wwwdotcomdotnet started a discussion

13 years ago

Menu# DIY whisky aging!

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13 years ago

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Victor replied

Google Wasmund's Barrel Kits for some easy ready-to-go 2 L packages for this sort of adventure. Wasmund's also sell barrels of 5,10,18.5, and 194 L size.

13 years ago *0*

wwwdotcomdotnet replied

@Victor I've actually stumbled on this in my searching. Problem is I live in a state where you can't ship or receive alcohol via mail. I would rather also source my own barrels and whiskey, anyways.

13 years ago *0*

seanelliott replied

I first read about these small counter casks here: boozeblogger.com/wordpress/tag/… I would really like to try it as well sometime...

13 years ago *0*

wwwdotcomdotnet replied

My cask is here, I have water soaking in it for a few days to swell the wood so it won't leak. I will report back in a month or so with a full post about the entire process. Stay tuned!

13 years ago *0*

Peatpete replied

I havent tried this, but as an even cheaper suggestion, you can gain the effects of aging by using splinters of wood and just introducing them to the whisky. If you realy wanted to experiment, you could use this method, charing the wood to different degrees, pre-soaking it in different alcohols, etc, etc. This way you would be able to get 3 or 4 different variations out of one bottle of scotch....

13 years ago *0*

wwwdotcomdotnet replied

Quick update: I poured in 2L of Old Granddad bourbon and a teaspoon of honey for good measure. I will post a how-to thread when I feel the whiskey is ready!

13 years ago *0*

So, there has been a bit of talk about buying casks of scotch and having them aged at the distilleries. The problem is that for people in the US, this is not so practical as we cannot easily get a whole cask or dozens of bottles overseas.

After some quick querying, I stumbled upon an article about people buying cheap hooch and aging it themselves in their own barrels. Further searching yields several sources for charred oak barrels in various sizes from 1-5L and up. Essentially, the smaller the barrel, the larger the ratio of barrel wall surface area to liquid volume is, and thus your liquor will mellow very quickly.

So my initial thoughts are to buy a 2L barrel, age some corn whiskey in it for about a month, then possibly a batch of young rum, and then finally move on to a batch of young scotch and age that for several months, testing samples along the way. Has anyone here done anything like this?

Here are my sources:

Inspiration: dcfoodies.com/2011/02/… Barrels: oakbarrelsltd.com/2-liter-brass-detail.html…

I've worked out the math comparing the surface area to volume ratios for a 200L barrel and for a 2L barrel.

Proof:

The key is the ratio of the surface area (SA) to the liquid volume (V) between the 200L and 2L barrels. Here are the formulas for a cylinder:

SA = 2(p)(r)(r+h) V = pi(r^2 )(h)

Note that a cask bulges in the middle, so I am averaging the middle diameter and top/bottom diameter for the effective diameter of the barrel. Think of it as two trapezoids stacked on one another. Taking the dimensions off the barrels from several sources:

200L dimensions: height = 91.44cm, diameter in the middle averaged with the diameter of the top and bottom is 57.15cm, so radius = 28.58cm. Therefore the surface area = 21,547.74cm^2 and the volume = 234,562.3cm^3, so SA/V = 0.0917 2L dimensions: height = 12.7cm, average radius = 7.94cm. Similarly, SA/V = 0.4095

So, comparing the SA/V from both barrels, .4095/.0917 = 4.47, meaning there is 4.47 times more exposure for every drop of liquid to the walls of the barrel in the 2L over the 200L. Honestly, I thought this number would be much higher, but still, it proves what I was saying earlier. Check my numbers if you think I am wrong, but I just wanted to show that it is realistic to assume that a smaller cask speeds up the mellowing process, so to speak (not literally).

Any advice would be great!