Rye whiskey, 5 gallon barrel worth it?

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rabeb2525
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Rye whiskey, 5 gallon barrel worth it?

Post by rabeb2525 » Mon Mar 30, 2009 6:02 pm

So lets say I was wanting to do something like this...

Buy 4 bags of malted 2 row barley and rye (2 of each)

Make in batches of 12 gallons, I worked it out so I can get about 4 batches per 2 bags. So that would be about 8-12 gallon batches or ~96 gallons of wash
From that wash using my previous experiments I would end up really close to 5 gallons of spirit (hearts after cuts)

Then lets say I want to age that in a 5 gallon new oak barrel from thebarrelmill.com with my brewery logo on it, in my bar area :)

Would you guys think a barrel would be worth the cost? What char would you do? how long would you let it age in that barrel?? I assume you can re-use the barrel.. whats the life of a barrel on our scale? What if I wanted to do whiskey in it the first run and do a big beer in it next, then go back to whiskey or rum.. would that work?? Could I get it re-charred?


Thanks in advance

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Re: Rye whiskey, 5 gallon barrel worth it?

Post by theholymackerel » Tue Mar 31, 2009 10:23 am

rabeb2525 wrote:Would you guys think a barrel would be worth the cost? What char would you do? how long would you let it age in that barrel?? I assume you can re-use the barrel.. whats the life of a barrel on our scale? What if I wanted to do whiskey in it the first run and do a big beer in it next, then go back to whiskey or rum.. would that work?? Could I get it re-charred?
In order:

Yes, a high quality barrel is worth it.

I'd go with a medium toast, not a char simply as it will be more versitile.

Yes you can re-use a barrel, and on our scale it will have an almost unlimited life if cared well for (at least ALOT longer than any of us are gonna live).

Anythin' ya put in that barrel is gonna become a permenent part of that barrels flavour. Once yer barrel is really old, and givin' less and less flavours to yer spirits, you could age beer in it, but it'll basically spoil the barrel for later spirits. My suggestion is to use yer barrel for whisk(e)ys while the barrel is new, when it doesn't adsorb or impart as much flavour any more it's ready for ports and sherries, brandies and rums... and when it's really old and can't age spirits as quickly, THEN it's ready for beers, but if ya go back to usin' it for spirits don't be surprised if it imparts a beery and hoppy flavour (which I doubt ya want).

Yes, barrels can be re-chared to be made semi-new again, but the industry has shown over the past several hundred years that to get the most outta yer barrel investment, all ya gotta do is change the products that ya age with it as the barrel itself ages.



I wish ya luck, and want ya to know that a high quality barrel is a good investment and can last a lifetime if properly cared for.

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Re: Rye whiskey, 5 gallon barrel worth it?

Post by punkin » Wed Apr 01, 2009 12:21 am

Truely love my barrells...


The Three sisters in all their glory.
barrels2.jpg
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Re: Rye whiskey, 5 gallon barrel worth it?

Post by Husker » Wed Apr 01, 2009 3:21 am

how big? 20L ?
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Re: Rye whiskey, 5 gallon barrel worth it?

Post by punkin » Wed Apr 01, 2009 10:44 am

If thats me you're asking they are nominal 50 actual 52 litres.

Number two came at xmas this year and was immediately charged with new make ujsm and malt.

Number three came in feb and is in the process of being charged and drained with ujsm and malt as a solara method to keep it up to the Bourbon Girl and a couplea my mates.

No 1 is the old (xmas 07) solara ujsm barrel that is now three quarters full of pure mollasses rum, on it's way to solara ruminess :mrgreen:

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Re: Rye whiskey, 5 gallon barrel worth it?

Post by Cruiser » Wed Apr 01, 2009 7:38 pm

Very nice Punkin.

I have a collection of exactly one barrel (47lt). I think it's getting lonely!

Mine's full of rum (solera method) and has been in service just on 4 years. Yes, definitely worth it. I'm now under pressure to buy another for bourbon.

Cruiser
ps. I like the padlocks! Bet they cut down on "evaporation".

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Re: Rye whiskey, 5 gallon barrel worth it?

