Our oak barrels are perfect for the full time re-enactor who likes to do things the old way. These barrels are handcrafted from American White Oak and have black steel hoops. The barrel holds approximately 10 liters. All barrels have a medium toast and come with the stand, bung, and wooden spigot. They are perfect for aging Mead, Tequila, Brandy, Whiskey, Scotch, Bourbon, Cognac, or Wine Vinegar. An aging barrel can also make for a unique addition to your decor, whether you are displaying it in your kitchen or your personal bar.
How to Cure Your Barrel:
No glue or nails are used in the making of this barrel. As such, barrel preparation called curing is required prior to use. This process serves two functions. 1. It allows the barrel to swell to prevent leaking, and 2. It limits the amount of alcohol absorbed by the barrel. Start by placing the appropriate number of storing tablets in the barrel and filling the barrel with boiling or hot water. Allow it to soak for 3 to 5 days. Water may leak from between the staves or at the barrel head seam. This is normal and will stop within 24 hours as the wood swells. Barrels that do not leak should still be cured for 3 to 5 days. This will minimize the amount of alcohol absorbed by the barrel staves. After curing the barrel, empty the solution and rinse with hot water 3 times. Now fill the barrel with your spirits, place the bung in tightly, and Enjoy!
How to Properly Store your Barrel:
When storing your barrel between uses, always keep the barrel filled with a sterilized water solution. This will keep the barrel from drying out and keep bacteria from growing in the barrel. We suggest using Barrel Storing Tablets (which are included in our Total Cleaning and Care Kit for Oak Barrels, item number OB-144). Barrel Storing Tablets are pre-measured doses of sulfites formulated to kill bacteria and inhibit the growth of wild yeast and microbes in the barrel. When storing or cleaning your barrel between uses, dissolve the appropriate quantity of tablets in water. Pour mixture in the barrel and fill completely with additional water. Store in cool damp conditions if possible. Rinse 3 times prior to use. Sanitize your barrel with a Barrel Cleaning Kit (also included in the above kit) after 2 or 3 uses.
How to Properly Clean your Barrel:
Barrels should be cleaned after every 2 or 3 aging batches, or when changing between spirit types. To clean the barrel, use a Barrel Cleaning Kit (which is included in our Total Cleaning and Care Kit for Oak Barrels, item number OB-144) and follow these directions. 1. Dissolve the Barrel-Kleen into 1 U.S. gallon of warm water. Fill the barrel with this cleaning solution and soak for 24 hours. Empty and rinse 3 times with hot water. 2. Dissolve the Neutralizing Acid into 1 gallon of warm water. Fill the barrel with this neutralizing solution and soak for 15 minutes. Empty and rinse the barrel 3 times with hot water. 3. To re-char the barrel interior, drain the barrel for 3 hours. Place a butane torch in the bung and spigot hole and re-char the inside. 4. When storing the barrel or prior to re-use, dissolve the 2 sterilizing tablets in 1 gallon of cool water. Fill the barrel with the solution. Swish around for a few minutes and rinse 3 times with hot water. To prevent the barrel from drying out and minimize the possibility of contamination, barrels should always be stored full with spirits or sterilizing solution.
Common Questions About Barrels:
- 1. How many times can I use my barrel? With proper care, you can use your barrel for 8 to 10 years. Following the cleaning and re-charring instructions will insure a long life for your product, and be sure to not let your barrel dry out.
- 2. I left my barrel dry for an extended time. Now it leaks... what do I do? In many cases just re-cure the barrel. If it continues leaking, submerge the barrel in water for a couple of days. After it's been submerged, dry the exterior with a towel and fill it with water to see if it continues to leak. If so, find the leak and apply barrel wax to the hole.