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View Full Version : I got a free barrel!



StraightNoChaser
04-14-2012, 11:23
Freakin sweet! The store next door was getting rid of their barrels from 1B purchases, so who do they call first? Me!

I popped the bung out last night and it smells absolutely phenomenal. I wish there was some way to suck the last juice out of the wood. Maybe I should call JB for tips? :lol:

Now the question is... what the hell do I do with it? lol

Lost Pollito
04-14-2012, 11:29
I wish there was some way to suck the last juice out of the wood.
If you fill it up with a couple gallons of water, and roll it around for awhile, you should be able to extract some bourbon. A low proof though. I recall reading a thread on that somewhere here.

SMOWK
04-14-2012, 11:31
If you fill it up with a couple gallons of water, and roll it around for awhile, you should be able to extract some bourbon. A low proof though. I recall reading a thread on that somewhere here.

It's called "The Bum's Share"

Josh
04-14-2012, 11:45
Do you own a smoker? Cut it up and use the chunks to smoke various tasty meats. That's what I'd do.

Lost Pollito
04-14-2012, 11:48
You could also make a great bar out of it. :grin:
http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/showthread.php?t=13332

StraightNoChaser
04-14-2012, 11:48
It's called "The Bum's Share"
:slappin: I don't think I'll be doing that

sutton
04-14-2012, 12:18
How many gallons? Fill it with white dog ...

spinningrecords
04-14-2012, 12:33
Nice score. Let us know how you end up purposing it.

yountvillewjs
04-14-2012, 12:37
We often steam barrels to kill bacteria. If you could get the internal temp pretty high, bung it and wait for a few minutes. The head will flex as the pressure gets intense, but you'll extract whatever was left in the staves.

Ejmharris
04-14-2012, 12:52
Find a home brewer and have them brew 53 gallons of a brown ale or stout. Fill with beer and enjoy. I had a friend but one from an oversupply at a local winery (HH barrel I think). He put in an oatmeal stout. It was fantastic.

Clavius
04-14-2012, 13:21
I have a Woodford Reserve barrel that I... acquired in a similar fashion. It does smell great when you pop the bung out. I still don't know what I should do with the barrel though. Thought about selling it.

ILLfarmboy
04-14-2012, 13:51
It's called "The Bum's Share"

:cool: that made me smile :cool:

Young Blacksmith
04-14-2012, 14:14
Put a round glass top on it and make it a micro bar.
Take it over to DEBC and have them fill it with beer.
Do the second first, put a tap in it, and do the first!

barrelslime
04-14-2012, 18:43
Make a big batch of home made wine and let it age in that barrel.

mrviognier
04-15-2012, 08:00
If you fill it up with a couple gallons of water, and roll it around for awhile, you should be able to extract some bourbon.

Now that's the definition of desperation! :grin:


How many gallons? Fill it with white dog ...

Those barrels are 53-gallons. That's 265 bottles of white dog.


We often steam barrels to kill bacteria.

Works - and is necessary - for wine; not needed for spirits. Alcohol content ensured nothing's growing in that.


Make a big batch of home made wine and let it age in that barrel.

Now THAT would make one disgusting wine.

Best thing to do is either chop it up for smoking wood for the BBQ, or as a display item. Only issue with doing the later is that eventually - unless you're displaying it in a fairly humid place - the barrel is going to fall apart. As the staves dry out, they're going to shrink, the hoops are going to fail to hold it together, and it will collapse.

Another good idea is to get a skillsaw, cut it in half, and make two planters out of it.

ethangsmith
04-15-2012, 08:16
I have 6 barrels here at the house- 4 from Michter's in Schaefferstown, Pa, 1 from Continental Distilling in Philly, and 1 from Sam Thompson in Pittsburgh. All of them are quite old and as barrels age, they will shrink and get quite loose from being dried out. If you don't secure your hoops quickly, they will begin to shift and compromise the barrel's structure. I would suggest buying some "hoop nails" or even some self-tapping screws to secure the barrel together before it gets wobbly.

yountvillewjs
04-15-2012, 10:25
Works - and is necessary - for wine; not needed for spirits. Alcohol content ensured nothing's growing in that.


I suggested it only as a way to pull the bourbon out of the staves, without superdiluting it a la 'bum's share'.

mrviognier
04-15-2012, 10:41
Ah...got ya.

Still, I'd advise strongly against adding water or steam in an effort to leech out some bourbon. It'd be an enormous waste of time...and what little spirit you would get would be chock-full of barrel tannin and flakes of char. :puke:

MarkEdwards
04-15-2012, 12:32
Another good idea is to get a skillsaw, cut it in half, and make two planters out of it.

And you'd end up with two very happy plants!