Post by punkin » Wed Apr 01, 2009 10:33 pm

Sorry to hijack your post, showing off rabeb2525...just hope you're getting the info you need at the same time :wink:

Cruiser as you know, it's an investment that pays for itself in flavour very quickly. You won't regret an addition to the family. The little keyed alike padlocks are not for detterent, the cage and the big padlocks and the bars on the doors and windows are 'evaporation deterents'.

The little padlocks stop any 'accidents'.

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Re: Rye whiskey, 5 gallon barrel worth it?

Post by rabeb2525 » Thu Apr 02, 2009 5:10 am

Nope, no problem!

So my last question is..

Here is my dilemma, I would LOVE to get a barrel, get my brewery label on it and display it in my bar (full of spirits of course), the problem is, its about 63f there 24/7 365. On the other hand its about $80 to do the engraving, thats about half the cost of another barrel, so I am thinking that if you guys say it would be better to store out in the garage (we get wild temp swings here). It would be better to save that and buy another barrel shortly. I am pretty sure I already know the anwser!

But what say you guys?

I am after the absolute best/ highest quality spirit I can make.

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Re: Rye whiskey, 5 gallon barrel worth it?

Post by Hack » Thu Apr 02, 2009 7:49 am

Some of the best scotch is stored in barrels in brick warehouses or cellars with very little temperature change while aging. I've also read of an american distillery in tennesee that stores its barrels in a metal warehouse with wide temperature variation. Both situations can produce a fine product. From this I gather that temperature variation during aging, if it has any effect, is very small. You'll get much more mileage from careful mashing and distilling practices than worrying about the temperature variation of the aging environment. So get the barrel engraved and set it up in your bar where it can be a conversation piece and you can enjoy looking at it. Your whiskey probably won't mind.

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Re: Rye whiskey, 5 gallon barrel worth it?

Post by punkin » Thu Apr 02, 2009 11:01 am

Two barrells are better than one. Engraving adds no value to the whiskey.









GetYourKidsToScibbleOnItWithCrayonsPunkin

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Re: Rye whiskey, 5 gallon barrel worth it?

Post by rabeb2525 » Thu Apr 02, 2009 12:38 pm

No kids here, but I get the idea :)


I did place the order of the first barrel today, and should be ready in a few weeks. I bought the 300lbs of grain yesterday.. soo I should be in this for the long haul! Thank god I can make beer in my sleep (literally automated brewery) otherwise this would be a tall task! I figure ~10 12g batches should be a good start!



Thanks again guys!

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Re: Rye whiskey, 5 gallon barrel worth it?

Post by Husker » Thu Apr 02, 2009 1:00 pm

punkin wrote:Two barrells are better than one. Engraving adds no value to the whiskey.
It might in a bar/brewery, IF the product ends up selling better, or for more $$$$.

If you could get someone to cut out a metal template of your brewery motto/logo, then you could use a torch to burn a nice looking pattern into the barrel end (practice first on scrap wood, lol). The metal would block the flame, and where the metal was cutout, the flame would imprint the barrel wood. This is a 'do it yourself' method, and then you could burn logo anything you wanted to at a later date, since you own the stencil to do so.

H.
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Re: Rye whiskey, 5 gallon barrel worth it?

Post by punkin » Thu Apr 02, 2009 1:10 pm

Husker wrote:
punkin wrote:Two barrells are better than one. Engraving adds no value to the whiskey.
It might in a bar/brewery, IF the product ends up selling better, or for more $$$$.


H.

Sure husker, ok.



Great value adding, will be worth it on your 5 gallon barrel.



you're selling the whiskey are you rabeb2525?

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Re: Rye whiskey, 5 gallon barrel worth it?

Post by rabeb2525 » Thu Apr 02, 2009 1:29 pm

Hmm, Thats a good idea! I do have a neighbor that runs a cnc.

No, I am not "technically" selling whiskey. But I do like to do this sort of stuff, I have coasters, drinkware, custom paintings, etc.

The logo may be a tricky one to cut out (or etch for them) its got a bit of detail, here is the color version.

Image

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Re: Rye whiskey, 5 gallon barrel worth it?

Post by Husker » Thu Apr 02, 2009 1:49 pm

A bar/brewery which does get a license to micro distill, yes, doing this to sell is perfectly fine, and trying to generate revenue is a good thing.

For a bar/brewery, which ends up producing, and having for sale spirit, but does NOT have proper govt licensing, will not be in business long.

