How to Choose Once Used Bourbon Barrels and How Rocky Mountain Barrel Can Help You Do That?March 16, 2021
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Some say drinking bourbon isn’t for weak-willed. There are individuals out there who might favor a lighter liquor or can’t deal with the warmth. On the contrary, some individuals who love savoring bourbon & all of its varieties; they’ll continue endlessly about whiskeys and scotches and whether they lean toward their bourbon perfect, on the rocks, or with a sprinkle of water.
Such whiskey snobs are likely to experiment with aging whiskey at home on a few occasions. This is a challenging task, and many people would struggle to get it entirely right the first time. Although, there are a few simple measures that every at-home whiskey consumer should know.
What Does the Term “Aging Whiskey” Mean?
A kind of charred wood is used for whiskey aging. The whisky eventually filters in and out of the wood as the temperature and humidity shift, absorbing vanillin and tannin. This tends to bring out more of the wood’s distinct tastes in the whisky. It can also be used to incorporate color.
Need help with whiskey aging at home? Get in touch with us for more ideas on how to age your whiskey at home.
1. Selecting and Preparing Oak for Aging Whiskey
While perfect whiskey aging is difficult to achieve, the materials required are relatively straightforward. They are as follows:
- Raw Whiskey
- A Mason Jar,
- A Piece of Oak,
- A Fire Pit
You have the option of using a single large piece of wood, splinters or even building your white oak barrel. Barrels have been used to age bourbon for years, with the barrel’s interior lining infusing the alcohol.
Ignite a fire to cook your oak. Lit up an intense fire and keep the oak piece steady for a few minutes at a time. The objective is to create excellent, bold char marks on all of the wood’s edges.
If you want to be more precise, you can look up exact dimensions digitally. The scales will tell you how long you can keep the oak piece over the flame and how hot it should be.
2. Using Oak and Whiskey Together
Allow the wood to cool after it has been finished. Get the raw whisky and spill it into the mason jar in the meantime. Depending on how many whiskeys you want to make, you may need to pour one bottle into several mason jars and replicate the process with various oak pieces each time.
This can seem to be a lot of effort, but it helps you have an excellent time doing it! One bottle of raw Whiskey will yield two or three (or more) different whiskeys. You will mix up where each mason jar is put and how long the piece of wood soaks.
3. Adding Flavor to the Whiskey
All you have to do now is wait – honestly, wait a little while. The color of your whiskey will change in a week or two.
However, you’ll have to wait anywhere from a few months to a year to get the Flavor you love. Many bourbon enthusiasts who wish to mature their Whiskey at home can do so for three to five years.
Some individuals are well-versed in the art of whiskey aging who often perform several cycles. As a result, they’ll get one batch ready in a couple of months; another one will take longer, and so on.
Try applying some added flavor just when you think the Whiskey is ready to go. Flavoring oils are available from several fully prepared kits and barrel suppliers. They are designed to bring a unique touch to the Whiskey’s essence. The more you age whiskey at home, the more you may come to like the taste of your whiskey over others.
DIY Used Whiskey Barrel
- Obtain 1- or 2-liter barrels from reputed retailers.
- Add water and empty it at various times to clear out any wood debris.
- Furthermore, fill with warm water and allow it to settle, swelling the wood till there are no leaks.
- Constrain the wood for a few days with another wine, spirit, or cocktail. Select something that you do not mind drinking.
- After dumping the liquid in the bourbon barrel, add Whiskey of your choice.
- Monitor whiskey’s progress day-to-day carefully.
- In a span of 5-10 days, you’ll get finished Whiskey. If you have selected your component parts accurately, then it should taste like nothing you’ve ever had.
Are you in need of perfect barrels for aging whiskey at home? Contact Us to get used barrels for making your aged whiskey!
Methods of Aging Whiskey at Home
1. The Wooden Stave Method
If you purchase a whiskey aging pack, you will almost certainly receive a bottle and wooden staves. You won’t have to char your oak, and the process of aging Whiskey is hands-off. Putting the necessary stuff in the bottle and filling it with Whiskey is needed for this process.
The burnt wood imparts color to the bourbon, but it prevents any explosive compounds from escaping, as they do when the Whiskey is aged in barrels. Load the bottle of corn-based Whiskey to provide a bourbon-style finished result.
Aging Whiskey at Home can be made simple. Just keep the bottle out of the heat for a week, then taste it every day before you find a flavor you enjoy. More than two weeks will result in a taste that is too woody.
2. The Wooden Barrel Method
The final form is the most difficult to master, but it is also the tastiest. Purchase a pre-charred white oak barrel and fill it with water until it no longer leaks. This could take up to a day. Cover it with an unaged or young bourbon with a proof of 90 proof or more.
Hold the barrel in a dark position and spray it with water as it seems to be dry. It will take a month or two to make a 1–2-liter batch, and the longer it sits, the more evaporation occurs. Barrels can be used many times, but each time takes longer to mature.
3. The Charred Strips Method
Instead of pre-made staves, the second process uses burnt oak strips. Cut a slice of oak into strips long enough to fit in the bottle. The most common wood used by practitioners is white oak, but cherry, birch, and maple can also be used. You can char it with a blowtorch or barbecue, and you can even roast it ahead of time. In both directions, the wood should be black and gleaming.
