Whiskey Aging Kits

A good whiskey aging kit is a wonderful way of learning all about whiskey aging. It allows for better appreciation and understanding of the entire aging process – including the changes in taste, flavor, strength and color that whiskey undergoes in each step. Using a whiskey aging kit requires just a few months of aging, a much shorter period compared to years of aging by large distillers. A basic kit consists of a few bottles of whiskey and some small whiskey barrels.

It isn’t that difficult to find where to buy whiskey barrels. The best ones are those that are made with high quality oak. Toasted interiors impart a more noticeable spice and caramel flavor to the aged whiskey. These whiskey oak barrels can be reused for a number of times, but will have a different flavor with each batch. The flavor from the barrels tends to mellow out with each use.

Whiskey Aging Kits

Whiskey Aging Kits

  • Before using a new whiskey aging barrel, fill it first with warm water. Set it aside for a few days of curing. The goal is to allow the water to expand the slats of wood to create a better seal. How long to cure the barrels depend on how dry the barrels are. Drier barrels would take a longer curing period. This step also prevents the wood from absorbing the precious whiskey. See, putting any liquid in a dry wooden container would result in liquid absorption and re-hydration of the barrel. The aging barrels should be adequately sealed and properly re-hydrated within a week. If not, then the barrel is likely to be defective. Return it to the manufacturer and from where the whiskey making kits were purchased.
  • After a good seal is established, empty the barrel. Time to add the whiskey. Place the date when the whiskey was poured into the aging barrels.
  • When filling the barrels, allow some space from the top of the barrel. Some people prefer to fill the barrels all the way to top, which is totally fine. When filling with whiskey, at least place 750 ml when using a 1-liter barrel or 1500 ml when using a 2-liter barrel. This way, the rate of evaporation is reduced.
  • Cover the barrels tightly and store them in a place away from direct exposure to sunlight. The temperature of the area should also be moderate. Too hot will age the whiskey much faster, leaving little time for the barrel flavors to soak through the liquid. Too cold would make the aging process slow.
  • Sample a few sips of whiskey during the aging process. This is to check if the whiskey has reached its sweetest point. Periodic sampling also helps to give a better understanding of the changes that whiskey undergoes. Aging in smaller barrels happens much faster. It just takes a few weeks before whiskey reaches it proper age.

Over-aging will cause the whiskey to evaporate, often referred to as the Angel’s share. To check for the rate of evaporation, open the barrels. Do this sparingly to avoid a lot of whiskey vapors from escaping. The vapors are very important for a wonderful whiskey. Experts recommend checking for evaporation for a 1-liter barrel after a month. The entire aging process for this barrel size is typically around 1 to 4 month. The rate of evaporation varies, depending on humidity and a few other factors. For 2-liter barrels, check for evaporation 2 months after pouring the whiskey in. Typically, aging in 2-liter barrels takes anywhere between 2 and 6 months.

How long to age and how much evaporation allowed depends on the distiller’s preference. Some are willing to allow more evaporation to get a richer flavor to their whiskey. Some prefer to age whiskey to just ripe in order to get a milder flavor. It all depends on individual preferences.

Once the desired ripeness is achieved, whiskey is ready to be poured back into bottles. Once the whiskey is out of the barrel and bottled, the aging process stops.

Small whiskey making kits make it possible to distill and age whiskey right in the comfort of one’s home. There are kits available for a wide range of preferences, such as rye, single malt or blended. These kits are very versatile, allowing room for distillers to make their own blend, create their own alcohol strength and develop their own unique flavors.

With the growing number of whiskey enthusiasts that prefer to distill their own spirits, there is now a growing market that offers distilling equipment for sale. These help DIY whiskey enthusiasts to create their own and experiment with different flavors. There are a few enthusiasts that re-use the barrels for other spirits, such as rum and cocktails. However, reusing the barrels this way is only recommended if the barrels no longer give the last batch of aged whiskey the desired oaky, spicy, caramel-y flavor.

French Oak Barrels for Sale

French Oak Barrels for Sale – Facts and Tips

Considering buying French oak barrels for sale? It is important to know some information about them to make this purchase more exciting and yourself more confident and knowledgeable. Here are a few tips and valuable facts.

Origin of Oak Barrels

Winemakers and merchants know where to get the best oak barrels. When choosing, they usually think of two places: the United States and France. These two countries grow the best oak trees in the world due to their cool climates. In places where the temperature is cold, these trees grow very slowly and therefore, they mature also slowly. This gives oak trees a chance to develop a pleasing tight grain while they grow.

French Oak Barrels for Sale

French Oak Barrels for Sale

In France, oak trees meant to be turned into oak barrels are those that come from five forests located in the middle part of the country. These forests are also the ones that provided wood for shipbuilding during the time of Napoleon. These forests are Vosges, Troncais, Limousin, Allier, and Nevers. They have unique characteristics and experts say that barrels from each of these forests develop a distinctive taste for the wines aged in them.

If you have a particular taste in mind, which you also want to develop, you can ask French oak barrels for sale sellers which origin should your barrel come from.

What’s The Taste Like?

How your wine will taste the moment it is ready for consumption depends on a lot of factors. By origin, French oak barrels produce wines that have a spicy taste. The flavor is typically subtle while the texture is comparable to silk or satin. In comparison, American oak barrels have a strong flavor. Wine experts often describe the taste to be akin to coconut, vanilla, or cream soda. The wine produced in these barrels has a creamy texture.

After buying French oak barrels for sale, you can think about other strategies which winemakers use in barrel-aging. Aside from using French barrels exclusively, some also employ mixing these barrels with American barrels.

If you’re in the mood to create your own style of wine aging, try a different level of toasting or mixing old and new barrels. Some winemakers prefer shorter periods of aging while others pursue better-tasting wines by aging them longer.

French Oak Barrels for Sale – Air-Drying

Some people don’t stop looking for more ways to improve the taste of wines through barrel-aging techniques, and one of the areas that interest them is air-drying. Here’s one interesting result from a recent experiment. It appears that the length of air-drying periods has a direct relation with taste. Specifically, two things were noted:

  • Wood dried for a longer time produces wines with a subtler flavor and with a more supple texture.
  • Short-time air-drying produces more astringent flavors.

When storeowners peddling French oak barrels for sale ask you about the barrel type you’re looking for, be honest and throw in some sensible questions. Ask about the percentage of new barrels they are using and how long they are keeping wines inside the barrels. Long-time aging and a higher percentage of new barrels require that highly seasoned wood be used.