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:-
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Posted in: FAQ