CorvallisCracker
04-15-2012, 12:35
Two words: Niagara Falls

sailor22
04-15-2012, 12:44
You don't have to cut it up. It looks like a fresh tight barrel that will be a good candidate for re-use.

If you can afford a lot of inexpensive whiskey then work up a tasty vatting and dump it in. Tasting as it ages will be be loads of fun and teach you a lot about how whiskey ages.

Or do like we did and get a group of friends together and share the cost of the whiskey to be dumped in. Have a party or get together every 6 months for tastings.

BarrelChar
04-15-2012, 15:58
Filling it with white dog and waiting a few years would have the greatest payoff, but by then, humans will probably be replaced by robots or something. Who can wait that long? Quickest result would be to contact a local brewer and jam it full of beer, preferably something dark like an imperial stout, and offer to split the eventual contents. Wait 7 months and you'll have a rich, premium bourbon stout and beat the Mayan doomsday, allowing you one month of stout-fueled debauchery before Armageddon.

Or you could fill it with root beer, thereby creating an entirely new product that's never been attempted--and be a hit with the straight-edge crowd. Or just slice off the top and bottom of the barrel and cut out some arm holes for the perfect "Angel's Share" costume for Halloween.

Longer-term alternative: Fill it with OWA, wait 13+ years, and presto! Pappy Van Winkle 20! (Too soon?)

craigthom
04-15-2012, 17:14
Do you own a smoker? Cut it up and use the chunks to smoke various tasty meats. That's what I'd do.

I have done this making barbecue in a regular Weber kettle grill. It takes a lot more attention to keep the temperature stable than with a dedicated smoker, but the results have been great.

Josh
04-15-2012, 17:22
I have done this making barbecue in a regular Weber kettle grill. It takes a lot more attention to keep the temperature stable than with a dedicated smoker, but the results have been great.

Never tried to do it in my grill. My smoker is just a big terrra cotta pot with a hot plate in the bottom. Whole set up cost me <$35. It's lasted for over three years now. Not a bad investment!

Clavius
04-15-2012, 18:45
Do you own a smoker? Cut it up and use the chunks to smoke various tasty meats. That's what I'd do.
Can this seriously be done? Will the wood from the barrel actually make for some tastier meats? If so, I may do this with the Woodford barrel I have. I just don't have anywhere to display it and it's taking up room in my garage.

Ejmharris
04-15-2012, 18:53
Can this seriously be done? Will the wood from the barrel actually make for some tastier meats? If so, I may do this with the Woodford barrel I have. I just don't have anywhere to display it and it's taking up room in my garage.

It makes for great smoking material. Jack actually sells theirs commercially. I am looking for for in Cincy to cut into chucks for my webber.

M Pickle
04-15-2012, 18:58
Can this seriously be done? Will the wood from the barrel actually make for some tastier meats? If so, I may do this with the Woodford barrel I have. I just don't have anywhere to display it and it's taking up room in my garage.


Absolutely! White oak is an excellent smoking wood. I can only imagine that the bourbon in the wood will add great flavor.

Bmac
04-15-2012, 19:17
Yeah i could see myself buying as much white dog as i could. Especially BT's but that would get mighty expensive. But the concept of being able to officially age something in charred oak would be incredible. In fact, you can take some of your single malts.and age them. Take tbat 12yr and turn it into an 18 yr ;)

Ejmharris
04-15-2012, 19:30
Yeah i could see myself buying as much white dog as i could. Especially BT's but that would get mighty expensive. But the concept of being able to officially age something in charred oak would be incredible. In fact, you can take some of your single malts.and age them. Take tbat 12yr and turn it into an 18 yr ;)

Crazy expensive too age anything in that big barrel. Leaving it to beer, furniture or wood chips is the best bet.

Clavius
04-15-2012, 19:34
Well I've decided that I'm going to take apart the Woodford barrel that I have and use most of the staves for smoking. I'll probably start on it tomorrow. Will take pictures and start a thread somewhere here on SB to show the progress in case anyone is interested.

Can't wait to get a look at one of those staves from the side and see how far the bourbon penetrated into the wood. I remember on one of my tours at BT they showed you on a stave how far the bourbon penetrated over x number of years. Pretty neat.

craigthom
04-15-2012, 20:36
Never tried to do it in my grill. My smoker is just a big terrra cotta pot with a hot plate in the bottom. Whole set up cost me <$35. It's lasted for over three years now. Not a bad investment!

I've been thinking about making an Alton Brown smoker myself this summer. My grill walked off. I imagine a big flower pot would be less attractive to thieves.

craigthom
04-15-2012, 20:38
Can this seriously be done? Will the wood from the barrel actually make for some tastier meats? If so, I may do this with the Woodford barrel I have. I just don't have anywhere to display it and it's taking up room in my garage.

