New (sorta) balcones barrels for sale

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Re: New (sorta) balcones barrels for sale

Postby butterpants » Sat Jun 02, 2018 1:51 pm

zapata wrote:Measure the volume for us when you swell it?
That sounds perverted zap. Gonna be a while tho... I'm taking summer off hoochin
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Re: New (sorta) balcones barrels for sale

Postby butterpants » Sun Jun 03, 2018 7:15 am

HA, ok... much more descriptive
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Re: New (sorta) balcones barrels for sale

Postby Oldvine Zin » Sun Jun 03, 2018 9:04 am

Received my barrels yesterday :) on close inspection they look well made( my only dislike is the very small bung opening and the small silicone bung that came with them) - minor issues that can be easily fixed.

They are a bit shorter but a bit fatter than a Gibbs barrel. The 5 gal Gibbs holds a little over 5 and a half gals, this one looks like it will hold just a bit less than 5 and I'm ok with that.

The true test will be what I pour out of them in a about a year.

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Re: New (sorta) balcones barrels for sale

Postby Oldvine Zin » Sun Jun 03, 2018 7:14 pm

Damn I tried to order a couple more but they are all gone :(

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Re: New (sorta) balcones barrels for sale

Postby CatCrap » Sun Jun 03, 2018 9:15 pm

ohh no! Really! Damn that went fast. Looked like there were so many! I guess there's quite a few potential customers on the continent. At least we got in on it while we could, right? I'd have to say.. it sounds like that deal may never come around again. I'd infer that balcones is done using 5G barrels altogether? So whatever is out there is the last there will ever be? Hey we have a collectors item! Lol.. I use mine to "collect" whiskey and store it haha. Well.. i don't yet. Right now i'm just collecting dust. I don't have quite enough to fill it yet. About to fill my first barrel tonight, Oakbarrelsltd 5 G. So, that's exciting. Especially for me, and especially because it's AG booner's, and it took me an epic amount of work and time to gather enough spirit to fill it. And i'm only putting in 4.5G or so to start, then i've got one more batch to go to top it off.
But for this barrel, i've got one more UJSM spirit run to go, almost enough low wines for it. Then i'll be ready. So, i will let you know how much volume it holds when i get to that step. Mine, too, had a silicone bung and loose middle hoop.

So, what are we going to do with this information? If they're small, not the 5G they say they are.. is there any recourse? I doubt they'd give a refund.. not that i'd plan to ask. But, i guess it would be nice so everyone knows the actual volume of them.. and to let the vendor know we don't agree with their less than precise measurement.
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Re: New (sorta) balcones barrels for sale

Postby CatCrap » Sun Jun 03, 2018 9:17 pm

Oh, yea. ALso... how can i go about making a bung for it? Anyone got any tips? I guess ideally i'll have to source a piece of white oak for it. Although i don't think it really truly has to be properly weathered like the staves would be. But, once i've got some wood ( :ewink: ) how would i go about creating the bung? Only power saw i have is a jig saw. Although.. i did by a drill press a couple months ago and haven't brought it out of the box yet. Maybe a hole saw bit on the drill press, and drill out a bung? Rather than somehow attempt to jigsaw a circle. But, it needs to have a taper on it, right? I could try to sand it? Whittle it? IDFK..
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Re: New (sorta) balcones barrels for sale

Postby CatCrap » Sun Jun 03, 2018 9:19 pm

Oh, yea. ALso... how can i go about making a bung for it? Anyone got any tips? I guess ideally i'll have to source a piece of white oak for it. Although i don't think it really truly has to be properly weathered like the staves would be. But, once i've got some wood ( :ewink: ) how would i go about creating the bung? Only power saw i have is a jig saw. Although.. i did by a drill press a couple months ago and haven't brought it out of the box yet. Maybe a hole saw bit on the drill press, and drill out a bung? Rather than somehow attempt to jigsaw a circle. But, it needs to have a taper on it, right? I could try to sand it? Whittle it? IDFK..
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Re: New (sorta) balcones barrels for sale

Postby zapata » Mon Jun 04, 2018 12:17 am

I think I'll just stick with silicone. You could wrap it in teflon tape if ya want.