A license to brew, is not the same as a license to distill. rabeb2525, you might want to make sure you 'know' what is up before producing spirit, ESPECIALLY if you intend to sell it.

H.
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Re: Rye whiskey, 5 gallon barrel worth it?

Post by rabeb2525 » Thu Apr 02, 2009 2:09 pm

Oh, I know guys, I am not a real brewery....just one man, who likes to brew and whatnot at home :)

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Re: Rye whiskey, 5 gallon barrel worth it?

Post by violentblue » Sat Apr 04, 2009 7:10 am

got a nice 5 gallon barrel from AJ Whiskey Barrels. far superior to the barrels I bought from 1000 oaks (garbage)
it'll be getting a mix of UJSM and a true corn/barley/rye all grain whiskey, to season it up for rum.

eventually I'd like to get a used Bourbon barrel to fill with rum and let it age for 5 years or more.

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Re: Rye whiskey, 5 gallon barrel worth it?

Post by LWTCS » Fri May 01, 2009 3:55 pm

punkin wrote:If thats me you're asking they are nominal 50 actual 52 litres.

Number two came at xmas this year and was immediately charged with new make ujsm and malt.

Number three came in feb and is in the process of being charged and drained with ujsm and malt as a solara method to keep it up to the Bourbon Girl and a couplea my mates.

No 1 is the old (xmas 07) solara ujsm barrel that is now three quarters full of pure mollasses rum, on it's way to solara ruminess
Mr. pumpkin,
Could you please describe how one such as your self would cycle your barrel use during the the course drawing down likker for your mates (or not) and the like. As well as planning to recharge. Would one ever recharge a partly but not completly empty barrel? Do you normaly recharge immediatly after? How long will you (prefer to) wait before enjoying the fine likker in your barrels?
Thanks so much
L.T.
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Re: Rye whiskey, 5 gallon barrel worth it?

Post by punkin » Fri May 01, 2009 8:10 pm

There's two choices you have; to fill your barrell, wait till you think it's ready to drink, empty it and fill it back up again, or to fill your barrell, wait till it either ready to drink or has some coulor flavour and continually take a portion out and top it back up again.

The second one is called the solara method, and is mostly what i use.

This way, you are using your barrell as a seasoning and storing method and you take enough out for your immediate needs (a week or two) and top it back up. If you are producing more than you are drinking and drinking at a rate slower than the barrell is maturing your hooch, you ae on a winner.

I have one 50 litre barrell (new) that i filled at xmas, it is getting probably towards 60% done. The solara bourbon barrell, is full atm, and providing an exceptional flavour to the ujsm. I take 4 litres out at a time and store it on oak sticks in a 4l bottle. Bourbon Girl breaks this down from it's 65% barrell strength to 40 or 50% as required.

When the 4l bottle looks dead, i fill it back up from the barrell and top the barrell up.

Sometimes i'll be gifting more than i'm making in which case the barrell may get down as far as halfway and is topped up when a sprit run is produced. I would not let a barrell get beyond half full, i just stop taking out until it's filled again.

What do i care?

i drink beer :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

You cannot call this aged as it's spossed to go from the youngest addition (just a few weeks) but in practice it is a very good method of utilizing the potential of a barrell fully.

The barrell that i used for a year on ujsm now holds my rum.

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Re: Rye whiskey, 5 gallon barrel worth it?

Post by LWTCS » Sat May 02, 2009 5:26 am

punkin wrote:The second one is called the solara method, and is mostly what i use.
If one were to draw off of a barrel every 3 to 4 weeks, would you say that the flavor profile changes a bit before retopping?

Or, as long as you don't let the level drop below 1/2 the flavor stays consistant?

Do you ever go directly from the still to the barrel or will you always have enough stock likker to rotate into your barrel?

Many thanks
L.T.
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Re: Rye whiskey, 5 gallon barrel worth it?

Post by punkin » Sat May 02, 2009 12:18 pm

LWTCS wrote:
punkin wrote:The second one is called the solara method, and is mostly what i use.
If one were to draw off of a barrel every 3 to 4 weeks, would you say that the flavor profile changes a bit before retopping?

