care of itself close enough with most people's water. A little backset, citric, or phosphoric acid may be optimal though, but better to actually test and adjust than counting on a magical powder.
So you're telling me that I should save this white single malt and make corn likker and age it first
Seems silly doesn't it? Unless you really don't like virgin oak, which you haven't said, in which case you won't like corn on virgin oak anyway.
i dislike corn
Then don't make it. Personally while I have made untold gallons of the stuff, corn is absolutely my least favorite grain. Nothing wrong with not liking it, and silly to go out of your way to make a whiskey you don't like while you wait to age the one you probably will. Other than corn, all American "malt whiskies" are aged in virgin wood too. Used wood has to carry a description like "whiskey from malt mash" rather than the simple name "malt whiskey". So take that white dog you have now and make an american malt whiskey. Hell, you already made it, just throw it in the barrel.

If it's the scotch thing you're stuck on, then Scots do use virgin oak for single malts too. From Auchentoshan in the lowlands, Benromach in the highlands, and Bruichladdich/Octomore on Islay, a small but diverse portion of scotch is aged in virgin oak. It's a thing. You don't have to make corn likker to use a virgin cask.

I do think that malt can be overpowered by virgin oak, but not ruined. Would you really turn down a pour of Glenmorangie Ealanta? Former best whisky in the world and aged for 20 years in virgin american white oak.

User avatar
Durhommer
Distiller
Posts: 1652
Joined: Tue Mar 12, 2019 11:23 am

Re: New oak barrel

Post by Durhommer » Thu Oct 22, 2020 2:48 am

I dont like mashing corn is my problem it's so messy for me and yeah I thought about just pouring it in the barrel.i think I'll barrel this jimbos then in a year or so make a heavy peat malt and put in the barrel as I do like the scotch whiskey
You have two ears and one mouth for a reason....

YARBLES
Novice
Posts: 6
Joined: Mon Oct 12, 2020 6:54 am

Re: New oak barrel

Post by YARBLES » Sat Nov 07, 2020 4:18 pm

zapata wrote:
Thu Oct 22, 2020 1:46 am
5.2 ph buffer doesn't work, can't work, and wouldn't work even if it could. It's been pretty thoroughly shamed on the brewing forums if you want to read up on it.
Sauce? I just tried a pH buffer recently and had a sugar wash finish in less than 36 hours (no turbo yeast). I'm new and experimenting. Found a way to make a pH buffer from using Sodium hydroxide and Citric Acid forming sodium citrate in a water solution.

I have no idea about flavour yet as I haven't distilled it. Is it shamed upon because it's not the "old way" or is it for off flavours?
I'm all for old ways and modern solutions to be honest.

zapata
Distiller
Posts: 1531
Joined: Fri Jul 07, 2017 1:06 pm

Re: New oak barrel

Post by zapata » Mon Nov 09, 2020 10:54 pm

Nope, if anything homebrewers originally flocked to 5.2 and really wanted to embrace it. If you really can't be bothered to search for sauce yourself, which is all over every single homebrew forum I've ever been on, here's the first hit I get with a google.
This is taken from Bru'n Water and relays a converstaion in which the maker essentially admits that the product does not do what it purports to.

Taken from here

SPECIAL NOTE: Five Star 5.2 Stabilizer is indicated by its manufacturer to "lock in your mash and kettle water at a pH of 5.2 regardless of the starting pH of your water". Evidence by homebrewers indicates that this product does not produce a mash pH in the preferred room-temperature range of 5.3 to 5.5. That evidence shows this product does produce some pH moderation in waters with high Residual Alkalinity. However, the mash pH tends to center around 5.8 (room-temperature measurement). While 5.8 pH is acceptable, it is at the upper end of the desirable mashing range. The evidence also shows that in waters with low Residual Alkalinity, this product shows little effect on mash pH. Since Five Star 5.2 Stabilizer is a compound with high sodium content, its use will elevate the sodium concentration in the brewing water. High sodium content can be undesirable from a taste standpoint in beer. Proper alkalinity control of mashing and sparging water may produce more acceptable brewing results for most brewers than with the use of 5.2 Stabilizer. To add emphasis to difficulty in using this product, the following conversation posted on Homebrew Talk between noted brewing water expert, AJ DeLange and the chemist from Five Star Chemical regarding their 5.2 Stabilizer product. "Tipped a few last night with the chemist who designed this product and was able to confirm that it is indeed a mix of phosphates (mono and di basic) that accounts for the presence of the malt phosphate. This is something I have long suspected and am pleased to have finally confirmed. Good manners prevented me from pressing him on it's efficacy and suitability relative to the statement on the label. But his comments on it were basically that most brewers shouldn't use it/need it and that it was put together for a particular brewery that had variable source water and no desire to make any effort to track that variability."


Off-taste: Perhaps. Too much sodium
Effective buffer: Not in the range we want as brewers

Conclusion: A totally ineffective product which cannot and does not do what it claims to. Total junk.
But you're using it in a sugar wash, which certainly isn't a malt mash. But really, do you need a buffer? Every yeast strain on the planet prefers to start with at least slight acidity. And every yeast strain on the planet makes acids. So, if you need anything at all, you just need some ability to buffer the yeast's acids. You don't need a true buffer or "pH stabilizer", you simply need some alkalinity. A "one way buffer" if you will, since a wash has zero need to buffer pH down, yeast does that perfectly well.

I will also suggest that much buffering is counter productive, ESPECIALLY in a sugar wash. The more you buffer yeast produced acidity, the more acids (and thus esters) they create. In the case of Five Star's 5.2, both it's stated goal of 5.2 and it's observed 5.8 are terrible pH for a neutral wash, it's probably near the peak of acid and ester production. Which is great if you're Bryan Davis and trying to make "30 year old" estery spirits in 2 weeks, but pretty terrible if you want a clean sugar wash. (Davis has written several times about embracing "high" pH to generate more flavorful rum washes) All of this is still missing the point that 5.2 was never meant to be a reasonable fermentation pH, but is rather the ideal pH for MASHING, specifically for only one enzyme as anybody who has adjusted pH between alpha and gluco rests can attest, each enzyme has a different ideal pH.

But if you're capable of making your own buffer at whatever pH you want? OK, cool, maybe you'll invent something. But the most capable professional and academic fermenters I know don't do that, they just set a good initial pH and use water that has sufficient minerals to discourage a "crash", or they add slowly dissolving alkalinity in the form of calcium carbonate (ala oyster shells or marble).

FWIW, I bought into the 5.2 hype myself, I love a good magic bullet. I used it for mashes and sugar washes alike, and swore it worked. And then I got a pH meter. And then I learned a lot more about mash chemistry. And then I learned a lot more a fermentation chemistry. And I still have half a tub of the 5.2 buffer which I keep to remind myself that sometimes newfangled magic bullets are awesome, sometimes the old ways rule supreme, but without actual data and understanding I'm a sucker for a reasonably priced tub of magical powder.

Post Reply