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  1. #21
    Virtuoso
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    Apr 2011
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    1,175

    Re: Aging whiskey at home

    Quote Originally Posted by silverfish View Post
    My only "gripe" is the little bung corks don't seem to last as long as I'd like ...
    These silicone bungs have worked well for me in wine barrels - I think they come in all sizes, fit very snug, and are virtually indestructable ...

    http://morewinemaking.com/search?search=silicone+bung
    Mark

  2. #22
    Disciple
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    Jun 2010
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    Northern Indiana
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    Re: Aging whiskey at home

    Quote Originally Posted by timd View Post
    I use Oak Barrels LTD - very happy with them. Best of all the places I've bought - and they will get you charred barrels, not "toasted" - if you ask

    Barrel source, from what I can tell, is out of business - no contact/no response from them in 6+ months... so doesn't matter if they are "cheaper" if they can't get you what you want!
    I asked for charred, but they said they didn't have it available at the moment in the 1L size. They were very friendly in presenting my options, but I was content with the toasted. Looking at them with a flashlight, I could see a little scale, but not to the degree I've seen in the past. I do think to some extend the line between charred and toasted is in the eye of the beholder. I think they could call this "lightly charred" and get away with it.

  3. #23
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    Jun 2010
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    Re: Aging whiskey at home

    Quote Originally Posted by Bourbon Boiler View Post
    OK, now that the storm warnings are gone I'll start.

    I put a 51/49 Corn/Wheat in a medium char 1L barrel 24 days ago. I cut it from its distilled proof of 120 to 113.1 to make sure I filled the barrel. I retained a sample of the white dog cut to the same proof. The white dog tasted like I remember unaged corn whiskey tasting, although maybe not as "sharp".

    It has been aging in my kitchen, where there has been little temperature or humidity change. (My wife likes the smell, so it gets to stay in the kitchen for now.) I drained a few ounces today for sampling, and retained a few small bottles for the sake of doing a vertical tasting later.

    The sample today was very dark, as dark as just about any bourbon I've ever seen. I have no way to measure the proof, but I doubt it has changed much since barreling. It was very drinkable, as it was sweet and smooth. However, there was little complexity to it and it seemed to have a very thin mouthfeel. It tasted like an excellent mixer, but not something I'd really enjoy having a few glasses of.

    I would estimate that there are about 600-650 mL remaining, which are still in the barrel. I plan on sampling again in 2 weeks, and bottling when either the taste is something I don't want to change, or when there are about 375 mL left in the barrel. I will retain samples with each tasting.
    I sampled this again today on day 43. It was slightly darker than my sample from a couple weeks back, and the nose is very similar. I didn't notice a whole lot of change in the initial taste as it still seemed very "thin" and young. However, there was a definite improvement in the finish. It was longer, and was starting to get some complexity. I would describe a slight citrus aftertaste to it that lasted several seconds.

    It is strange, but while drinking it I would have described it as a below average pour, but the finish makes me think I had something really good and forgot about it. I'm also surprised it developed a good finish before it developed a good initial taste.

  4. #24
    Disciple
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    Jun 2010
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    Northern Indiana
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    Re: Aging whiskey at home

    After almost two months, there is a definite trend of the "end" of the drinking experiencing maturing before the start. The finish is even better, and resembles something we'd pay good money for. The taste is improving, but still has a way to go. It isn't bad, but there's not a lot of complexity past a light citrus flavor with vanilla notes. The mouthfeel is improving, but still a bit on the thin side. The nose still resembles white dog more than a good finished product.

  5. #25
    Connoisseur
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    Aug 2009
    Location
    Manheim, PA 17545
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    757

    Re: Aging whiskey at home

    Out of curiousity, what is the source of your white dog you're using for your aging experiments? I still haven't started mine. Too much going on in my personal life right now.
    If you have anything Michter's or Pennco and would like to sell it or share it with me, please let me know.

