Result of using bourbon barrel

Winemaking Talk - Winemaking Forum

Help Support Winemaking Talk - Winemaking Forum:

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.
What's the goop around the rim of the lid? is it some kind of sealant? I was under the impression that barrels were made leak proof by pressure and swelling.
Barrels mostly seal by moisture swelling and internal pressure from the liquid inside.

Unfortunately, wood being an organic material, a perfect seal is nearly impossible, so for centuries , barrelmakers have used beeswax to seal drips on seams.

In modern times, commercially available barrel seal material is available, which is far more expensive and mostly made from beeswax.

Another tip from an old timer, if you don't nearly fill your barrel, you may want to rotate your barrel so that the seams not normally in contact with liquid don't dry out and leak.

I learned this stuff back in the 20th Century when my wife worked for Colonial Williamsburg and I got to hang out in the various craft shops.
 
What's the goop around the rim of the lid? is it some kind of sealant? I was under the impression that barrels were made leak proof by pressure and swelling.
When I re-cooped my barrel, I ended up using a paste made of flour and water on the heads. Filled with hot water and it hardly leaked at all. I found that the heads are the most difficult area to seal. Prior to using the paste, I spent a couple days trying to get it sealed without success. Almost gave up. Flour paste is legit.
 
When I re-cooped my barrel, I ended up using a paste made of flour and water on the heads. Filled with hot water and it hardly leaked at all. I found that the heads are the most difficult area to seal. Prior to using the paste, I spent a couple days trying to get it sealed without success. Almost gave up. Flour paste is legit.
I’ll keep that in mind. My wife’s cousin lives in Boerne, we visited a few years ago , really nice area. Found a great place for rough sawn mesquite lumber.
 
I’ll keep that in mind. My wife’s cousin lives in Boerne, we visited a few years ago , really nice area. Found a great place for rough sawn mesquite lumber.
Yeah, feel pretty fortunate to live there. It's currently a decent place to raise a family and my wife and kids really like it. Not sure what it's going to turn into though. I fear it's going to start looking like California soon. There are a lot of people moving in.
 
As promised, I checked barrels #3 (Midwest Barrel King's County Rye) and #4 (Midwest Barrel King's County Peated Whisky). I rinsed the barrels with water for 12 hours and then filled with my 2023 Chelois - filled on December 13. I pulled a sample from each, added my kmeta, added back oak cubes (the wine was on Hungarian oak cubes before the barrel and I saved the cubes, rinsed with vodka and added back to the wine to finish the oak) and topped up the barrels. I also poured a sample of the top up wine - oaked on Hungarian cubes for 6 weeks in a stainless keg. I let all three samples warm (cellar is 48 degrees F.) for about one hour. My husband and I tasted the three samples. I did tell him which sample was in which barrel but never indicated any concern of ash or char taste.

He did get a little whiskey in the Rye sample on the first taste but the whisky dissipated after the first taste. I didn't get any whiskey. The peated sample was the best of the three. It was smooth and mellow. No whisky, no oak and no ash. I'll leave everything alone for at least another month and then see where we are I wish I had two of the peated barrel. I expect both will be neutral after this batch so there won't be much if any difference.

I did not test Barrel #1 (Maple Syrup). It was not time to top up so I'll check it in about a month.
I realized that I didn't update Barrel #1 - a ten gallon Midwest bourbon barrel that held maple syrup. As background, I cleaned that barrel with Barrel Oxyclean and citric acid, then fermented a cider in the barrel. The cider was racked off on November 18, the barrel was again rinsed with Barrel Oyxfresh and citric acid. It was filled on November 20 with 2023 Chambourcin and roughly eight ounces of Hungarian oak cubes. When I topped the barrel on January 27, I pulled a sample. It was magnificent! The fruit aroma was strong and the taste was smooth and mellow. There was possibly a tiny bit of acid at the very tail. I'm expecting the acid to fade over the next two months. I would be perfectly happy to bottle now but I'm giving it at least two more months in the barrel. If I was repeating this sequence, I would skip the Barrel Oxyfresh and the cider fermentation and go straight to barrel aging. I would like to know how the maple syrup came through, if at all. Anyway, this barrel is more than meeting my expectations.
 
Back
Top