That's a little more complicated than i tend to make things. It is what it is, the recipe is the same, the methods are the same, the distillate is similar each time, the barrel doesn't change quick enough to tell the difference with less than 10% exchange.

Or, as long as you don't let the level drop below 1/2 the flavor stays consistant?

I don't drink it much, but i don't get that comment about change from those who do.

Do you ever go directly from the still to the barrel or will you always have enough stock likker to rotate into your barrel?

I usually go from the cutting bench straight to the barrel. It's unusual for it to be full completely as i'm proud of what i make and like to share. I tend to produce around the same amount as i give away.

Many thanks
L.T.

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Re: Rye whiskey, 5 gallon barrel worth it?

Post by LWTCS » Sat May 02, 2009 2:33 pm

punkin wrote:If one were to draw off of a barrel every 3 to 4 weeks, would you say that the flavor profile changes a bit before retopping?

That's a little more complicated than i tend to make things.
I'm glade to hear you respond that way. I certainly prefer to keep things simple.

Your response is yet further confirmation that there is not necessarily only one way of thinking and doing/executing this hobby. Now, having said that, I am certainly appreciative of the baseline knowledge you good gents are sharing.
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Re: Rye whiskey, 5 gallon barrel worth it?

Post by LWTCS » Sat May 02, 2009 2:55 pm

http://www.milehidistilling.com/PhotoGa ... Code=17016" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" rel="nofollow

Will the Gents please comment on this size barrel?
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Re: Rye whiskey, 5 gallon barrel worth it?

Post by punkin » Sat May 02, 2009 4:29 pm

Dunno what size that is, but i find 50l (13 gallon) to be a very good, achievable size for sugar based spirits like rum or ujsm.

It'd take a while to fill one with allgrain, but very achievable at home with a keg still if using sugar.

A smaller one is not much cheaper, and while a larger one is not much dearer, it's a big jump from 50 to 100 litres and getting beyond what you need for half a dozen people to drink.

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Re: Rye whiskey, 5 gallon barrel worth it?

Post by LWTCS » Sat May 02, 2009 6:49 pm

punkin wrote:Dunno what size that is
Sorry about that.

These are (2 liter barrels for a total of 6 liters) the three for less than $100 U.S.

I 'm upgrading my pot size in a few weeks, but I will still be running small scale compared to you and a few others.

I really want a barrel or two, but something as large as your (holly trinity) size would be over kill for my operation I think.

Guess I'm running 20 liters every 2 weeks.
Shit I dunno if I could ever keep em filled for any quality lenth of time.
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Re: Rye whiskey, 5 gallon barrel worth it?

Post by punkin » Sat May 02, 2009 8:42 pm

At that size i would personally use glass and toasted sticks.

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Re: Rye whiskey, 5 gallon barrel worth it?

Post by Dnderhead » Sat May 02, 2009 9:16 pm

I agree any thing less than 5 gal (18-20 L) not worth putting in a barrel, also colors up so fast that it hasn't a chance to age at all.
it takes about 1 month per gallon so the larger the barrel the more ageing you git. 2l whould only be 2 weeks not long at all.
for small use I whould try as suggested earlier , git a bigger barrel and "top up" as you use, I thank that you whould git something
like "blinded" whiskey.

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Re: Rye whiskey, 5 gallon barrel worth it?

Post by violentblue » Sun May 03, 2009 6:56 am

I agee with the boys above.
I've bought 1 litre barrels in the past, but only to fill with aged booze and give as gifts for immediate consumption (for my brother and granddad one christmas)
thet don't age well.

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Re: Rye whiskey, 5 gallon barrel worth it?

Post by LWTCS » Sun May 03, 2009 11:00 am

Thanks (again) for the sound advise.


Violentblue,
Thats a darn nice idea. I've been collecting a flask (sorta) shaped bottle from a surup company called Blackberry Patch. Its a 12oz bottle so I can keep the gifting size comensurate
with my small production level.

Costs $3.99 (with the surup).

So we have been eating alot of pancakes and french toatst trying to prep for the holiday season.
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Re: Rye whiskey, 5 gallon barrel worth it?

Post by Ugly » Tue May 05, 2009 7:04 pm

you can buy those flasks by the case at maple syrup equipment providers, even with shipping I can't imagine they'd be nearly that expensive and might let you vary your diet a bit :lol:

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