You want to purchase a premium white oak barrel or you already have and, of course, want to use it properly and have a lot of questions about how to take the most of it. Here are some tips for you to age your favorite liquors and spirits.
1. Start by curing it
The first thing you gotta do is cure and seal your oak barrel, preferably within a month after receiving it so it doesn’t dry out over time.
- Insert the spigot into the face of the barrel
- Then, fill with water and empty it to remove any kind of waste.
- Fill it another time with hot water and leave it like that for at least 48 hours. It’ll be helpful to seal and prevent possible leaking. Though it is normal if it leaks a little at first, but when the barrel absorbs the water and starts to swell, leaks will start slowing down.
2. Age anything you like!
Oak barrels are often associated with whiskey aging, but you can experiment with almost anything; from bourbon to tequila, wine, brandy, rum, port, sherry, beer, cocktails, kombucha and even vinegar and hot sauces.
Just be aware that most of them (if not all) will have different requirements for aging properly.
3. The wait is worth it
The time the spirit rests inside the barrel is up to the owner of the oak barrel, because they might take a week or several years to age. We recommend you test every few weeks the taste to determine how you like it and when it’s ready. When the perfect taste is reached, decant the liquid into a glass bottle for storage...or drink it!!!
4. Reuse it
American oak barrels can give toasty, vanilla, caramel or coconut flavours, also depending on the charring level. Our barrels are medium charred (#3).
After you finish a process, you can use the same keg to age another liquor, but the number of times for reusing depends on what kind spirits you pour inside. For example, Tequila can be aged up to 10 times, more or less; rum, 7 times, whiskey, 4 times; wine, 1 or 2 times.
But don’t worry! Once the oak barrel is enough used for a number of times, you can keep it as a storage container for the spirit, but the oak will have less impact on aging; or you can always set it on a special corner for decoration.
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