I imagine you could make a tapered one with a plug of oak chucked up in your drill press. Just hold a file/rasp on it at an angle.

It's possible they just bought a single pallet from balcones and there is more to come? Worth inquiring I guess. Also might be that if balcones is truly done with 5g for everything that they might disclose their Mexican source now. One of mine did have an "hecho en mexico" sticker on it...
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Re: New (sorta) balcones barrels for sale

Postby Twisted Brick » Mon Jun 04, 2018 7:35 am

CatCrap wrote:Oh, yea. ALso... how can i go about making a bung for it? Anyone got any tips?


Here's how Badmotivator did his. You could source a length of oak dowel, whittle it to slightly oversize, then finish sand it to shape in your drill press.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tOxfYUVtFPY
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Re: New (sorta) balcones barrels for sale

Postby jonnys_spirit » Tue Jun 05, 2018 2:26 am

You could use cork. Drill the hole to the size you want or measure it. These guys have corks on amazon. http://www.widgetco.com/large-cork-stoppers

Cheers,
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Re: New (sorta) balcones barrels for sale

Postby zapata » Tue Jun 05, 2018 8:41 am

Looks like somebody asked, and they may be coming back if there are any left:
Q: Are these gone for good? I know Balcones had about 80 pallets of these back in January,but it sounded like they were done with 5 gallon barrels. Hoping this out of stock just means you need another pallet and not that they are gone forever. :(
Asked by: Zap - 6/4/2018
A: We have a pending purchase order in to see what can be provided, they will be relisted again for sale once we have stock on hand for processing
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Re: New (sorta) balcones barrels for sale

Postby butterpants » Tue Jun 05, 2018 3:26 pm

jonnys_spirit wrote:You could use cork. Drill the hole to the size you want or measure it. These guys have corks on amazon. http://www.widgetco.com/large-cork-stoppers

Cheers,
-jb
Yea I'm doing cork. It's a small hole.
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Re: New (sorta) balcones barrels for sale

Postby Oldvine Zin » Wed Jun 06, 2018 4:12 pm

They are back in stock :)

And for an easy bung
cork1.JPG
cork2.JPG

Tapered champagne cork with the top sliced off is a perfect fit

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Re: New (sorta) balcones barrels for sale

Postby zapata » Wed Jun 06, 2018 7:54 pm

And 10% off site wide!
:crazy:
Should make them <$100 delivered for most!
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Re: New (sorta) balcones barrels for sale

Postby butterpants » Thu Jun 07, 2018 4:06 pm

zapata wrote:And 10% off site wide!
:crazy:
Should make them <$100 delivered for most!
Pretty amazing deal... too bad I don't need. another
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Re: New (sorta) balcones barrels for sale

Postby Twisted Brick » Wed Jun 13, 2018 12:53 pm

My barrel arrived :D Only one end of the box top was taped, leaving a big gap in the rest of the top. For grins I sniffed the open slit :ebiggrin: and could smell the wood of the barrel buried beneath the peanuts inside! It didn't smell sweet like a brand new barrel probably does, but it definitely smelled fresh, and a peek inside revealed a nice even char as far as my eye could scan. What little gaps there are between about half of the staves I anticipate will seal up just fine. It came with a red silicone (?) bung and a fair amount of rattling inside. After inverting the barrel a fair amount of charred bits fell out. I retrieved a perfectly tapered champagne cork (Thanks OVZ!) from my cork bag and bam!

Balcones Barrel copy.jpg



Tip of the hat to Zapata for the barrel lead and the 10%-off heads up. Delivery took 5 days from Austin to L.A. Great deal at $99 total.