It should be cooled with water, and any ash or waste should be washed away. To get the right Flavor, taste it regularly for up to a year and serve it in glasses engraved with your tassel or personalized logo.
The Bottom Line!
So, these were some of the steps for aging Whiskey at home! By applying these simple procedures, you’ll get your own aged whiskey at home! We hope this guide was helpful to you, and next time, if you wish to age your whiskey on time, don’t forget to follow these guidelines!
You should consider how the Rocky Mountain Barrel Company can help you pick your optimal utilized whiskey barrel! By playing with different barrels’ styles and sizes, we, Rocky Mountains, produce flavors’ surfaces. We offer you used oak, bourbon, Whiskey, wine, and rum barrels from across the world – visit us for more data on whiskey barrels.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q1. How to age alcohol?
While barrel aging is commonly associated with whiskey, you can also age other types of alcohol, such as spirits, wines, and even certain cocktails. Here are a few methods of aging alcohol:
1. Oak Chips or Staves
You can add oak chips or staves to a container (such as a glass jar) containing the alcohol you want to age. Let it sit for a period of time, periodically sampling it until you achieve the desired flavor.
2. Barrel Alternatives
You can also utilize oak barrel alternatives like spirals, cubes, or barrels with adjustable char levels. These allow you to mimic the aging process and adjust the flavors according to your preferences.
3. Bottle Aging
Indeed, certain spirits such as specific liqueurs or fortified wines can be successfully aged in bottles. To facilitate the aging process and allow the flavors to harmonize and develop complexity, it is advisable to store the sealed bottles in a cool and dark place for an extended period. This environment helps create optimal conditions for the melding of flavors and the overall maturation of the spirit within the bottle. By patiently allowing the spirits to age in this manner, you can potentially enhance their taste and experience the evolution of their character over time.
Remember that the aging process may not produce the exact same results as traditional barrel-aging whiskey at home. However, it can still impart interesting flavors and characteristics to your chosen alcohol. Experimentation and regular tastings are key to achieving the desired outcome.
Q2. How to age whiskey in a barrel?
Aging whiskey in a barrel at home can be a rewarding process. Here’s a general guide for you to outline all the steps:
1. Select a Suitable Barrel
Choose a small oak barrel specifically designed for aging spirits. You should ensure it’s properly cleaned and seasoned before use.
2. Prepare The Barrel
Fill the barrel with hot water and let it soak for a few hours to swell the wood. You’ll need to empty the water and proceed to the next step while the barrel is still damp.
3. Choose Your Whiskey
Select a high-quality whiskey that you wish to age further. You should pour the whiskey into the barrel, leaving some headspace to allow for expansion during aging.
4. Store The Barrel
Place the barrel in a cool, dark area with a consistent temperature. You need to avoid direct sunlight or extreme temperature fluctuations, as they can affect the aging process.
5. Patience is Key
Allow the whiskey to age in the barrel. The aging process involves the interaction between the wood and the spirit, enhancing its flavor, aroma, and smoothness. How long to age whiskey depends on personal preference and the desired outcome.
6. Regular Sampling
It is indeed recommended to periodically sample the whiskey during the aging process to track its progress and flavor development. This allows you to observe how the whiskey is maturing and helps you determine the optimal aging duration for your desired taste.
It’s important to note that aging in smaller barrels can accelerate the flavor extraction process compared to larger commercial barrels. The smaller surface area-to-volume ratio leads to faster interaction between the whiskey and the wood, potentially resulting in quicker flavor changes. Therefore, it’s crucial to closely monitor the whiskey’s flavor profile to avoid over-aging or missing the ideal aging point.
7. Bottling The Aged Whiskey
Once you’re satisfied with the taste and character of the aged whiskey, carefully remove it from the barrel using a siphon or spigot. Filter it if desired, and then transfer it to bottles for storage or gifting.
Q3. How long is whiskey aged in barrels?
The aging duration of whiskey in barrels varies depending on several factors, such as the type of whiskey, desired flavor profile, and legal requirements. However, as a general “how long to age whiskey” guideline:
1. Straight Bourbon
Bourbon must be aged in new charred oak barrels for a minimum of two years to be labeled as “straight” bourbon. Many higher-quality bourbons can age for four years or more.
2. Scotch Whisky
Typically Scotch whiskies are aged for a minimum of three years in oak casks, but many are aged for much longer periods to develop their distinctive flavors.
3. Irish Whiskey
Generally, Irish whiskeys are aged for a minimum of three years. Still, some are aged for longer to achieve more complex flavors.
4. American Rye Whiskey
While there are no specific aging requirements for rye whiskey, many producers choose to age it for a minimum of two years. This duration allows the flavors of the whiskey to develop and mature over time.
It’s worth emphasizing that the aging process is not solely dependent on the passage of time, but rather on the interaction between the whiskey and the wood of the aging vessel. This interaction plays a crucial role in flavor development and can lead to variations in the final product. The specific characteristics of the wood, such as its age, type, and char level, along with environmental factors, such as temperature and humidity, all contribute to the overall flavor profile of the aged rye whiskey.