Re: Recommendations/Advice on Barrel Aging
--- In firstname.lastname@example.org, "John Doe" <wannabedistiller@...> wrote:
> I searched around on this forum for answers on the following questions and didn't come up with much...
> I have a couple of used 2 gallon sap clear charred oak barrels that I am planning to use for aging a recently double distilled grape based spirit.
> Three questions:
> 1) Does anyone have comments on ideal alcohol levels to achieve the best extraction (of flavors, etc.) from a barrel?
> I had heard/read that slightly lower ABV achieves better barrel extraction but have no basis for this.
Commercials fill large barrels @ 63% abv. They have to contend with costs associated. Barrels ain't cheap when you got a million or two of 'em tied up for 4 years.
Most of us have figured out that 50-55% makes for a better product.
> 2) Also, during the aging process, is it necessary to top off the barrel when tasting/testing for readiness?
> 3) Given the surface area of a 2 gallon barrel, aside from taste/personal judgement, is there a timeframe that the aging distillate should be targeted for bottling?
Your proposed 2 gallon casks should age in 6 months or less, according to documentation from Bill Owen's American Distiller Institute.
> Thanks in advance for your time and consideration,
> W.B. Distiller