Since this is my first barrel, I'm like a kid in a candy store. What to fill it with first? Ultimate goal is a scotch. I have 14l of cool-fermented wheated bourbon ready for cuts, but that'll probably net me only 50-60% of what I'm gonna need to fill it. I guess I'll just go read up on how to take care of the thing and decide.
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Re: New (sorta) balcones barrels for sale

Postby zapata » Wed Jun 13, 2018 4:44 pm

Also, headsup, the packing peanuts are biodegradable and will break down quickly in a compost pile, or even just a bucket of water. Be a shame if anybody put them in a trashcan. Hell, they're made of corn, had half a mind to try mashing them!
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Re: New (sorta) balcones barrels for sale

Postby Oldvine Zin » Wed Jun 13, 2018 5:51 pm

zapata wrote:Also, headsup, the packing peanuts are biodegradable and will break down quickly in a compost pile, or even just a bucket of water. Be a shame if anybody put them in a trashcan. Hell, they're made of corn, had half a mind to try mashing them!


Had that idea a while back thinking it would be a good use for them and a great marketing gimick. Found out that they are full of preservatives and prob would not ferment, never followed through to see.

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Re: New (sorta) balcones barrels for sale

Postby Medstiller » Thu Jun 14, 2018 10:46 am

So, I got mine last night. Other than the stand being broken and one of the bands being loose, it looks like it survived the UPS trip. I did notice a couple of things on my barrel. First the bung hole is not tapered, I am not sure how well this will work with the tapered silicone bung that was provided. Glacier tanks makes a tapered threaded triclamp adapter for barrels with a tapered bung hole. This won't work with mine, but I did find a 3/4 MNPT to 1.5" TC adapter, which I think will work perfectly. It is also a lot cheaper than the tapered adapter. I can use a end cap and a PTFE gasket to seal it and it will allow for easier access for sampling. Mine also has a made in Mexico sticker on it. I was wondering if everyone else has received barrels with straight bung holes and made in Mexico stickers too?
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Re: New (sorta) balcones barrels for sale

Postby zapata » Thu Jun 14, 2018 11:53 am

Same here. Well, only 1 had the hecho en mexico sticker. I'm new to barrels but I THINK I'd trust the silicone bung. I mean I wont be aging it upside down, and even if I rotate it to keep it swole, I'll do it just enough so the bung stays dry, should still wet all the staves.

I do wonder if since Balcones is giving up the 5 gallons if they are sticking with full size reman Mexican barrels or are going to traditional American suppliers. Imagine that would change things as much as the barrel size will.

Would also be good to know who their supplier is, I've heard both good and bad things about some of the Mexican cooperages, would be useful to know which is proven to make this quality.

Speaking of quality, its sounding like I won the quality lottery. 1 of my stands the glue didnt hold on 1 side of 1 leg. Other than that they are perfect. Tight enough that I'd be happy with build quality if these were 2-3x the price for new American barrels.
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Re: New (sorta) balcones barrels for sale

Postby Twisted Brick » Thu Jun 14, 2018 6:49 pm

Mine came with:

1. straight bung hole
2. broken/unglued stand leg
3. no hecho en Mexico sticker
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Re: New (sorta) balcones barrels for sale

Postby CatCrap » Fri Jun 15, 2018 11:22 pm

Let's all keep this thread updated huh? I anticipate filling mine very soon. So, I love all the input about the look, origin, quality or lack of, stand quality or lack of, bung details and helpful tips (thanks guys!) But the real question... is what kind of BOOZE does it make? am i right?


Interesting idea with the Tri clamp adapter. Gotta love those fuggin triclamps. They are a pretty genius design. So glad my still is all TC. Modular, easily cleanable, and never ever leaks vapor.
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Re: New (sorta) balcones barrels for sale

Postby Oldvine Zin » Sun Jun 17, 2018 1:31 am

CatCrap wrote: But the real question... is what kind of BOOZE does it make?


I'll tell you next year :)

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Re: New (sorta) balcones barrels for sale

Postby zapata » Wed Jun 20, 2018 11:32 am

Just realized, if we are gonna keep this thread updated, does this belong in the flavoring/aging forum instead of the Mashing and Fermenting Flavoring/Aging Related Hardware forum? Maybe a mod can decide?

