Aging brandy in partial full barrel

Treatment and handling of your distillate.

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udiraz
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Aging brandy in partial full barrel

Post by udiraz » Thu Sep 03, 2015 12:06 pm

hi.
I want to age my brandy in oak barrel, but I can only get a 15 liter barrel, but I am not sure I will have 15 liters of brandy...

Is it possible to keep in the barrel partially full ?
I know that in wine this is not recommended, but how is it with brandy (or other alcohol types) ?

Thanks.

MDH
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Re: Aging brandy in partial full barrel

Post by MDH » Thu Sep 03, 2015 12:24 pm

You will have a greater evaporation rate, but yes, you can.
The still is not a liar. Mash and ferment quality is 99.9% of your performance.

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amdamgraham
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Re: Aging brandy in partial full barrel

Post by amdamgraham » Thu Sep 03, 2015 3:03 pm

I just went through this myself just two days ago with very small barrels.
I experienced more evaporation in the partially filled cask as mentioned above. There is not a lot of data here but this is what happened...

Both casks are new medium char 2L casks from barrelsonline.com
Cask #1 - filled full 2L with 125 proof whiskey (84% unmalted Corn / 16% malted 6-row)
Cask #2 - filled only 1.5L (leaving 500ml headroom) with 120 proof white blackberry brandy - aged 2 months.

Cask #1 aged 2 months - I retrieved 1.5L of 130 proof whiskey (less about 1/4 but higher proof)
Cask #2 aged 2 months - I retrieved 1.1L of 110 proof brandy (less about 1/3 and lower proof)

I will always fill my casks to the top from now on.

Oh and both turned out great. I diluted them both with spring water, 90 proof on the whiskey and 80 proof on the brandy and I'm letting them rest in bottles. The blackberry brandy was actually a bunch of old blackberry wine that my dad made 25 years ago and we forgot about it in the cellar. It wasn't drinkable as-is but after running it the beautiful aromas and flavors were exposed. I may have slightly over-oaked it considering the gentle berry notes but it's fine and hopefully will improve with age.

Braz
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Re: Aging brandy in partial full barrel

Post by Braz » Thu Sep 03, 2015 3:36 pm

Just give the barrel a 1/4 turn every now and then.
Braz

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shadylane
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Re: Aging brandy in partial full barrel

Post by shadylane » Thu Sep 03, 2015 3:58 pm

This is almost off topic, but close enough to throw in.
A friend keeps his almost full, 5 gallon wooden keg floating in his rain barrel, claims it's his aging secret.
Don't know if that's what makes his plum brandy so good, but he keeps adding to it, and I keep trying to make it float better.

udiraz
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Re: Aging brandy in partial full barrel

Post by udiraz » Thu Sep 03, 2015 9:46 pm

Thanks guys !
my options are 15 liters or 4 liters.
4 is obviously not enough for me, and 15 may be too much, but I am pretty close to it (13-14 liters of 65% ABV brandy that I have now).

I will go for the 15 :-)
Thanks.

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