Barrel Advise Needed ....soon

Treatment and handling of your distillate.

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Hormesis
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Barrel Advise Needed ....soon

Post by Hormesis » Thu Apr 08, 2021 6:44 am

Today I was gifted 2 barrels! A 5 gallon and a 15 gallon. Both filled only once and dumped this week by a local small distillery.
I make bourbon / whiskey and have only ~4 gallons of UJSSM at 65% ready for a barrel. My fermenter is a 30 gallon (~120 liter) poly drum and I currently have an 18 gallon Angel yeast yellow batch fermenting....10 days now. I have another 800 grams of Angel and all the grains to go with it and fully stocked feed stores within a few miles. I have other fermenters and yeasts to use as well.

So you say 'that's not so bad'....but there's a problem which I hope I can overcome. Possibly a BIG problem!

The 5 gallon barrel is a barrel of unknown brand and it WAS FILLED WITH AGAVE.
The 15 gallon barrel is a Barrel Mill brand barrel and it WAS FILLED WITH BITTERS.

How can I "rinse" or clean or "condition" these barrels for whiskey? ......can I?
The agave barrel may not be so bad but the bitters barrel is pretty powerful.

Could I rinse-rinse-rinse-rinse then bung them and put in the 4 gallons of UJSSM then roll them around them for a while?

How about a hot backset soak? How about some trub from a whiskey ferment from my Angel yeast yellow? ... What would the koji / rhizopus / oryzae do to the barrel?

Any Ideas guys?

Thanks,

-Hormesis-.

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Expat
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Re: Barrel Advise Needed ....soon

Post by Expat » Thu Apr 08, 2021 7:16 am

Hormesis wrote:
Thu Apr 08, 2021 6:44 am
Today I was gifted 2 barrels! A 5 gallon and a 15 gallon. Both filled only once and dumped this week by a local small distillery.
I make bourbon / whiskey and have only ~4 gallons of UJSSM at 65% ready for a barrel. My fermenter is a 30 gallon (~120 liter) poly drum and I currently have an 18 gallon Angel yeast yellow batch fermenting....10 days now. I have another 800 grams of Angel and all the grains to go with it and fully stocked feed stores within a few miles. I have other fermenters and yeasts to use as well.

So you say 'that's not so bad'....but there's a problem which I hope I can overcome. Possibly a BIG problem!

The 5 gallon barrel is a barrel of unknown brand and it WAS FILLED WITH AGAVE.
The 15 gallon barrel is a Barrel Mill brand barrel and it WAS FILLED WITH BITTERS.

How can I "rinse" or clean or "condition" these barrels for whiskey? ......can I?
The agave barrel may not be so bad but the bitters barrel is pretty powerful.

Could I rinse-rinse-rinse-rinse then bung them and put in the 4 gallons of UJSSM then roll them around them for a while?

How about a hot backset soak? How about some trub from a whiskey ferment from my Angel yeast yellow? ... What would the koji / rhizopus / oryzae do to the barrel?

Any Ideas guys?

Thanks,

-Hormesis-.
Agave barrel as you suggest will probably be fine to use, just find a combination which will benefit from its influence.

For the 15g, you're not going to get bitter oils out of the wood structure by rinsing. Leaching with UJ might work to get *most* out, if you left it for long enough, but unless you really want UJ bitters I wouldn't.

Stepping back for a moment, 15g is a huge barrel at the hobby scale.... filling it is going to be like 600+lbs of grain mashing. And then to bet that much effort on a odd flavor barrel, wouldn't be something I would do.

Two options I can think of 1) break down, and restore the barrel, toast/char and reassemble. 2) Probably the better option, break the barrel down for refinishing and use as strips or dominos.
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Deplorable
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Re: Barrel Advise Needed ....soon

Post by Deplorable » Thu Apr 08, 2021 7:29 am

+1 to what Expat said. Maybe fill the 5 gallon with your UJ, or a bold flavored rum, and long sleep, then a single malt Caribbean cask style.
Use all your senses, and its not that hard. You just have to pay attention.

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Durhommer
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Re: Barrel Advise Needed ....soon

Post by Durhommer » Thu Apr 08, 2021 11:45 am

+1 on these suggestions
You have two ears and one mouth for a reason....

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8Ball
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Re: Barrel Advise Needed ....soon

Post by 8Ball » Thu Apr 08, 2021 6:07 pm

Deplorable wrote:
Thu Apr 08, 2021 7:29 am
+1 to what Expat said. Maybe fill the 5 gallon with your UJ, or a bold flavored rum, and long sleep, then a single malt Caribbean cask style.
+1 to the +1

Rum followed by a single malt Caribbean cask style is a good call.

I picked up a bottle of Glenlivet Single Malt Caribbean Reserve today that was finished in Caribbean rum barrels. Set me back $86 bucks. But it is a gift for my son in law who did some work for me over the weekend. Looking forward to getting a taste ...
🎱 The struggle is real and this rabbit hole just got interesting.

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