Anyway, thinking about filling my first of these and I had a thought. After swelling/sealing with water I had planned to measure actual volume of water to fill it. Which would be the perfect time to make a calibrated measuring dip stick. Obviously not something you can easily do once it's full of spirits, but may be somewhat useful to keep an eye on the absorption and Angel's share. Or it's at least some data I'm interested in having. Initial absorption % and rate of angel's share in my climate is not something I have good data on. Just thought I'd throw it out if anybody wanted to do it before you fill er up and then wonder...
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Re: New (sorta) balcones barrels for sale

Postby Twisted Brick » Wed Jun 20, 2018 2:04 pm

zapata wrote:Anyway, I had a thought... would be the perfect time to make a calibrated measuring dip stick... may be somewhat useful to keep an eye on the absorption and Angel's share. Just thought I'd throw it out if anybody wanted to do it before you fill 'er up and then wonder...


Wouldn't be practical... in my house! How's a guy supposed to assess the contribution of barrel goodies and the maturation of his carefully-cut spirit without taking diligent and frequent samples along the way? :ebiggrin:
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Re: New (sorta) balcones barrels for sale

Postby CatCrap » Thu Jun 21, 2018 8:01 pm

Very interesting Zapata. So, when you say Dip Stick, you're pretty much referring to something like the stick that's in the oil in the engine of a car? So, somehow you'd put this stick in the barrel, in the Bunghole, assuming it is at the top (Bunghole facing the ceiling/sky/12 oclock) and then take a look at the stick and see where the liquid level is? Seems like a good idea, but could be a bit challenging to get an accurate measurement? I feel like it's do able, but you'd have to put a bit of work into it. Something like a wooden dowel perhaps (or maybe something that would be easy to see the liquid level on. Wood may work because it would look wet) that has markings on it, which you have marked ahead of time with liquid levels using water, that correspond to the amount of liquid in the barrel. I guess you'd have to decide just how precise you want it to be, like in what increments the stick will measure. Sounds like a cool idea. It would be handy to know how much spirit is evaporating, without, of course, having to dump the whole shebang out. This brings me to a related subject.

I've had some thoughts run through my head with this barrel.. Some logistics issues, mainly related to the fact there isn't a spigot. I'm about to fill mine (I'll be filling it almost full. about to do cuts on my 2nd spirit run, and i expect to have right around 4.75G of UJSM around 62%. I'll fill it with this, then do another spirit run in a week or two and top her off, reserve some white for topping off over time. Or perhaps draw off a bottle in 6-10-12 months and then refill it with UJSM that's white but aged) Anyways.. what's the best way to get some spirit out of it? I mean this for two scenarios..

For testing/tasting and measuring progress. Is a wine thief or something like that my best choice for this option? Or even a glass or metal turkey baster (although i know the "bulb" would be made out of rubber or silicone, i wouldn't worry too much, as contact would be highly limited and brief). I'm thinking of some techinique wherein i don't have to tip the barrel over and pour sloppily out the bung hole. Prolly lose more than i get to sample.

The second scenario... when the spirit is finished aging to my satisfaction and i'm ready to dump it out of the barrel for bottling or further aging off barrel. I found that as i was swelling the barrel.. i Did 3 fill and dumps in my bathtub. It's definitely not leaking anymore, i think it was fine after the 2nd (maybe even first 24 hour hot water soak) but i did a 3rd go for good measure. So.. dumping it into my bathtub wasn't difficult, but it's pretty heavy and unwieldy when full. What's my best strategy for dumping the (finished) spirit out of the barrel when it's ready? My best idea is to dump it into a bucket.. by carefully tipping it into the bucket, then inverting it bunghole side down over the bucket and carefully balancing it over the bucket as it all drains out into the bucket, then i'll bottle etc from the bucket. I guess what i'm trying to avoid, is spilling anything while i tip it over on the bucket, and any splashing as the spirit comes out of the barrel and into the bucket. Without a spigot, there is no siphon break, so the liquid comes out in these big intense glug glug glugs and splashes a lot. So, i just want to make sure i don't splash my precious aged spirit everywhere. Dawg.. I don't want to lose a drop!! I guess another option would be a siphon of some sort... I could use a regular hose.. I've seen some distilleries using regular hosing on spirits. Also i have the "ethanol safe" hosing that came from brewhaus. It would be pretty quick and limited contact. Still.. i know how we all feel about synthetic contact. I could attempt a copper siphon? Sounds goofy...

