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Frequenty Asked Questions

The oak barrel I received was absolutely incredible! So patient and helpful with the custom design I asked for, and replied very quickly to help get it all sorted. There was a genuine sense of care here, it was as if he was doing it for himself and wanted it to look as perfect as possible. Very helpful even after I received the product too. Would rate higher if I could!

Sam
Barrels and Kegs

How are the barrels made?

How barrels are madeOur barrels are made from premium quality American White Oak. The staves are air dried for two years and all barrels have a medium char. Our barrels are all hand crafted with no use of glues or nails, therefore barrel “curing” is required prior to use. This process serves two functions:

  1. Allows the barrel to swell and prevent leaking
  2. Limits the amount of alcohol absorbed by the barrel. Start by placing the appropriate number of storing tablets in the barrel and filling the barrel with boiling or hot water. Allow it to soak for 3 to 5 days. This allows the barrel to swell tightly against the hoops and ensure that the barrel doesn’t leak .Water may leak from between the staves or at the barrel head seam. This is normal and will stop within 24 hours as the wood swells. Barrels that do not leak should still be cured for 3 to 5 days. This will minimize the amount of alcohol absorbed by the barrel staves. After curing the barrel, empty the solution and rinse with hot water 3 times. Now fill the barrel with your spirits and place the bung in tightly…Enjoy!

How do I best maintain my barrel?

Barrels are best stored in a cool damp environment, this will keep the exterior from drying out and minimize evaporation. In the event that you have allowed your barrel to dry out you should attempt to re-cure the barrel. If it continues leaking, submerge the barrel in water for a couple of days. After it’s been submerged, dry the exterior with a towel and fill it with water to see if it continues to leak. If so, find the leak and apply barrel wax to the hole… If you can’t stop the leaking… cut in half and use as a planter! With proper care, you can use your barrel for 8 to 10 years. Following the cleaning and re-charring instructions will insure a long life for your product and be sure to not let your barrel dry out.

How long should spirits be aged?

There’s no formula for the perfect time to age your spirits. We suggest you taste your spirits every week and once aged to YOUR taste, start drinking or move it to a glass bottle to stop the aging process. For wine and beer aging we suggest a airlock/bung combination. See your local home brew retailer. Due to the greater surface or contact area ratio Smaller barrels age the spirit faster than the larger barrels, small size barrels will age 5 to 10 times faster than your standard 55 gallon barrel. These means that one month in a small barrel will produce the equivalent aging to 1 to 1 1/2 years in a full size barrel.

How do I clean my barrel?

Your barrel will require routine cleaning. When aging hard spirits such as whiskey, rum or tequila, clean the barrel after two or three batches (or every 1 to 2 years). For wine, cider, liquor or other low alcohol content spirits, clean after each batch as follows:-

  1. Fill the barrel with a cleaning solution and soak for 24 hours. Empty and rinse 3 times with hot water. See your local home brew retailer for cleaning tablets.
  2. Dissolve Neutralizing Acid into warm water. Fill the barrel with this neutralizing solution and soak for 15 minutes. Empty and rinse the barrel 3 times with hot water. See your local home brew retailer for Neutralizing acid.
  3. To re-char the barrel interior, drain the barrel for 3 hours. Place a butane torch in the bung and spigot hole and re-char the inside.
  4. When storing the barrel or prior to re-use, dissolve the 2 sterilizing tablets in 1 gallon of cool water. Fill the barrel with the solution. Swish around for a few minutes and rinse 3 times with hot water.

To prevent the barrel from drying out and minimize the possibility of contamination, barrels should always be stored full with spirits or sterilizing solution. Barrels should be cleaned after every 2 or 3 aging batches or when changing from spirit types.

What size barrels are available?

2 Litre, 5 Litre, 10 Litre, 20 Litre and 50 Litre. Our barrels are individually hand crafted using traditional methods therefore each barrel is unique. The volume of each barrel may vary by +/1 10% depending of the thickness of the wooden staves.

How long will my order take?

This product is custom and made to order. Processing times are approximately 3-7 business days for processing and 2-10 business days for shipping. If your order will not arrive in time, we suggest you print out the picture of the item you ordered from our website and put that picture in a card or gift box and inform your gift recipient that their gift will arrive soon.

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