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Barrel staves-opinions wanted

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Barrel staves-opinions wanted

Postby MashMan » Sun Dec 19, 2010 5:55 am

So I've been using cut up staves from a whole red wine barrel that I bought a few years ago in various forms of "heat treatment" from what I could tell it was used once, well not ground out anyway, red wine stained about 3/8" deep, no solids in keg at all. the timber itself never smelt of much, sawed it up as required, split off most of the coloured inside surface with a chisel, give it some form of heat treatment, pitch, wait, and have always been thrilled with the results.

So I ran out of staves about 2 weeks ago :( was thinking I hope I find another barrel that gives me the same results as the last one. well believe it or not I couldn't find one, not even half of one. I phoned half a dozen Nurseries/landscape supplies places, nothin. got a tip where some might be, went and had a look and found ten or so halves, old and weathered looking, cant say I was enthused. tipped the best looking one over and had a look inside, pretty thin, it had been ground out and reused with a coating of red crud about 2mm thick that would flake off like concrete. so I paid $30 for it and the closer I got to home the more pissed off I got thinking I was just going to ruin some good booze with this piece of crap.

Stay with me :ranting: I need your opinion :D

So I knocked it apart, cut one stave into 4" long pieces, split off the stained section with chisel and WOW this smells sweet like sherry, and like oaky and vanillary and yummy. so I gave it my usual toasting treatment I do for my bourbon with the gas torch and pitched it as per usual, same amount to volume etc.
So 10 days later I'm thinking it has taken on some nice colour and wonder if it is going to taste ok, take a small sample, it smells sweet and oaky, it tastes oaky with vanilla, slightly sweeter than I am used to, but damn this is good, cant wait to see what its like in 12 months time. Have I been missing out all these years or what?

So my question is, I'm thinking this might be a port barrel ? does anyone have an opinion on this? when red wine is foretified and sweetend to make port is it aged in oak after these steps? Maybe this is just different Oak than I have used before? French?, American ?

So what do the masses think ?

MM.
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Re: Barrel staves-opinions wanted

Postby Tracker » Sun Dec 19, 2010 6:00 am

This part of the masses thinks if it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, sounds like a duck, chances are that you realy do have a duck.


Cheers.
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Bok 2" slant plate for neutral and cleaning up mistakes.

Re: Barrel staves-opinions wanted

Postby MashMan » Sun Dec 19, 2010 6:03 am

Tracker wrote:This part of the masses thinks if it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, sounds like a duck, chances are that you realy do have a duck.Cheers.


:8) but is it a Muscovy or a Wood :oops: duck
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Re: Barrel staves-opinions wanted

Postby Tracker » Sun Dec 19, 2010 6:13 am

Can't really help mate, it's a bit like the proverbial 'how long is a piece of string' thing.
All I know is that I stored port in my small barrell for quite some time and it got a really grainy type of deep red crud all over the inside of it that was reasonably easy to scrape off. Certainly imparted some good taste though.


Cheers.
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Equipment type: 50 litre keg, SD 2" to 4" torpedo with 2 bubble plates, Dephlegmator, Pot still arm, copper SPP and condenser.(Tracker Stacker Flavour Packer)
Various pot still/thumper configurations.
Bok 2" slant plate for neutral and cleaning up mistakes.

Re: Barrel staves-opinions wanted

Postby punkin » Sun Dec 19, 2010 1:09 pm

I think you may be experiencing the difference tween french and american oak.

Sounds like your second barrel was a reused bourbon barrell to me. It's not the resident flavours, it's the natural flavours. I use new wood offcuts of american oak, and once toasted and soaked, the vannilla and maple come out so strongly that you'd swear it had been added as a concentrate. :8)
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Re: Barrel staves-opinions wanted

Postby MashMan » Sun Dec 19, 2010 4:10 pm

punkin wrote:I think you may be experiencing the difference tween french and american oak.

Sounds like your second barrel was a reused bourbon barrell to me. It's not the resident flavours, it's the natural flavours. I use new wood offcuts of american oak, and once toasted and soaked, the vannilla and maple come out so strongly that you'd swear it had been added as a concentrate. :8)


Thanks Punkin!
never really given much thought to French or American Oak before, have read about others messing up using red oak but I never would have thought there would be such a HUGE difference in flavour from one or the other. also the sweetness I talked about, after re-evaluating, purerly for research purposes :D is just as you say punkin, maple, yep I even added a few drops of maple syrup to some other product and its the same flavour :8)

I guess every now and then in this hobby we all have to get over a few stumbling blocks along the way to make advances in learning and or understanding that improves product or better process etc. sometimes through a great amount of struggle and time, other times such as my need to find some more oak we stumble across something new purely by accident.

I guess all I have ever bought over the last decade or two is French oak. now I know what to look, well smell for anyway.
so got to go to town first thing wednesday, top of the shopping list find the other half to this barrel :!:

:beer: MM.
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Re: Barrel staves-opinions wanted

Postby punkin » Sun Dec 19, 2010 4:16 pm

Keep in mind i'm guessing from afar, but i do think it may be right.

Damn right about stumbling, that's how i came on the method of adding wash to a spirit run. My still puked on a strip and gave me fifty times more flavour. Now it's standard practice all over.
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Re: Barrel staves-opinions wanted

Postby MashMan » Sun Dec 19, 2010 5:49 pm

yeh funny how disaster one minute turns in to revelation the next. I remember when doing a rum strip and it puked pretty bad, was the first time I experienced this, I was collecting in a large s/s vessel that had several other strips in it. man was i pissed off, youd reckon the sky was falling, pulled the still apart :screwy: flushed it all out then finished the strip. was :barf: that I was going to lose flavour if I stripped this contaminated mess again so decided to do a spirit run on what i had and see how terrible it really was.

well you know how the story ends :8)

thanks for the nostalgia trip.

MM.
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Re: Barrel staves-opinions wanted

Postby recession proof » Sun Dec 19, 2010 6:13 pm

it had been ground out and reused with a coating of red crud about 2mm thick that would flake off like concrete.


Wonder if that flaky red stuff was wine crystals/diamonds?
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