Half Whiskey Barrels at Lowe's

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trthskr4
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Half Whiskey Barrels at Lowe's

Post by trthskr4 » Thu May 29, 2008 8:19 am

I went by Lowe's yesturday to check for some things and as I was pulling in by the Garden section I noticed a stack of whiskey barrels cut in half outside. I checked them out and noticed that some appear to have never been used some were well used. I took a tag off one and found that they're manufactured by Barrels Unlimited Inc. http://www.barrelsunlimited.com and distributed by Real Wood Products out of Eugene, Oregon http://www.rwpco.com. The price at Lowe's was $29.99 USD for the half. I haven't called the companies to see if they'd sell a whole barrel or not and let you pick and choose which ones to get but the ones from Lowe's would be able to be picked through and purchased based on quality then stripped out and sanded, used for staves for aging and flavoring. I thought this was a cheap source based on the others I've found for American White Oak. I thought it might help someone else.
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Modified Charles 803 w/ 50gal boiler, never ran so far.

Uncle Jesse
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Re: Half Whiskey Barrels at Lowe's

Post by Uncle Jesse » Sat May 31, 2008 12:08 am

Gotta figure out how to weld oak!
If only the best birds sang, the woods would be silent.

trthskr4
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Re: Half Whiskey Barrels at Lowe's

Post by trthskr4 » Sat May 31, 2008 3:00 am

Uncle Jesse wrote:Gotta figure out how to weld oak!

Liquid Nails Heavy Duty Construction Glue, Gorilla Glue is the stuff if done right. :!: That was a joke, nobody try that to glue 2 halves of barrels together again. :!:

I bought one of these barrels yesturday as I finally had room in my truck. The barrel was easily disassembled and I got a pretty good stack of staves. The barrel I got was pretty and almost new looking but it was a wine barrel and has been treated but only the first couple mm's. That's easily sanded off with a belt sander then I'm gonna run them through my table saw and rip them in 3/4" strips. The wood is 3/4"-1" so even after sanding both sides down I should get alot of "sticks" to flavor with. I will toast some to a medium and some to dark char on my grill beginning slowly to kill anything else in the wood.
15 gallon pot still, 2"x18" column with liebeg condensor on propane.
Modified Charles 803 w/ 50gal boiler, never ran so far.

Hawke
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Re: Half Whiskey Barrels at Lowe's

Post by Hawke » Sat May 31, 2008 3:52 am

I read in the original UJSM recipe to use raw oak (un-toasted). Bought some untoasted chips, and have to say it does taste better than the heavy toast I have. Think I'll need to make another run to Lowe's this weekend.
It is the very things that we think we know, that keep us from learning what we should know.
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Bohunk
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Re: Half Whiskey Barrels at Lowe's

Post by Bohunk » Sat May 31, 2008 5:32 am

I took a wine half barrel apart and have been cutting small strips out of it for some time now. I cut the staves with a hand saw, held over a plastic box, and save all the saw dust. It smells so sweet, I think you could eat it on cereal, anyway I use the saw dust also, it’s a mess to filter out, but it is un charred, and sweet from the wine. The small pieces I cut out I char as per Pint-O-Shines instructions. I think it would be hard to beat an old barrel for a source of white oak.

The Bohunk

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Re: Half Whiskey Barrels at Lowe's

Post by Barney Fife » Sat May 31, 2008 6:09 am

Hmmmm.... It would be simple enough to make a lid/cover for one of these half barrels also! If you store them "upright" you're not going to fill it to the point where the liquid will be in contact with the lid, so that part can be made of pretty well any wood you have handy. They could also be stacked one on top of each other afterward, too!

sure wish I lived in the US; y'all have it easy with all those big box stores!

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Re: Half Whiskey Barrels at Lowe's

Post by Uncle Jesse » Sat May 31, 2008 7:26 am

Hawke wrote:I read in the original UJSM recipe to use raw oak (un-toasted). Bought some untoasted chips, and have to say it does taste better than the heavy toast I have. Think I'll need to make another run to Lowe's this weekend.
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Re: Half Whiskey Barrels at Lowe's

Post by Barney Fife » Tue Jun 03, 2008 10:33 am

Hey! On a hunch, I stopped by the local Mom&Pop gardening store today, and sure enough, they had a half whiskey barrel! I immediately adopted it and took it home. It's still fully toasted and hasn't been cleaned up one bit, either. This is great, as I now can clearly see the level of toasting in a real barrel. It was full of water and didn't leak a drop. I'm going to dismantle it and have great oak to cut up as i need aging sticks, for what may last me a lifetime. But just in case, I'll be keeping a eye open for more barrels. It was the equivalent of about $30-35 US.

They are out there! Thank to whoever gave the head's up.

trthskr4
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Re: Half Whiskey Barrels at Lowe's

Post by trthskr4 » Tue Jun 03, 2008 1:11 pm

Not a problem, I got 2-5gallon buckets neatly inserted in a circular fashion of slats from my barrel. I would still sand it down a bit just in case it's got any nasties in there from rain water etc. you can take a picture of the original toast if you like and then try retoasting your sticks to match. I don't know how many 1"x1"x6" sticks that's going to make but I bet it will last almost a lifetime. I'm sanding mine then gonna cut them, then toast to a medium toast and put them in a sealed container.
15 gallon pot still, 2"x18" column with liebeg condensor on propane.
Modified Charles 803 w/ 50gal boiler, never ran so far.

Barney Fife
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Re: Half Whiskey Barrels at Lowe's

Post by Barney Fife » Tue Jun 03, 2008 3:35 pm

I took it completely apart just now, and it all fits nicely into a medium sized Rubermaid Tote. Gott a weight-in at at least 40-50 lbs! My hands now smell strongly of rye whiskey <lol> I scraped the end cap, carefully, where there was paint applied over something. Under one color, I found o4-xx-92. under another, 03-xx-97, and yet under another, 04-xx-02(the 'xx' being the day, but I only remember the months and years now and didn't write it down). So, I assume it was in use from 1992 to '97 with something, then from 1997 to 2002 with another something, then 2002 to now with its last batch that is obviously rye whiskey(a flavor I know well). And, judging from the looks of all 3 number sequences, I suspect they were all the same facility, as the stenciling and sequences are the same or very similar. So, I believe it's been storing rye whiskey since at least 1992!

The surface is pure charcoal for at least 3/16" deep, with another 1/8" of serious toasting before clean wood.

I've already cut some up for yesterday's rum run! And yes, I planed off the exterior, oxidized layer of oak.

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Re: Half Whiskey Barrels at Lowe's

Post by RobM » Thu Jun 05, 2008 5:45 am

I picked up a half whiskey barrel at Canadain Tire and am using it as a fermentor. I put the whole thing in the pool and it swelled right up and held liquid.

It makes a great safe primary fermenter. Also, as Mr Pint-o-Shine has pointed out, the lacto bug is good in corn mashes. The wood harbours the bacteria and helps with the continuation of the whole sour mash thingy.

Rob

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