I've done it several times. I cut it into blocks, not chips, and no soaking is necessary (although I do have a pan of water in there).

It's not going to magically make it bourbon-infused meat, but it's going to taste like real barbecue. Because it is.

Young Blacksmith
04-16-2012, 07:49
White oak is my preferred smoking wood, and I've used Tabasco barrel chunks before with good results.

Give me a few chunks and I'll make ya some ribs next time you do an event in the area. :grin:

Clavius
04-16-2012, 09:33
Well I just took apart the barrel I have. It was a lot easier than I thought it would be. You just remove the hoops and it comes apart. Simple as that. I can't even begin to describe the smell. It is amazing. The coolest thing is seeing how far the spirit penetrated into the wood over time.

http://i638.photobucket.com/albums/uu105/mnosam/Barrel/IMG_1915.jpg

http://i638.photobucket.com/albums/uu105/mnosam/Barrel/IMG_1919.jpg

http://i638.photobucket.com/albums/uu105/mnosam/Barrel/IMG_1922.jpg

http://i638.photobucket.com/albums/uu105/mnosam/Barrel/IMG_1923.jpg

bourbonNOOG
04-16-2012, 11:18
Well I just took apart the barrel I have. It was a lot easier than I thought it would be. You just remove the hoops and it comes apart. Simple as that. I can't even begin to describe the smell. It is amazing. The coolest thing is seeing how far the spirit penetrated into the wood over time.

http://i638.photobucket.com/albums/uu105/mnosam/Barrel/IMG_1915.jpg

http://i638.photobucket.com/albums/uu105/mnosam/Barrel/IMG_1919.jpg

http://i638.photobucket.com/albums/uu105/mnosam/Barrel/IMG_1922.jpg

http://i638.photobucket.com/albums/uu105/mnosam/Barrel/IMG_1923.jpg

Is the barrel head for sale?

jcg9779
04-16-2012, 11:38
Two words: Niagara Falls

Or he could just float down the Trinity.

StraightNoChaser
04-16-2012, 15:47
Great pics Clavius! Unfortunately I don't own a smoker so I won't be going that route.

I DO like the idea of filling it with root beer :grin:

StraightNoChaser
04-16-2012, 15:48
I might just take it down to Balcones and have Chip fill it with his white dog :cool: :cool: :cool:

cigarnv
04-16-2012, 16:06
White oak is my preferred smoking wood, and I've used Tabasco barrel chunks before with good results.

Give me a few chunks and I'll make ya some ribs next time you do an event in the area. :grin:

Been using barrel chunks for years in all types of smokers.... white oak and bourbon makes Q sing!!!

Stu
04-16-2012, 16:12
If you fill it up with a couple gallons of water, and roll it around for awhile, you should be able to extract some bourbon. A low proof though. I recall reading a thread on that somewhere here.

I did this with a barrel that had an excellent HH bourbon, purchased by EBRA (European Bourbon and Rye Association) and they gave the empty barrel to me. I used about 3 to 5 gallons of water and rolled it around daily for about a month or two. I have a very tasty "bourbon and water". I estimate about 30 to 40 proof. I'm going to have a handle of it at the Sampler if you want to try it. Caution: When you dump the barrel it will be black. I filtered it through a clean white t shirt washed without bleach or soap and dryed in the dryer (actually a rag). This filtered out all of the charcoal. Total yield was a little more than 4 handles, well worth the effort. Your results may vary, depending on what whiskey was in your barrel to start with. I've seen Canadians do this and they call it "screech", so that's what I labeled mine. I did it a second time, rolled it for a week or two and got a much weaker bourbon and water that would still be pleasant for a bourbon and water drinker. I plan to leave a handle in the refrigerator in the summer and drink as a chaser or when I want a cool refreshing drink (I don't drink soda pop or iced tea). Let me know your results. After you screech the barrel you can still use it for a bar, liquor cabinet, or smoking meat. Good Luck!

StraightNoChaser
04-16-2012, 16:19
Any chance I could "sweat" the inside of the barrel by throwing it in a large cooler?

Lazer
04-16-2012, 17:52
I would make my own solera out of it. Fill it up with whiskey and refill as the level gets low. :cool:

sailor22
04-16-2012, 17:59
You don't need to fill the barrel - 20% to 30% full will age the juice fine. Work up a vatting of inexpensive juice and put it in. If you have a few sipping buds then get everyone to put in a few handles. Everyone gets together every six months or so for a tasting and party.

mrviognier
04-17-2012, 05:47
Any chance I could "sweat" the inside of the barrel by throwing it in a large cooler?

I don't think that'd work.

StraightNoChaser
07-22-2012, 20:53
This is cool... turn your barrel into a drum

http://www.yamakaminari.com/HowTo/taikodrums/howtobuildtaiko.html