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  1. #1
    Connoisseur
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    Is my barrel ruined?

    So I mentioned I bought a 2 liter barrel and have run several bourbon projects through it over the past few months with great success. I decided to throw the last 200ml of a cuervo 1800 Blanco in it for a couple weeks and got a nice anejo.

    I rinsed the barrel, several times and it still reeks of tequila. I filled it half way with some mixing bourbon for about a month, rotating the barrel every couple of days and every sample I take each week still has a tequila finish. It's not tasty, but not unpleasent, just kinda wierd. I am confident I have ruined the bourbon, no big deal, but have I ruined the barrel?

  2. #2
    Bourbonian of the Year 2011
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    Re: Is my barrel ruined?

    I think probably so.

    If you are able to do it safely, a re-charring might work. Shave it down and with a gas jet re-char to about 1/4 inch or maybe less (to keep keg intact of course).

    Gary

  3. #3
    Connoisseur
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    Re: Is my barrel ruined?

    I was afraid of that. Does anyone know if a barrel cleanser might help. I hate to start pulling the barrel apart to rechar.

    At worst I will have a dedicated tequila barrel and will buy a new bourbon one. It was only $35. Thanks for the info!

  4. #4
    Disciple
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    Re: Is my barrel ruined?

    I don't think there is much you can do. Those flavors really last a while.
    Hope is subversive, for it limits the grandiose pretensions of the present by calling into existence the possibility of something better.

  5. #5
    Guru
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    Re: Is my barrel ruined?

    Quote Originally Posted by kickert View Post
    I don't think there is much you can do. Those flavors really last a while.
    I was thinking the same. But for $35 you're back in business and the "ruined" barrel sounds like it won't go to waste, since you've got tequila plans up your sleeve.
    "I distrust a man who says 'when.' He's got to be careful not to drink too much, because he's not to be trusted when he does." Sydney Greenstreet

  6. #6
    Taster
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    Fredericksburg, VA
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    Re: Is my barrel ruined?

    To rechar old fashioned way, fill with hay and burn. the hot fire will burn off the alcohol and hopefully get out the tequilla flavors. should need to remove just one head.

    Truman
    Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms. Who brought the chips?

  7. #7
    Connoisseur
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    Re: Is my barrel ruined?

    Quote Originally Posted by theDon View Post
    I was afraid of that. Does anyone know if a barrel cleanser might help. I hate to start pulling the barrel apart to rechar.

    At worst I will have a dedicated tequila barrel and will buy a new bourbon one. It was only $35. Thanks for the info!
    Probably this barrel is now best suited for projects with spirits that would go well with a tequila finish like more tequila. But, if you are not ready to rechar, throw away, or buy a new barrel, nothing cleans out alcohol like alcohol. You don't want to add any more flavors so buy some everclear and do three cycles with it. If you add a bit of distilled water to get more volume just don't dilute below 50% ABV. Do a final rinse with distilled water and give her an experimental run with bourbon again.

    This will refresh your barrel but bleed some of the influence it has on the whiskey out. If your first run after cleansing is a failure then you're out some time and some everclear and test bourbon.

    I guess it all boils down to how much effort do you want to put into trying to save the barrel.

    In any case, good luck!!
    Often I am forced to deal with the fact that I prefer bourbon over dealing with facts.

  8. #8
    Enthusiast
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    Jun 2007
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    South Eastern PA
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    Re: Is my barrel ruined?

    How was the Tequila?

  9. #9
    Bourbonian of the Year 2010 and Guru
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    Re: Is my barrel ruined?

    Actually, nothing cleans out alcohol like water. I'd fill it with boiling water let cool an hour or two and repeat a couple times.
    2010 Bourbonian of the Year

    As long as you have good whiskey you're not "unemployed", you're "Funemployed!!!"

    I'm no Pappyophile

  10. #10
    Connoisseur
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    Re: Is my barrel ruined?

    Quote Originally Posted by PAspirit1 View Post
    How was the Tequila?
    The tequila was very close to Cuervo Anejo from what I could tell. I'm not too tequila experience, but it was mainly an experiment. I prefer blancos.

    Anyway thanks everyone for the advice. I'm not throwing away the barrel, it looks nice on the bar. I'm going to keep the cheap mixing bourbon through it for a few months to see if I can draw out some of the tequila flavor from the wood. That don't work I'll try some of the other suggestions. If that still don't work it's gonna be a tequila barrel and that's that.
    Last edited by theDon; 04-09-2010 at 16:48.

 

 

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