Anyone have any tips or experiences to share about emptying a barrel that hasn't got a spigot, and doing so cleanly without losing a drop?

Just one of those little things that i know is going to come up at some point, and a perfect topic to bring up here and request the assistance of the forum. Gosh i love HD.. we are never alone in our struggles!! We are united and here to help each other!

Ok i got a little emo there. Sorry about that.

Thanks!
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Re: New (sorta) balcones barrels for sale

Postby The Baker » Thu Jun 21, 2018 8:51 pm

Stick a wooden skewer in it and remove to see how high in the barrel the spirit is.
To use it as a guage; pour a measure into the empty barrel (American or Imperial pint/ half-pint, say); put your skewer in, and mark the level on the skewer; pour another measure into the barrel and mark the skewer; and keep doing that. And if you like hang a chart on the wall for reference.

I would probably install a tap. NOT BRASS of course, that is commonly used for port but can ruin the wine with a sharp metallic taste. Stainless is good.
To draw off small amounts, a wine thief. Or some narrow stainless tube.

Have fun.

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Re: New (sorta) balcones barrels for sale

Postby zapata » Thu Jun 21, 2018 9:07 pm

For sampling, I have both stainless and glass basters I imagine would work fine.

For bulk transfer, I have used both stainless and copper tubing for siphons of low wines and spirits, they work fine, though for finished spirits I would only use stainless. I've used both rigid tube that you have to carefully bend to suit, but CSST really shines for a high proof siphon because you aren't limiting yourself to one size/shape and starting the siphon on rigid tube is a royal PITA. I reckon CSST would be perfect for siphoning the bulk out of the barrel before dumping and shaking the last few drops out. Yes, I have some of the brewhaus tubing too, but really prefer to not use it. Though I got it with their stainless racking cane and have been meaning to make a connection for it to connect CSST to and haven't gotten around to it yet, thanks for the reminder as that would be perfect for bulk spirits transfers.

If you decide to pour it out, I always dump high proof into a stainless stockpot instead of a bucket :) And to fight the glug you can just insert some stainless tubing, it will work like using a racking cane to break the siphon when dumping a carboy. Probably still be a bit splashy, but better than glugging the whole 5 gallons.

1 last thing, you know you can do a lower barrel entry than 62%, and many prefer it, right? Your 4.75 gallons at 62% is more than enough to fill the barrel at a slightly lower proof. Old school traditional barrel entry was about 50%, then after prohibition it was 50-55% by law, and wasn't until 1962 it was upped to the current 62.5% MAX (no current low limit, I think).
Of course, YMMV, and it's whiskey so there is tons of hype...
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Re: New (sorta) balcones barrels for sale

Postby CatCrap » Thu Jun 21, 2018 9:53 pm

Well, I'm filling at 60-62 based on the results i've got from jar aging. I like the color and flavor that is pulled out of the wood in that range. This is only the second barrel i've filled, so i'm thinking down the line I may do more experimentation. From my experience, not a ton, I find that 60-65 pulls a nice deep red color out and with the char and deep toast pulls out some nice vanilla, smoky, flavors. I'm sure we've both seen the chart with the different toast temperatures and the flavors pulled out. 50-55 i find pulls more caramel, sweetness, butterscotch toasty type flavors. This IMHO would be more suited to the lower end of that toasting chart. Just my theories and how i've kind of gone about it. By no means am i saying i disagree with you or you're not correct. We both are. I appreciate the suggestions for sure. I'm not doing this completely based on science or any proof.. just kind of my gut. Its just what feels right and the way to go for this one. Perhaps on the 2nd, 3rd fills i could do lower abvs. Although, it may make sense to do lower abv in the first fill, so it pulls less wood flavor out, and then higher abv for the subsequent fills because there won't be as intense wood flavors present so the higher abv will pull more in that case. Hmm.. now you've got me reconsidering LOL. I'm literally minutes away from filling. I just have to cut this batch sitting on my table. The abv could be lower than i expect anyways after blending. As it's a barrel, and will be a 6 month minimum soak, i plan to include more heads and tails. DEF more tails, we will see about the heads. I'm sure i'll include some heads, but I rarely include too much heads. I do like to put plenty of tails in, as i don't find them too unpleasant at all. This is somewhere around the 10th generation of UJSM, and the backset and spirit is really smelling awesome now. The flavors starting to develop are really interesting and intriguing. I'm very curious what they will turn into after some proper aging and oaking. The last UJSM I did was when i first started stilling, and I don't think i went this many generations. I'm very excited about this batch, as my process, ingredients, equipment and techniques have vastly improved.

