This Oak Barrel is made from American white oak, which gives it a ''vanilla'' taste, compared to French oak. It includes stand, spigot and bung.
How to Age Bitters, alcohol and cocktails? Simply fill the barrel with your alcohol or alcohol mix and store in a humid place where it is not exposed to sunlight or heat.
The time required to age bitters/alcohol/cocktail depends on your taste. This can be anywhere from a few weeks to a maximum of three years. Aging bitters/alcohol/cocktail in a barrel has the effect of transmitting the taste of the wood (oak) to your alcohol. The longer you store a wine or liquor in a barrel, the stronger the taste will be and the darker will the color get.
Important: Wood being a living material, this barrel can contract. To avoid any dislocation, it is important to store it in a sufficiently humid environment, or ideally, to use it within the first few weeks.If left empty in between uses, the barrel can dry and leaks will appear. To ensure its perennity, always leave at least a fourth filled.
Oak Barrel Using Guide
Brand new oak barrels are about as sanitary as they can be because the wood has been heated over direct fire in the process of making the barrel. This is done in order to bend the staves into place, and also to enhance various flavours.
Barrel Assembly Guide
How to Seal the Barrel
Before the first use, a new barrel must be filled with water to make the wood swell and eliminate leaks. These leaks will often seal themselves in only a few hours, but it could also take a couple of days. The barrel should be continually refilled until the leaks stop.
If it Keeps Leaking
If the leaks persist you can seal them by melting beeswax or candle wax and applying it on where the leaks come from. The oak wood must be dry in order for the wax to adhere and seal the barrel. Never rub wax on the inside of the barrel as it will contaminate the liquids stored inside.
How to Prepare for Use
Before using the barrel, empty completely and choose one of the following cleaning methods:
During a pause
If you are going to store the barrel for a prolonged period of time, it is important to store it in a humid environment. This will prevent shrinkage. which would cause leaks and the hoops would fall off. It is also recommended to pour some neutral alcohol in the barril between uses to prevent the creation of mold. Please note that the barrel will take a black tint, which is totally normal.
How to Age Bitters, Cocktail and Alcohol
To age bitters, alcohol and cocktails, simply fill the barrel with with the liquid and store in a humid place, away from sunlight or heat. The time required to age an alcoholic substance depends on your taste preferences. This can be anywhere from a few weeks to make a maximum of three years. Aging an alcoholic beverage in a barrel will result in a transmission of flavours, from the wood to the liquid. The longer the liquid stays in contact with the wood, thr stronger the flavours will be, and the darker the colour will get.
I heard that the black steel hoops on barrels can rust and some kind of galvanized or stainless steel will be better. Can you comment ahead of me putting in my order? Thanks
yes, external steel loop will develop superficial rust if not dried out after washing. And the barrel will also probably get stained.
This will in no way affect the aging product, nor the loop capability to hold.
Steel loops, albeit thicker, are what are used in real cooperage.
We also got in stainless steel and brass loops to accomodate customers who enjoy a more polished esthetic.
In the end, they are all good. In our tests, staff party and so on, we alway used the rust-prone steel versions.
Hope this helps.