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  1. #11
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    Re: Jeff...

    Why would previously barreling cider prohibit you from re-barreling whiskey?
    Sorry for not having been clear - it's nothing in the cider itself, but rather that the barrel has sat empty and dry all these years. Wine makers store empty barrels with sulfited water in them to keep the staves swollen and to discourage microbial growth. And they traditionally "sweeten" them before refilling by burning a sulfur candle in them, filling them with SO2 fumes.

    So I suspect that my barrel may be musty. Obviously nothing would grow in it if the alcohol level is sufficiently high, but it might taint the contents.

    I have been considering, however, checking it out and if it's clean, filling it with fresh make white dog from a 50% rye malt, 30% unmalted rye, and 20% distillers barley malt. I believe I might find connections for such a spirit. (I discovered in a test mash that Briess Malting Co.'s rye malt, unlike barley malt, lacks sufficient enzymes to convert even its own starch, so additional enzymes must be added from barley malt. Apparently, Anchor Distilling gets a higher enzyme rye malt.)

    Jeff

  2. #12
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    Re: Ken...

    I intend to measure and record the amount lost to evaporation and barrel absorption and replace with new AA after the weekly/monthly sample has been drawn...oh yea... and replace what we, the "study groupers", sample as well!
    This sounds like a great project!

    Some further thoughts on this. One of my ongoing homebrew projects has been an Old Ale "Solera." This is a five gallon stainless steel Pepsi keg in which I have kept a strong, "Old Ale" (that's a style of strong ale) since 1994. Every couple of years, I top it up. After about three years, it serendiptously turned nicely tart (see my full explanation in my post on Flanders ales earlier).

    Some homebrewers in Franklin, TN, were inspired by this to step it up in scale by brewing 11 five-gallon batches of barleywine and storing it in a used bourbon barrel. Their intent is to draw it down as needed and top it up occasionally. However, they hadn't counted on the staves on the top of the barrel drying out, and it leaked when they refilled it (see their report to Homebrw Digest).

    If you keep your barrel full, this shouldn't be a problem, but we do hear of whiskey being rebarrelled. I wonder if this is a problem with them. And I wonder why it doesn't seem to be a problem when bourbon barrels are refilled with beer at microbreweries (as is increasingly being done with stouts and barleywine). Obviously, the top staves in a well aged barrel of bourbon will be dry. (The Tennessee homebrewers kept their barrel wrapped in wet blankets until they filled it).

    Jeff

  3. #13
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    Jeff

    Jeff, you have posted some valuable information, Thanks!

    In other threads, I had mentioned the idea of a "solera" or "living barrel" idea. (Loch-Fyne Whiskies in Scotland has a in-house cask program, pseudo-solera thing going on)

    I think this method would have its advantages when using small barrels in a project like this. First the "re-topping" would keep the barrel from leaking and also allow for influencing the contents for corrective measures or directive measures. One aspect being a defensive tool, the latter being more offensive in nature. Directive additions would be done to influence the contents to specific preferences of taste. IE, more rye flavor, wheat flavor, sweeter, dryer, higher proof, lower proof etc...What ever the mood.

    Most of this is just thought process for the future; at this point in time the only work is to break-in this little barrel and build the "baseline" of information for future expansion of ideas.

  4. #14
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    Re: Jeff

    I want to get a barrel now!

  5. #15
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    Re: Dougdogs\' Whiskey Rebarreling...

    Doug,
    I have been reading this thread with some amusement. What would happen if you had access to aging whiskey still in the barrel (like in an aging warehouse) and emptied it after about 4 - 5 years and then put the un-processed bourbon into a new charred barrel and let it age another 4 - 5 years? First of all the bourbon will not be 8 - 10 years old, but rather 4 - 5 years old. However, it will be very "rich."

    Do you recall me talking about having 1500 experimental barrels in our warehouse? Well........

    Ken

  6. #16
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    Re: Dougdogs\' Whiskey Rebarreling...

    What would happen if you had access to aging whiskey still in the barrel (like in an aging warehouse)
    Hey! No fair! Cheater!

    Do you recall me talking about having 1500 experimental barrels in our warehouse? Well........
    Will work for experimental whiskey

  7. #17
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    Re: Dougdogs\' Whiskey Rebarreling...

    What would happen if you had access to aging whiskey still in the barrel (like in an aging warehouse) and emptied it after about 4 - 5 years and then put the un-processed bourbon into a new charred barrel and let it age another 4 - 5 years? First of all the bourbon will not be 8 - 10 years old, but rather 4 - 5 years old. However, it will be very "rich."

    Do you recall me talking about having 1500 experimental barrels in our warehouse? Well........
    What a tease!

    So you are saying that the bourbon, even though it had been in two barrels for a total of 8 - 10 years, would be considered only as old as the time it spent in its more recent barrelling? That seems very strange.

    I certainly can see that it would have double the barrel flavors, or, as you say, be very rich. As one who at least thinks that he appreciates the flavor of the distillate as well as barrel flavors, I'm not sure how I'd feel about this. It seems that the flavor of the distillate itself would be overwhelmed.

    I hope I get to find out.

    Jeff

  8. #18
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    Re: Dougdogs\' Whiskey Rebarreling...

    Hi Ken,
    I have been wondering why none of the distilleries have tried rebarreling bourbon in a second new charred oak barrel, now I think at least one of them has! I look forward to this being released and/or sampling a barrel if/when I get to Kentucky. (That is a hint...) (I plan on bringing a 1.75 liter "flask"...)

    Did I understand correctly that once a bourbon leaves its original barrel it can't legally get any older?
    Ed

  9. #19
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    Re: Dougdogs\' Whiskey Rebarreling...

    So you are saying that the bourbon, even though it had been in two barrels for a total of 8 - 10 years, would be considered only as old as the time it spent in its more recent barrelling? That seems very strange
    I think he's actually saying that it would be considered as old as its original or first barreling age.

  10. #20
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    Re: Dougdogs\' Whiskey Rebarreling...

    I think he's actually saying that it would be considered as old as its original or first barreling age.
    I suspect you are right. But it still seems strange. What if it spent four years in the first barrel and six years in its second barrel. Why couldn't you call it six year old whiskey? Or even more sensibly, ten year old? You have a spirit, properly mashed and distilled, stored in new, charred oak barrels and aged for six years. I don't see anything in the regs that says it has to be white dog that is placed into the barrels. Seems common sense.

    I suppose BT has lawyers on this, or perhaps there is a precedent, but I think it could/should be as old as the total time it spent in new, charred oak barrels, even if this is more than one barrel.

    This legal opinion is offered for the same fee as your

    Will work for experimental whiskey
    Jeff

 

 

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