View Full Version : Rebarreling/ Was I had forgotten about this ...

11-16-2005, 10:16
Mike V.,

Your quote is interesting.

Actually E H Taylor, Jr. actually recommends aging in you attic and to take the bung out for a week, then replace the bung and roll the barrel 360 degrees every day for a week, and then repeat these steps until it reaches the flavor profile you wish.

As I am going to undertake a re-barreling project, I have decided to use the attic area in my home to store the barrel(s).

Reading this, with the idea that it may or may not be useful to me, brings up some questions.

First, does any distillery use the same process as described above for aging their whiskies? (It is conceivable that a row of barrels in a ric could facilitate the process, but still a laborious effort to a certain extent)

Second, does the process accelerate the benefits of aging?

Does this “shortcut” reduce the potential for the best results? Or, does the extra time spent in management lend to better results than regular long term aging?

With the bung being removed, wouldn't there be quicker/direct exchange with the environment than that which would be realized in the regular process of exchange through the barrel walls over longer time periods?

If any or all of this is true, how would it play with the use of a new barrel (3 gallon to 5 gallon size) during or after the "break in" period(s)?

....your thoughts Mike...

Actually, anyone's thoughts...Roger, Gary G., Chuck, Ken, or any others who have re-barreled with success.

This post could be moved over to a different area, but I'll leave that up to the administrators.

Thanks dougdog

11-16-2005, 11:56
I hate to say this about Mr. Taylor, but it almost sounds like a joke... or a way for the customer to feel like he's doing something to help the whiskey along-contributing to the whole effort.

Though we've pretty well established the fact that oxidation plays a role in the aging of whiskey, I'm not sure how much of an effect will come from opening and closing the barrel, though the stirring effect could be useful.

Looking forward to see
what the pros say on this.

11-17-2005, 01:44
I'm pretty sure the field of consumer re-barreling is completely untapped. No one has ever done it to the best of my knowledge, so it is a wide open field. That also means there are no experts. We're all speculating. No one knows anything.

However, if I were setting up a field experiment of any kind, I would consider my initial experiment to be my baseline. I would want my baseline, my starting point, to resemble as closely as possible the established commercial practice. Only after I had established my baseline would I deviate from the mainstream practice to "see what happens." That's how I would approach it.

Whether what Taylor describes was sincere or a joke, it was never mainstream practice.

11-17-2005, 07:15
The Taylor recommendations are, one should remember, mid-1800's in vintage. The aging of whiskey was only imperfectly understood. The object was (generally) to sell whiskey young but lightly improved. The very concept of the tiered whiskey warehouse, the rick system, was in its infancy. Contemporary sources, e.g, Byrn's Practical Distilling from the 1870's, contains at the end a recommendation much like Taylor's (put barrels in a room alternately heated and cooled for a few weeks). In the very early 1800's, Samuel M'Harry wrote that whiskey should be transferred by gravity to different vessels and the "friction" would improve it. Taylor's rolling is a similar idea. Maybe the idea of barrel rotation in warehouses is an echo, in part at least, of that old practice (itself probably derived from observations made of the effect on quality on ocean or river transport of spirits). Since the time these early notions had currency, whiskey aging has become (relatively) more scientific and the system of aging barrels on tiered ricks (racks) for four years or more became the norm (except for rare survivals such as Four Rose's single storey warehouse). I agree with Chuck that the best hope to get a good product from home barreling is to emulate current commercial practice.


11-17-2005, 08:24
I completely agree, there is no point in doing anything experimental without a control subject as well. From a sample of the mixture of bourbons that is made to an undisturbed barrel(if you go in for all this shaking and rolling stuff).

Constant Vigilance!(sorry the new Harry Potter movie comes out at midnight) http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/lol.gif

11-17-2005, 13:13
After reading the initial post, I wasn't all that excited about leaving a bung out for any length of time anyway... other than to monitor the inventory.

I do like the notion of a "baseline" approach to the learning curve...I think that will be valuable for all the reasons mentioned. So, for the first barrel I'll adopt the KISS method.

My sizes of my first two barrels will be a 3 gallon and a 5 gallon. One main problem...aside from the expense of filling them, it would take me a lifetime to drink that much whiskey...I'll probably need some volunteers.

Now, given input by others regarding the length of time in the barrel for the first batch (2-4 months), I'd say there will be some ready in time for the sampler.

My choice of whiskey for the barrel break-in period for the first batch will be the current, less expensive, edition of Ancient Age. My version is intended to be called AAAA...Almost Ancient Ancient Age! (I hope that doesn't walk on any copyrights!... http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/smilielol.gif)

Aside from the attractive pricing, it is my experience that the versions of older bottlings of AA/AAA are pretty good whiskies compared to the younger, non age stated counterparts....Yet, more will be known about that after this Saturday's "Study Group" meets. We're settin' up for a vertical of Ancient Age products. (We meet 11-19-5, see the bourbon socials for an invitation)

Thanks to all posters...

Please keep the comments coming...they are valuable and appreciated!

Best regards, dougdog

11-17-2005, 15:10
I've been rebarreling since the late 1980's and there are some very effective techniques to achieve some profound results. While I would say that removing the bung for any extended period of time would be a mistake, moving the barrel to create friction and contact between the bourbon and the white oak can add a lot. In my barn, for instance, I've rigged several treadmills in order to keep barrels constantly rolling for months at a time. I have also designed what could be described as an extra large paint mixer where some selected barrels will shake violently for ten minutes a day. I've also noticed that if instead of starting with something very young, if you use a couple of gallons of 20yr Pappy van Winkle or Rock Hill Farms, the bourbon you can create with this process is just awesome! http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/70358-devil.gif
(Dougdog, Sorry, this wasn't a very serious response. I'd love to know how it comes out and I wish you the best of luck. Obviously I have nothing intelligent to offer, but I couldn't resist. I hope that you're okay with me joking about this. I apologize if you're not and I'll remove the post if its a problem.)


11-17-2005, 16:33
You had me goin' there for a while!


11-17-2005, 18:56
You had me right up until the part about the Pappy!...don't pull it...let the others fall into it too!

It's fun...I'm OK

best, dog...LOL

11-17-2005, 19:23
Damm, you had me too...right up until you said you used Pappy http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/skep.gif http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif

11-17-2005, 19:53

Did you char the barrel? If so, what method did you use?
Where did you get your barrel?


11-17-2005, 23:36
You had me right up to the disclaimer, I just thought you were one of Warren Buffett's kids or something!

11-18-2005, 10:12
Brandon, the barrel comes pre-charred from a littel store in Berekely, just a few miles north of me. (I'm sure they buy from another source) (No one could afford to make a barrel in california at the local labor rate) Roger is the person responsible for getting me in touch with them. I ordered it over the phone and won't see it the first time until tomorrow evening at the "study group". (that is the three gallon, the 5'er is on back order right now) I'm in hopes of some literature to accompany the new purchase, we'll see what they send. The barrel was labeled as "heavy char"...I don't know if they get into the different "levels" of char or not.

Roger..if you are reading this, maybe you could post the website you sent me to?

Best, dougdog

11-18-2005, 11:06
I found this website that Roger had given me....

web page (http://www.oakbarrel.com/DesktopDefault.aspx)