  6. #26
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    Jun 2010
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    Northern Indiana
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    Re: Aging whiskey at home

    Quote Originally Posted by ethangsmith View Post
    Out of curiousity, what is the source of your white dog you're using for your aging experiments? I still haven't started mine. Too much going on in my personal life right now.
    This one is from the Grand Traverse Distillery. 51% corn, 49% wheat. I've also recently barreled some 95% rye, 5% corn from there. I also have BT white dog in barrel #3 and barrel #4 is a toasted barrel that has Laird's Applejack aging in about 1/3 cup of used barrel char from BT.

    Barrel #1 is the only one I've been regularly sampling from.

  7. #27
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    Re: Aging whiskey at home

    Quote Originally Posted by Bourbon Boiler View Post
    After almost two months, there is a definite trend of the "end" of the drinking experiencing maturing before the start. The finish is even better, and resembles something we'd pay good money for. The taste is improving, but still has a way to go. It isn't bad, but there's not a lot of complexity past a light citrus flavor with vanilla notes. The mouthfeel is improving, but still a bit on the thin side. The nose still resembles white dog more than a good finished product.

    Well, it might be overaged. It still has a good finish, but the initial taste just can't be described as anything but "bad". It isn't immature; I wished I'd have pulled it two weeks ago.

  8. #28
    Virtuoso
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    Aug 2008
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    Tallahassee
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    1,364

    Re: Aging whiskey at home

    Sorry to hear that. I was hoping you would get something nice.
    If I am not mistaken the more you re-use the barrel the easier it is to anticipate that period when it changes from interesting to bad. Probably doesn't happen as fast either.
    Probably a good idea to use very inexpensive juice for the first two or three fills with the expectation that you might lose it.

  9. #29
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    Jun 2010
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    Northern Indiana
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    Re: Aging whiskey at home

    Quote Originally Posted by sailor22 View Post
    Sorry to hear that. I was hoping you would get something nice.
    If I am not mistaken the more you re-use the barrel the easier it is to anticipate that period when it changes from interesting to bad. Probably doesn't happen as fast either.
    Probably a good idea to use very inexpensive juice for the first two or three fills with the expectation that you might lose it.
    I've got a few plans for the barrel, including a beer, some apple brandy, and more whiskey of course.

  10. #30
    Connoisseur
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    North Alabama
    Posts
    577

    Re: Aging whiskey at home

    I got very good results by cycling my whiskey. In the summer I placed the whiskey in a cabinet in the garage for two weeks and then a refrigerator for two weeks. Temperatures averaged in the 90's with humidity between 75% and 90%. The refridgerator was set on low humidity and 38%. during the winter I cycled the whiskey between the garage and a closet in the house. The garage temp got as low as 28 degrees with humidity below 40%. The house averaged 76 degrees with humidity around 45%. I did this for about 18 months. I started at close to 120 proof based on math calculations because i don't have anything to measure the specific gravity of the whiskey. This worked very well for me. The final product was a sweet whiskey with heavy vanilla, toffee, brown sugar, cinnamon, smoke oak and a buzz.

    I did notice that very early on I had a full dark whiskey color but the taste was also thin and a bit of a sharp bite. I would haveoured it out except I was determined to stick it out and as a result it turned out great for me.

    For evaporation, the only way to stop it is to use glass jugs with the wood placed in the jar with the whiskey. You can make your own charred oak inserts or buy them. It works great and you keep all the juice.

    Another technique is to extra mature whiskey in a wood solution of your own make. Start with a handle of bottom shelf juice and jug it with some wood of your choice. After a period of time it will extract more flavor and when your happy, filter and drink.

    Finally, this is like using gas to run a generator. You're converting something that may not be cost efficient. That can be discouraging especially if it doesn't turn out well. It get past that by concentrating on getting the taste I want and that takes time, attention to detail, and lots of resources.

    I await tasting notes with nervous anticipation,

    Dan
    Often I am forced to deal with the fact that I prefer bourbon over dealing with facts.

 

 

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