Dude.... CCST!!! Brilliant... that is a genius idea. I would have never thought of that. It's not even terribly expensive either. I too, have a racking cane from brewhaus. I have a regular hose on it, i use it all the time for transferring wash from fermenter to carboy and carboy to boiler. I really love it... racking canes are a super useful tool. I picked up an "auto siphon" from a guy on craigslist. It has a plastic cane type piece, and very small tubing. In short.. i hate it.. i probably used it twice and put it away. It's really awkward to use.
I'll have to pick up some CCST. A piece of copper tubing, maybe 1/2" could work for a siphon.. but as you said, being rigid will make it a real PITA to use. And i'd rather not use copper in this instance anyways. I could use a piece of stainless steel tubing.. although i'm not sure how well i would be able to bend a piece of 1/2" into the right shape. SS can be kind of stiff of course, and it may kink easily, i don't know. Not that a kink would be a huge problem.. but.. all these things considered... CCST seems like a great choice. I think it will be easy to clean, rinse out and store also. Thanks for that Tip. I hope other folks here see this if they have the same dilemma cuz that really is a great idea.

Mr. Baker. Thank's for your input as always!! To be honest, i would love to install a spigot on the barrel. BUT.. I'm filling it tonight, and i really don't want to wait. And the other thing, is that i really don't want to screw my barrel up. It probably wouldn't be TERRIBLY difficult to buy a SS Spigot, drill a hole (I'd probably need to taper the hole? That could be difficult, especially without the right tools), hammer the spigot in with a mallet, and then swell it up. But the barrel is already swelled (swollen?) So, i believe i would need to re-dry it out first, then drill, hammer, spigot, etc etc etc.... I will definitely keep this idea in mind for the next barrel.

I'm very on the fence. Money is a lil tight... but i know i'm going to want a 3rd barrel sometime... soon.. or not so soon.... and this deal is so hard to pass up. I'll just have to keep convincing myself that two 5G barrels is plenty. I also have many more half gallon jars full of aging whiskey as well. Now.. there's no such thing as too much.. especially when it all needs a good long aging.. but.. I'm not sure i can justify spending another 110 bucks.. i've got a bunch of bills to pay and rent coming up. I'm going to keep my fingers very crossed that those barrels stay on sale for a while, and when i have the scratch and motivation i'll get just one more. Ha.. it's always just one more, right?

And yeah, I think your point with the skewer is pretty much what Zapata was getting at, and i sort of described. it would be nice if you could mark the dowel itself, instead of having to use a chart.. but you'd have to choose the right method and materials for the task. Using sharpie marker on the dowel may be problematic. Maybe burning the markings on there? Or cutting notches or something? I dunno. Zapata please let us know what you come up with. I could see myself wanting to do the same.
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Re: New (sorta) balcones barrels for sale

Postby Copperhead road » Thu Jun 21, 2018 11:28 pm

Jesus Catcrap you must have a secretary to type them paragraph manuscripts, or your extremely talented touch typer..... :shock:
How many words a minute do you do...... :lolno:
If it’s not made of copper it simply ain’t proper......
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Joined: Thu Jan 12, 2017 4:28 pm
Location: Brisvegas downunder OZ

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