Bourbon barrel oak

Discussion in 'General Wine Making Forum' started by Country, May 14, 2018.

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  1. Country

    Country Senior Member

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    [​IMG]

    Found this at the local hardware store. Interesting for sure. As far as I know, They are simply cut-up used bourbon barrels. No idea of age, condition, etc... Wondering if it would be possible to use them in wine making. Sanitizing would be a big challenge I would think. And the fact that they are so big, maybe 2”X2”.
     
  2. jburtner

    jburtner Junior Member

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    I bought a 1/2 barrel jack daniels planter for $30 which is a used JD barrel. They sell them at home depot. I removed the hoops and took it apart. Cut up a stave or two as I need them and toast in my oven @ 400*F for four hours. Toasted oak fingers. You can toast longer shorter and at different temps for different profiles but this is much cheaper and more flexible than other commercial oak product. About 3/4 x 3/4 x 5.

    I recommend.

    Cheers’
    -johann
     
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  3. Country

    Country Senior Member

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    Do you taste the essence of whisky in using the barrel stave or is it just oak to you?
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2018
  4. mainshipfred

    mainshipfred Junior Member Supporting Member

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    Do you have any concerns with spoilage organisms in the oak?
     
  5. jburtner

    jburtner Junior Member

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    No I don’t have any concerns with spoilage and i can’t taste the whiskey. Once cut into fingers i cook at 400*F for four hours then the wine and so2 also help.

    I’ll dig up a graph on temp and flavors that I use.

    Cheers!
    -jb
     
  6. jburtner

    jburtner Junior Member

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    Check out this oak toasting chart. You can toast up a couple different profiles. I’ve been cutting barrel staves down to 3/4 x 3/4 x 4 or 5” finger sized sticks. Toast em up in tje oven and they make the house smell really good :) four hours @ 400F is a pretty good medium dark toast. Compare to some cubes or spirals but very affordable. I’ll put a staves worth (really a 1/2 stave from a 1/2 barrel) cut up onto a baking pan. No foil cover. I might make them 10” for a carboy but thinish so they come out easily. Cut into it and you’ll see it’s toasted dark brown all the way through. I keep a stack of these staves outside before I cut em up and toast em so they're good and weathered with the harsh tannins leached out. About four fingers for two or three months then go from there. Taste often.

    Don’t take this chart as gospel. Use it as a reference. Test and experiment 300-450. 2h-5h. Get a little diversity and complexity with some different toast profiles.

    It’s just wood :)

    Cheers!
    -johann

    81207C4B-ACB0-4AC8-BFE1-8923F8BD2006.jpeg
     
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  7. pete1325

    pete1325 Senior Member

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    Hmmmmm! Interesting spin on oaking wine. I think I'll try it...thanks for the tip (hack).
     
  8. mainshipfred

    mainshipfred Junior Member Supporting Member

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    I like it as well.
     
  9. DAB

    DAB Member

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    "Cut up a stave or two as I need them and toast in my oven @ 400*F for four hours."
    What is your ratio of oak to wine? That is, when you use a stave or two, how much wine are you putting those staves into? I'm trying to oak 15 gallons and I'm not sure how much to use to accomplish the desired objective.

    Many thanks,
    Newbie
     
  10. jburtner

    jburtner Junior Member

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    I cut the staves up into fingers about 5” x 3/4” x 3/4” or so. I just put two into some five and six gallon carboys. I’ll be checking in 3mos if I want to add another finger or two (i’ll certainly be testing and monitoring with patience) . I’m bulk aging for a year’ish at least so have time to take my time and figure out how much i want in this batch. I think I used somewhere between two and four fingers in my last 5-6 gallon batches but I also barreled them - barrel not new.

    I approximate the same amount as say “a spiral or two” would have. Fingers are slower and arguably “better” ha ha!

    Nothing is really linear so I thief and test regularly.

    Cheers!
    -johann
     
  11. baron4406

    baron4406 Member

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    Did you sand off all the charred parts? I have a ton of this stuff from when I used to make bourbon. Plus i have an old toaster oven to use so I won't stink up the house. I was also thinking of drilling a few holes in it to get more surface area.
     
  12. DAB

    DAB Member

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    Yes, I sanded off the charred--and rusted--parts before putting it into the oven. My wife still isn't happy about the smell that lingers--I actually like it--in out kitchen after having toasted that wood for four hours. Yes, drilling holes would add surface area, but so would simply adding more wood--which I think would be easier.
     
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